After Super Tuesday, the Democratic nomination has essentially been whittled down to a two-man race between Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, and it’s going to get really, really nasty, threatening a return to the conditions that contributed to a Democratic Party meltdown in 2016.
“I like Joe. Joe is a decent guy, and I do not want this campaign to degenerate into a Trump-type effort where we’re attacking each other, where it’s personal attacks,” Sanders said Wednesday. “That is the last thing this country wants.”
But that’s exactly what the country is going to get, if not from Sanders himself, then from aggrieved surrogates already going nuclear. It didn’t take long for some of them to start passing around a video of Biden’s many stumbles at debates and on the campaign trail and calling him mentally unfit for the presidency, an attack that will no doubt be re-upped if the two men meet one-on-one on the next debate stage.
Other backers in Sanders’ orbit say they plan to highlight how Biden’s policies would (they contend) literally kill people. Others still have lashed out at Biden’s political staff, insinuating they’re only in it for the money.
Meanwhile, the Sanders campaign itself is out with ads attacking Biden on policy, including one highlighting Biden’s support for NAFTA.
“The banksters that have been robbing us blind and stealing our pensions and destroying our communities, they have something to worry about,” says a union worker in the ad, as an image of Biden flashed across the screen.
During a call with the press on Wednesday, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and other Biden surrogates railed against the new ads, which will air in states like Michigan that vote on March 10 and states like Arizona and Florida, where voters go to the polls on March 17.
“We can’t divide this party like we did last time and allow Trump to get reelected,” Richmond said. “And so, as he rails against the establishment, I just did not know that African Americans in the South are considered part of the establishment.”
Sanders expressed a similar grievance about the way his campaign has been treated in the press.
“There has not been a campaign, I think, that has been having to deal with the kind of venom we’re seeing from some in the corporate media,” he said. “This campaign has been compared to the coronavirus on television. We have been described as the Nazi army marching across France.”