With the Iowa caucuses fast approaching, Democratic White House hopeful Bernie Sanders is, like all senators, stuck in Washington, fulfilling his constitutional duty as a juror in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Free of such obligations, former Vice President Joe Biden is campaigning in Iowa, making a final pitch to caucus-goers.
On Thursday, Biden made an attempt to differentiate himself from Sanders, who he has been trailing in early state polls. Per the Washington Examiner, the former vice president hit the Vermont senator for being an independent throughout his decades-long congressional career.
Speaking with reporters at a Dairy Queen in Pella, Iowa, Biden said the following.
"I'm a Democrat. He says he's not. He's not a registered Democrat, to the best of my knowledge."As the publication notes, although Sanders is an Independent, he caucuses with the Democrats. In 2019, he signed a pledge, stating that he is a member of the Democratic Party.
The Sanders campaign was quick to respond to the former vice president's comments. As The Wall Street Journal's Eliza Collins reports via Twitter, Sanders' campaign manager noted that the state of Vermont does not have party registration, hitting back at Biden.
"Last-minute, cheap barbs of desperation aren't a good look for a candidate who proclaims his desire to unite the party."Apart from criticizing Sanders for what he appears to believe is disloyalty to the Democratic Party, Biden hit the Vermont senator on a number of different issues. He criticized Sanders' health care proposal, Medicare for All, suggesting that he has no plan to pay for it, and expressed concern about the senator's record on gun control. "He was in a campaign in Vermont for a tough race for the Senate voting against the Brady Bill five times. I think he regretted that and has changed his mind," Biden said, referring to the 1994 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which requires background checks and a waiting period for handgun purchases.
Sanders and Biden have spent the past few weeks sparring with each other, and the gloves appear to be coming off. Notably, the two men have contrasted records, with Sanders attacking Biden for advocating for cuts to Social Security. Biden accused the Sanders campaign of spreading a "doctored" video of him calling for the cuts, and Sanders responded by tweeting a video of Biden talking about how many times he wanted to gut the program.In his latest campaign advertisement, Sanders took aim at President Donald Trump, attacking him for recently stating that cuts to Social Security will "at some point" be on the table. The Vermont senator's team cut the president's comments into a video, juxtaposing them with Sanders' speeches about the vital program.