Sanders calls for Biden to ‘do better’ amidst growing calls for new leadership

Senator Bernie Sanders urges President Joe Biden to present a stronger agenda amidst rising calls for new leadership within the Democratic Party.

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U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stated Sunday that President Joe Biden must do a better job of articulating a positive agenda to the American public. This comes as Biden faces mounting calls to step aside following his underwhelming debate performance against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. Speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Sanders described Biden’s debate as “terrible” and acknowledged the legitimacy of concerns about his performance.

“I think he’s done better since, and I think he’s gotta do better again,” Sanders remarked, emphasizing the importance of Biden presenting a compelling vision for the country. “But I think most importantly now, this is not a beauty contest, it’s not a Grammy award contest. It is a contest of who stands with the vast majority of the people of this country—the elderly, the children, the working class, the poor. And that candidate is obviously Joe Biden.”

Sanders has thus far declined to join the growing chorus demanding that Biden drop his reelection bid. However, the senator’s comments underscore the broader frustrations within the Democratic Party. Reports indicate that influential donors and Democratic lawmakers are increasingly concerned about Biden’s ability to lead the party to victory in the 2024 election.

One notable effort to encourage Biden to step aside is being organized by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who has reportedly attempted to gather a group of senators to urge Biden to withdraw from the race. Sanders made it clear he would not participate in such a conversation, stating, “Mark is a friend of mine. I like Mark. He’s one of the more conservative members of the Democratic caucus. No, I have not been invited. No, I will not attend.”

Sanders implored Biden to recognize that touting his first-term achievements alone would not be sufficient to defeat Trump, whom Sanders described as “the most dangerous president in the history of this country.” He stressed the need for Biden to address the pressing issues facing ordinary Americans.

“The American people are hurting,” Sanders stated. “Sixty percent of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, 25% of elderly people are trying to get by on $15,000 a year or less. The American people want an agenda for the next four years that speaks to the needs of the working class of this country. And frankly, I don’t think the president has brought that agenda forward.”

“He has gotta say, ‘I am prepared to take on corporate greed, massive income and wealth inequality, and stand with the working class of this country,'” Sanders continued. “He does that, he’s gonna win and win big.”

Sanders’ remarks came less than 48 hours after Biden’s televised and closely watched ABC News interview. The interview failed to assuage the concerns of those calling for the president to step aside. According to The New York Times, recent interviews with more than 50 Democrats reveal that “growing swaths” of the party now believe “that by remaining on the ticket, the president is jeopardizing their ability to maintain the White House and threatening other candidates up and down the ballot.”

“Certainly, many leading Democrats have publicly expressed support for the president, or remained quiet about any misgivings,” the Times noted. “One senior White House official, however, who has worked with Mr. Biden during his presidency, vice presidency, and 2020 campaign, said in an interview on Saturday morning that Mr. Biden should not seek reelection.”

As a prominent figure within the Democratic Party, Sanders’ comments carry significant weight. His influence stems from his consistent advocacy for progressive policies and his substantial support base. Sanders’ past campaigns have focused on issues such as healthcare reform, income inequality, and workers’ rights—issues that resonate with many Democratic voters.

By calling on Biden to present a stronger agenda, Sanders aims to ensure that the Democratic Party addresses the needs of the working class and marginalized communities.

“The American people want an agenda for the next four years that speaks to the needs of the working class,” Sanders emphasized. “Biden has to demonstrate that he’s prepared to tackle corporate greed and wealth inequality head-on. If he does that, I believe he can win and win big.”

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