Mike Gravel says Sanders, Gabbard would be 'ideal' 2020 Dem ticket

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel said in an interview that aired Friday on Hill.TV's "Rising" that he thinks that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP Iowa senator suggests Trump impeachment defense could hurt Biden at caucuses On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Sanders launches first TV ads in Nevada MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardYang qualifies for New Hampshire debate stage Poll: Bernie Sanders holds 9-point lead in New Hampshire The establishment scam of 'unity' MORE (D-Hawaii) would make the ideal 2020 Democratic ticket. 

"In my mind, the ideal group would be either Bernie as president or Tulsi as president and Bernie as vice president," Gravel, who served as a senator and congressman from Alaska, told hosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti.

Gravel went on to praise Sanders's domestic agenda and Gabbard's military service, adding that Gabbard would be his ideal choice for the top of the ticket.  

"I think he's got a great domestic agenda. I thought, back then, he was a little weak on foreign policy. He himself has admitted that he was weak on foreign policy, and he's trying to bring himself up to speed," he said. 

"Tulsi Gabbard, in my mind, is the most ideal person to become president," he continued. "She's got six years experience on the Foreign Relations Committee, on the Armed Services Committee. She had the guts to take on Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSouth Carolina woman behind popular Obama slogan says she backs Steyer Sanders surges while Warren wanes Buttigieg: America 'united in mourning' Kobe Bryant's death MORE over a military issue. She's been in the service, she's a major in the reserves, she's had two tours of duty in Iraq." (The House committee with jurisdiction over foreign policy matters is called the House Foreign Affairs Committee).

Sanders has consistently come in second to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE in polling among the Democratic field, while Gabbard has struggled to keep up with the rest of the Democratic pack.

Gravel, in the same interview, slammed Biden, calling him "ideologically off the rails."

Despite running for president himself, Gravel has said he does not intend to seriously seek the presidency, but hopes to make a policy statement on the debate stage.

"The goal of a Gravel 2020 campaign would not be to win, but instead to draw attention to the central issues that Sen. Gravel has focused on over the previous decades," a draft version of his campaign plan indicates, adding "the ultimate goal would be to gain media attention and then endorse either Rep. Gabbard or Sen. Bernie Sanders before the Iowa caucuses." 

— Julia Manchester