Bernie Sanders took to the friendly confines of a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper on Monday night and the always-cranky socialist from Vermont had a few choice words for rival Joe Biden.
Biden’s Iraq vote in 2002 is coming back to haunt him, especially in recent days with heightened public anxiety over tensions with Iran. Sanders wasted no time hitting this supposed vulnerable spot for Crazy Joe.
“Joe Biden voted and helped lead the effort for the war in Iraq, the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said.
While that vote is perceived as a liability by his far-left progressive rivals, they’re going to need to hit harder to make him seem weak on foreign policy:
A CNN poll from late November found Biden with a 34-point lead over his closest rival on the question of who Democratic voters trust the most on foreign policy.
Sanders then took a domestic policy jab or two at Biden:
Sanders also ripped Biden for voting for the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying that deal had cost the U.S. “millions of jobs.”
The electability argument has been central to Biden’s pitch, but Sanders argued that Biden’s record on trade would make him unelectable in the key battlegrounds that Democrats must win back to take the White House.
“Do you think that’s going to play well in Michigan, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania?” Sanders asked.
Biden may very well be 0-2 coming out of the gate, which could help Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Pete Buttigieg finally close some ground on the commanding lead that Biden has had in the national polls. Sanders is strong in some of the coastal state contests; if he can make the argument that Biden’s NAFTA vote makes him weak in the blue-collar Midwestern states, things could get really weird.
Sanders supporter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently went after Biden because he’s a bit too moderate for her tastes. There could be a coordinated effort to paint him as Republican-lite, which only really helps with the progressives. Sanders truly believes that the entire party has shifted far left, so this probably seems like a good move.
Joe Biden’s continued hold on the number one spot in the polls seems to indicate otherwise, however.
PJ Media Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.”