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Biden says Sanders nomination would create 'uphill climb' for other Democrats on ballot

Biden says Sanders nomination would create 'uphill climb' for other Democrats on ballot
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Federal student loan payment suspension extended another month Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week MORE said on Sunday that Democratic candidates would face a "bigger uphill climb" if Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Sanders says he can't support bipartisan COVID-19 relief proposal in its current form Progressives push for direct payments to be included in COVID-19 relief deal 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.

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"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?"

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."