Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE said on Sunday that Democratic candidates would face a "bigger uphill climb" if Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' MORE (I-Vt.) wins the party's presidential nomination this year.
Biden, a Democratic candidate for president who has focused on making a case for his own electability, said Sanders labeling himself a Democratic Socialist could turn off voters in key swing states.
"Look, I'm not putting that label on Bernie. He calls himself a Democratic Socialist. Now you've been around George, as much as anybody, you're going to win with that label?" Biden said to George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week."
"You're going to help somebody in Florida with the label Democratic Socialist? It's going to go all the way down the line. That's what's going to happen. You're going to win in North Carolina? You're going to win in Pennsylvania? You're going to win in those states in the midwest?"
.@GStephanopoulos: "So you think flat out Democrats can't defeat Trump if they have to defend socialism?"— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 9, 2020
Joe Biden: "I think it's going to be incredibly more difficult." https://t.co/nPQ57Pvs7t pic.twitter.com/bZvoDVs4mJ
Stephanopoulos asked Biden, "So you think flat out Democrats can't defeat Trump if they have to defend socialism?"
"I think it's going to be incredibly more difficult," Biden responded.
"If I don't get the nomination and Bernie gets it I'm going to work like hell for him, but I tell you what, it's a bigger uphill climb, running as a senator or congressperson or governor on a ticket that calls itself a Democratic Socialist ticket."