Sanders hits back at Biden's skepticism of progressive appeal

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Reject National Defense Authorization Act, save Yemen instead MORE (I-Vt.) is hitting back back at 2020 rival former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers MORE's skepticism of the progressive appeal across the country.

Sanders tweeted Friday that a leftward agenda is what will energize voters against President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE in the upcoming presidential election. The Vermont senator, a democratic socialist, has consistently polled in second place behind the former vice president.

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"I’m proud to be working with @AOC [Ocasio-Cortez] and so many other Democrats to pass Medicare for All, debt-free college and a Green New Deal," Sanders tweeted. "This is the agenda America needs — and that will energize voters to defeat Donald Trump."

Biden expressed skepticism about the mainstream appeal of progressive figures and policies in a wide-ranging interview with CNN earlier Friday. 

"Look who won last time out," Biden, who describes himself as in the "center-left," told the network.

"In the general election fights, who won? Mainstream Democrats who were very progressive on social issues, and very strong on education, health care."

Biden also questioned how well figures like progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez to hold campaign rallies in Los Angeles, Las Vegas Overwhelming majority say social media companies have too much influence: poll MORE (D-N.Y.) would do in a general election race. 

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

Ocasio-Cortez has hit Biden for being too centrist for the Democratic Party, warning last month that he could depress voter turnout in the 2020 race.

"I think that he's not a pragmatic choice," Ocasio-Cortez said. "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.