Biden: Mainstream Democrats win general election fights

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Moulton says Biden would make 'fantastic president' MORE defended his policies against more progressive ideas in an interview that aired on Friday, saying mainstream Democrats have won most general election races. 

"Look who won last time out," Biden told CNN's Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoEight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Trump complains of Republicans defending CNN's Cuomo over 'Fredo' video: 'We never learn!' Trump campaign starts selling 'Fredo Unhinged' T-shirt after viral Cuomo video MORE. "In the general election fights, who won? Mainstream Democrats who were very progressive on social issues, and very strong on education, health care."  

 

A number of progressives, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Dangers loom for Trump on immigration Students retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (D-N.Y.), stormed Congress earlier this year after surprise primary victories against more establishment members of the party, including Ocasio-Cortez's primary opponent, Rep. Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyOcasio-Cortez chief of staff to leave her office Ocasio-Cortez about as well known as top Democrats: poll Boehner won't say whether he'd back Biden over Trump MORE (D-N.Y.). 

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Biden appeared to issue a warning against leftward movement within the party, questioning whether progressives could perform well in a nationwide, general election. 

"I think Ocasio-Cortez is a brilliant, bright woman, but she won a primary," he said. 

Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, has hit at Biden's centrist stances, warning he will depress turnout in a general election against President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE

"I think that he's not a pragmatic choice," the rising Democratic star said last month. "If you pick the perfect candidate like Joe Biden to win that guy in the diner, the cost will make you lose because you will depress turnout as well."

“And that’s exactly what happened to 2016. We picked the logically fitting candidate, but that candidate did not inspire the turnout that we needed," she said.

Biden is facing progressive Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE (D-Mass.) in the Democratic primary, both of whom have proposed leftward-leaning ideas like “Medicare for all.” 

The former vice president has warned against those ideas, instead, pointing to his own ideas, which he says are more "rational."

"I have a plan how to do that that's rational, that will cost a hell of a lot less and that will work," he said.