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Sanders unloads on Biden as battle for Iowa intensifies

Sanders unloads on Biden as battle for Iowa intensifies
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Biden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' in new administration In the final chapter of 2020, we must recommit to repairing our democracy MORE (I-Vt.) unloaded on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide MORE on Monday night, intensifying a battle between two top contenders for the Democratic nomination with the Iowa caucuses less than a month away.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Sanders attacked Biden’s record on foreign policy, trade and entitlements and questioned Biden’s electability in key Midwestern states. 

The new attacks come just 28 days before the Iowa caucuses.

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Polling has been sparse in recent weeks, but both Biden and Sanders look strong in the final stretch, with polls finding them jockeying for a top finish alongside former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' Biden's win is not a policy mandate — he should govern accordingly MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary: report Bottom line MORE (D-Mass.).

On Monday night, Sanders ripped Biden for voting to authorize military action in Iraq in 2002. Sanders voted against the measure.

“Joe Biden voted and helped lead the effort for the war in Iraq, the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said.

That issue has come to the forefront of the Democratic primary in recent days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE ordered a military strike that killed a top Iranian military commander. A CNN poll from late November found Biden with a 34-point lead over his closest rival on the question of who Democratic voters trust the most on foreign policy.

Sanders also ripped Biden for voting for the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying that deal had cost the U.S. “millions of jobs.”

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The electability argument has been central to Biden’s pitch, but Sanders argued that Biden’s record on trade would make him unelectable in the key battlegrounds that Democrats must win back to take the White House.

“Do you think that’s going to play well in Michigan, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania?” Sanders asked.

Sanders is also looking to cut into Biden’s big lead among older voters, and on Monday night he accused Biden of supporting cuts to entitlement programs that many seniors rely on.

“Joe Biden has been on the floor of the Senate talking about the need to cut Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid,” Sanders said.

And Sanders accused Biden of pushing “a bankruptcy bill that has caused enormous problems for working families.”

Warren has also clashed with Biden over his support for a 2005 bankruptcy bill that critics said favored the credit card companies.

Some centrist Democrats have become alarmed by Sanders’s aggressive tone in the stretch run to Iowa and are pointing to remarks he made on Sunday about how he had not attacked his rivals.

“You have not heard me disparage any of the candidates. Do you? I don’t,” Sanders said.