Sanders clashes with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle over Biden comments

Sanders clashes with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle over Biden comments
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll MORE (I-Vt.) clashed with an MSNBC host Thursday during an interview when the host pressed the 2020 presidential candidate on his call for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Sanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll MORE to apologize over his remarks about working with two segregationist lawmakers.

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle said Biden was trying to make the point that “bipartisanship is necessary” and he’s shown it by working with “the deplorable of the deplorable.”

“Why is it you believe he has to apologize,” she asked Sanders.

The bipartisanship is not what Sanders disagrees with, he said. 

“Look, when you’re in Congress you work with everybody. I do; I think every member of the Senate, every member of the House works with people who have very, very different points of view,” Sanders said.

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“But I don’t think you have to be touting personal relations with people who were very brutal segregationists,” he added.

Sanders and Biden are in the race among more than 20 other Democrats for the party’s presidential nomination.

Pushed on whether he thinks Biden’s comments have been taken out of context as a praise of the segregationists, Sanders told MSNBC “I think the media makes a bigger deal of it than it is,” but would not back down on his call for Biden to apologize.

“That’s my view. I’m sorry ma’am. I’m sorry if you disagree with me, that’s my view,” Sanders said.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Schumer throws support behind bill to study reparations MORE (D-N.J.) also called on Biden to apologize. Biden publicly refused, saying, “apologize for what,” and suggested Booker is the one who should apologize.

"He knows better,” Biden said, referring to Booker.

A handful of 2020 candidates condemned Biden after he spoke about the civility between him and segregationist politicians working in the Senate in 2020.

Biden’s campaign did not returned a request for comment from The Hill.