In an interview that aired on Saturday, Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California discussed the 2020 presidential election and former Vice President Joe Biden‘s campaign.
Speaking with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett, Khanna said that he does not expect Biden to move the United States in a more progressive direction.
“Look, I don’t sugarcoat it. I don’t think Joe Biden is going to lead us to the next progressive era. I think he’s going to be the bridge,” he said.
The lawmaker added that he is “enthusiastic” about a Democrat beating President Donald Trump in November, noting that the choice is clear for progressives.
“You can get Joe Biden, who can stop the damage and be a bridge, and then we can get a progressive future after that,” he said.
Biden will be a strong contender against Trump, Khanna argued.
“Ultimately it’s about his sense of decency, his sense of American character,” he said.
Khanna also discussed Tara Reade’s accusations against the former vice president. Khanna — who noted that full transparency is necessary — said that he is satisfied with how Biden has responded to Reade’s allegations.
The congressman criticized Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, opining that the crisis has underlined how much the American economy relies on labor.
“If we’re so dependent on these workers, how do we make sure that they’re protected — how do we make sure they get paid more?” he asked.
As one of the leading progressives in the United States Congress, Khanna served as co-chair of Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ presidential campaign. Sanders was the last candidate standing against Biden, but he ultimately dropped out of the race and endorsed the former vice president, encouraging his supporters to vote.
According to an April survey from The Economist and YouGov, 50 percent of Sanders supporters hold an unfavorable view of Biden. But that was before Sanders formally endorsed the former vice president.
Now, polling suggests that the Vermont senator’s support could be a major boost for Biden. For instance, according to a Morning Consult survey released in late March, 82 percent of Sanders supporters say they’ll back Biden in November. Eleven percent are not sure yet, and only 7 percent plan on voting for Trump.
Biden seems well-positioned to beat Trump. According to a Hart Research Associates poll published on Friday, the former vice president is far ahead of Trump in a number of key Senate battleground states.