Sanders campaign adviser on what went right and what went wrong

Chuck Rocha, a senior adviser to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Biden, Trump campaigns MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential bid, outlined what went right and wrong for the campaign after Sanders withdrew from the 2020 race Wednesday.

Rocha praised the campaign’s intense Latino outreach efforts and Sanders’s personal story, but admitted that the ultimate establishment consolidation around former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination The Memo: Job numbers boost Trump and challenge Biden Chris Wallace: Jobs numbers show 'the political resilience of Donald Trump' MORE was too great to overcome.

“The one thing that went really, really right…was the way we changed the game when it comes to reaching out to Latinos,” he said Thursday on Hill.TV’s “Rising.”

Rocha also pointed to success in states where the Sanders campaign had been able to spend months organizing before the nominating contests, such as Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

“One of the other great things we did is show that early organizing matters in states where we had enough time to run organizing campaigns in Iowa, in Nevada, doubling down in New Hampshire. That strategy worked, and it worked well,” Rocha said. “He had a freakin’ heart attack in the middle of a presidential campaign and we came within three days of being the Democratic nominee. You can’t make that up.” 

However, Rocha said the campaign did not have a long enough runway to combat the consolidation behind Biden after the former vice president won a nearly 30-point rout in South Carolina. That victory was followed by endorsements from 2020 rivals Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Hillicon Valley: Conspiracy theories run rampant online amid Floyd protests | First lawsuit filed against Trump social media order | Snapchat to no longer promote Trump's account MORE (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE and a gust of momentum. 

“It’s something that we could not control,” Rocha said.

“You didn’t have that time to build that on the ground infrastructure to blunt that head-to-head reaction that we had after it all came together.”