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Sanders: Biden Could Become ’The Most Progressive President Since FDR’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

With the presidential election less than four months away, more specifics are emerging about the policy agenda of former Vice President Joe Biden — who has been making an effort to unite the centrist and liberal/progressive wings of the Democratic Party. Many on the left were critical of Biden's centrist record during the Democratic presidential primary, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. But some liberals and progressives now find themselves warming up to Biden's policy agenda, and Sanders recently told MSNBC that the "compromises" Biden has in mind on health care, the economy and other issues would, if implemented, make him "the most progressive president since FDR."

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AOC Joins Biden Policy Panel In Bid For Party Unity

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Now that former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, the progressive and centrist wings of his party are coalescing around him, including President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the center — and Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the left. And Biden, in an obvious effort to reach out to the progressive wing of his party, has asked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City to co-chair a Biden campaign task force on climate change.

According to CNN, the task force's other co-chair will be former U.S. senator and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry — who took over as secretary of state in Obama's administration in 2013 after Clinton left that position. The task force will also include Varshini Prakash, who serves as executive director of the Sunrise Movement and has championed Ocasio-Cortez' Green New Deal.

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Ending Campaign, Sanders Pledges To ‘Stand United’ With Biden

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced on Wednesday he was suspending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

From an April 8 campaign video:

BERNIE SANDERS: Today, I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.
On a practical note, let me also say this: I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates. While Vice President Biden will be the nominee, we must continue working to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic Convention, where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.
Then together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history. And we will fight to elect strong progressives at every level of government, from Congress, to the school board.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Sanders Barks At CNN Reporter Who Asked About Primary

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont had an angry outburst on Wednesday at a reporter inquiring about his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

Sanders was discussing the coronavirus outbreak, which he called an “unprecedented crisis of our lifetime,” with a group of reporters.

CNN’s Manu Raju, one of the most dogged reporters on Capitol Hill, asked Sanders about his plans for the campaign. On Tuesday, Sanders suffered a bruising defeat as former Vice President Joe Biden swept big wins in Florida, Illinois, and Arizona and increased his delegate lead. Analysts believe there’s little likelihood that Sanders could catch up to Biden at this point and still win the nomination. The senator said earlier in the day that he is “assessing” the state of his campaign.

“The next primary contest is at least three weeks away. Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders campaign manager said in a statement. “In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”

But when Raju asked about a timeline for this reassessment Wednesday afternoon, Sanders wasn’t happy.

“I’m dealing with a fucking global crisis,” Sanders said. “You know, we’re dealing with.”

Raju noted that he’s running for president.

“Well. right now, right now I’m trying to do my best to make sure that we don’t have an economic meltdown and that people don’t die,” Sander shot back. “Is that enough for you to keep me busy for today?”

Sanders “was furious,” Raju said of the exchange in a series of tweets. “Afterwards, he mellowed out and answered questions about the crisis for about two more minutes.”

PBS’s Lisa Desjardins noted that she had asked Sanders about his campaign before Raju’s question, and he had said “no comment.”

Sanders is clearly under pressure from both the pandemic and his flagging campaign. Given the outbreak, and given his dwindling chances of making a comeback, it may be his best move to withdraw from the race to ensure that no one goes unnecessarily to a crowded polling location.