Aug 24, 2015 6:45 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
CONWAY – Bernie Sanders says when it comes to the issues, there’s a gap between himself and Vice President Joe Biden.
“Joe’s views, I suspect, I know, are different than mine,” the surging Democratic presidential candidate told reporters Monday following a campaign event at the middle school in Conway.
The independent senator from Vermont’s two-day swing through New Hampshire comes as speculation intensifies over a potential White House bid by the vice president.
“You’re not going to find a guy who’s more decent that Joe Biden is. What I promise Joe if he decides to get into the race is that I will, as I have done up to now, run an issue orientated campaign,” Sanders said. “And what the American people are entitled to a serious debate on serious issues. Politics is not a soap opera. We should not be going around making terrible attacks on each other. Let’s debate the issues. If Joe comes in, that’s what I will do. What impact it will have on the race, I honest don’t know. I wish I could tell you but I don’t. Will it help or hurt me, will it help or hurt Hillary Clinton, I just don’t know.”
Biden met Saturday with Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts Democrat is extremely influential with the progressive wing of the party. Many on the left had urged Warren to run for the White House, but she has repeatedly said no. She has also yet to make any endorsement in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Asked by NH1 News if he was concerned that Biden met with Warren, Sanders said “well you know, I’ve had many meetings with Elizabeth Warren, she’s a very good friend of mine. We meet with different people.”
“To be honest with you, this is not a comment on Joe, bottom line I think that people understand that there is something profoundly wrong with establishment politics, that we need some bold ideas to resurrect the middle class of this country, to address poverty, to address income and wealth inequality. And I gotta tell you, as I go around this county, you cannot appreciate how disgusted people are with a campaign finance system that allows billionaires to buy elections. There’s a profound anger and disgust with that. So I will not speculate,” Sanders continued.
Sanders poll numbers are on the rise. Last week, for the first time, he topped Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in public opinion survey in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
“I think the evidence is pretty clear. We are gaining and what the polls seem to indicate is that Hillary Clinton’s support seems to be receding a little bit. But we’ve got a long way to go,” he said.
Sanders chides media
As he’s repeatedly done in the past, Sanders chided the press corps and urged them to focus more on the issues.
“I want you to talk about and force a discussion on climate change. Do you think you do that enough. I would like you to force a discussion on poverty in America. I have talked over and over again that 51% of African American kids are unemployed or underemployed. Do you think that’s an important issue? I do. Are you going to discuss it. So what I am asking you is help me. I am not taking any of this personal. The American people want a discussion on the real issues. They don’t really care that Marco Rubio threw a football and hit some kid in the head. Not one of the great issues facing our society. They do want to know how people feel on social security. How people feel about whether we should join the rest of the world in guaranteeing health care to all people. How we create the millions of jobs this country desperately needs,” Sanders said.
Sanders is drawing large crowds on this current swing through the Granite State. More than 1,100 showed up in Salem on Sunday night. The campaign estimated that some 1,500 attended an event in Littleton Monday night. Monday morning NH1 News was first to report the fire marshal estimate that 750-800 showed up for the rally in Conway.
“It blows me away that on a beautiful Monday morning that we have so many people coming out to an event,” Sanders told reporters Monday afternoon. “We’re drawing huge turnouts all over this country, in Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina. So we’re really feeling good about the campaign. We think we have a great deal of moment. We think we can win here in New Hampshire. We’re doing well in Iowa. And I think we have the wind at our backs.”
Sanders said that “one of the disadvantages obviously we’ve had in this campaign is I am the senator of a very small state. When we started this campaign I think it’s probably fair to say that 80-90% of the American people didn’t know who Bernie Sanders was, let alone what his views are.”
But he added “that’s changing. But there are still millions of people, working people, who are not familiar with our ideas and our job is to go around the country and keep talking about creating an economy that works for all of us and not just the people on top.”
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