Sanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden will help close out Texas Democrats' virtual convention: report Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton MORE (I-Vt.) apologized to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLifting our voices — and votes Longtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick Biden will help close out Texas Democrats' virtual convention: report MORE Sunday night after an op-ed by a Sanders campaign surrogate published in The Guardian accused Biden of corruption.

The Vermont senator told CBS News that he regretted the message published by Sanders surrogate Zephyr Teachout, who does not hold an official role with the campaign but has endorsed and introduced the senator at his rallies.

"It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way. And I'm sorry that that op-ed appeared," Sanders told the news channel.

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His statement follows a Sanders campaign press release that circulated the op-ed to supporters and members of the media with the heading "Joe Biden has a big corruption problem."

In the op-ed, Teachout writes that the former vice president has erred by accepting campaign contributions from large donors and special interests, accusing him of embracing a style of politics no longer supported by the American electorate.

"It looks like 'Middle Class' Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans. Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn’t being 'moderate'. It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe," she wrote.

"Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate," added Teachout. "I know it seems crazy, but a lot of the voters we need — independents and people who might stay home — will look at Biden and Trump and say: 'They’re all dirty.' "

Biden later responded on Twitter, writing: "Thanks for acknowledging this, Bernie. These kinds of attacks have no place in this primary. Let’s all keep our focus on making Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE a one-term president."

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Teachout, a Fordham law professor and a candidate for governor of New York in 2014, endorsed Sanders last month in a video released by his campaign.