Win McNamee / Getty ImagesProgressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden speak during a break at the Democratic presidential primary debate at the Charleston Gaillard Center on Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, South Carolina. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)
It’s time for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to roll out progressive Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York and cater to the far left of the Democratic Party, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is reportedly telling associates.
According to a report in The Washington Post, Sanders has said Biden is risking the election by trying to appeal to the middle and not catering more to the liberal extremes of the party.
The report is based on three anonymous sources who The Post said have knowledge of private conversations between Sanders and his associates.
There was some fire amid the smoke in a statement from Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager for his 2020 presidential campaign.
Sanders “saying that Sanders is ‘working as hard as he can’ to get Biden elected but has advised some strategic adjustments,” according to The Post.
“Senator Sanders is confident that Joe Biden is in a very strong position to win this election, but nevertheless feels there are areas the campaign can continue to improve upon,” Shakir said.
“He has been in direct contact with the Biden team and has urged them to put more emphasis on how they will raise wages, create millions of good paying jobs, lower the cost of prescription drugs and expand health care coverage.”
“You got to give people an alternative or reason to vote for you other than saying, ‘I’m not Donald Trump,’” Sanders said Friday in an interview with PBS.
“And that means speaking about an economic program, which Biden has. It is not as strong as I would like it,” he added.
Do you think Biden has turned into a far-left extremist?
“It is not the Bernie Sanders program.”
Shakir said that Sanders “also thinks that a stronger outreach to young people, the Latino community and the progressive movement will be of real help to the campaign.”
Biden’s campaign did not comment on the report.
Friction between the two Democratic camps was evident on Twitter:
Liberals “urgently want Biden to defeat President Trump but are upset that he has taken a relatively centrist path,” The Post reported.
Sanders reportedly thinks Democrats need to “stress economic populism, those close to him said, rather than if they embrace a sole strategy of attacking Trump and avoiding hot-button issues.”
Sanders believes that the “liberal, millennial slice of the party” is not getting the attention it should and that “marquee surrogates” such Ocasio-Cortez should be used more often, the newspaper reported.
The report also noted that among Hispanic voters living in swing states, the general election polling margins are tighter than Sanders and other Democrats would like.
“As a result, fretful discussions are underway in the party about Biden’s standing with Latino voters in battleground states such as Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where Latinos could play a pivotal role in the outcome,” according to The Post.
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