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Sanders focuses on Biden’s record, predicts Michigan victory as primary becomes two-man race

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Former Vice President Joe Biden’s surge in the Democratic field took center stage Sunday morning as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made the case he could defeat Biden in what has become essentially a two-person race for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Sanders, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” predicted victory in Tuesday’s Michigan primary, which he also won over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“I feel good about the momentum we have. I think we are going to do well on Tuesday and beat Biden,” Sanders said. “You know, last time, as you indicated, it was seen as a big upset because polling had us down literally 20 points one day to the election.”

{mosads}Asked by Fox News’s Chris Wallace whether he would withdraw from the race if he lost Michigan, Sanders said he would not.

“Media ask you, ‘Is this state or that state life or death?’ I was asked that in Iowa. I was asked that in New Hampshire,” Sanders said. “We won California, the largest state in this country. We are winning among Latino voters big time. We are winning, winning among young people.”

Sanders also questioned the timing of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s withdrawal from the presidential race and their consolidation around Biden.

“The establishment put a great deal of pressure on Pete Buttigieg, on Amy Klobuchar, who ran really aggressive campaigns. Well, I know both of them. They worked really, really hard. But suddenly, right before Super Tuesday, they announced their withdrawal,” Sanders said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“If they had not withdrawn from the race before Super Tuesday, which was kind of a surprise to a lot of people, I suspect we would have won in Minnesota, we would have won in Maine, we would have won in Massachusetts. The turnout may have been a little bit different,” he added.

Biden surpassed expectations in the Super Tuesday primaries days after his two moderate former competitors withdrew and endorsed him.

Sanders on Sunday took aim at Biden’s voting record as a senator, telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that Biden had “not cast difficult votes” as a senator.

“What I’m saying here is that people want somebody who has a history of standing up and making the tough decisions in tough times,” he said, contrasting his record with Biden’s support of the Defense of Marriage Act and the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortions.

Sanders said sexism likely played a role in another recent withdrawal from the race — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — telling CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I think women have obstacles placed in front of them that men do not have.”

Warren’s exit from the race leaves Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) as the only female candidate in a field that initially included a record number of women.

“We’re making progress, but it’s too slow, and we’ve got to get rid of all the sexism that exists,” Sanders added.

The Sanders and Biden campaigns also both announced major endorsements Sunday, with Biden announcing the endorsement of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sanders announcing the endorsement of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

“There is no one better prepared than Joe to steer our nation through these turbulent times, and restore truth, honor, and decency to the Oval Office. He is kind and endlessly caring, and he truly listens to the American people,” Harris said in a statement.

“You can see in his eyes how he takes to heart the experiences of mothers and fathers working to make ends meet and worrying about whether their children can be safe in their classroom, or young people who fight tirelessly to tackle climate change as they ask for a fair shot at the future in front of them. And with a lifetime in public service, Joe has a proven track record of getting things done,” she added.

Harris and Biden previously sparred at the Democratic debates last year over his opposition to desegregation busing.

Jackson also announced his endorsement of Sanders on Sunday. Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vt., endorsed Jackson’s 1988 presidential bid.

“A people far behind cannot catch up choosing the most moderate path,” Jackson said.

“The most progressive social and economic path gives us the best chance to catch up and Senator Bernie Sanders represents the most progressive path,” Jackson said. “That’s why I choose to endorse him today.” 

Tags Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Chris Wallace Elizabeth Warren George Stephanopoulos Hillary Clinton Jake Tapper Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg Tulsi Gabbard
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