And the president -- putting on his political pundit cap as he took to Twitter Wednesday morning -- argued that if progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts had dropped out of the primary battle before Super Tuesday, Sanders would have defeated former Vice President Joe Biden “in a LANDSLIDE.”
Trump’s pair of tweets appear to be a jab at Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and another attempt to try and discourage some disaffected Sanders supporters from voting for the former vice president.
“Crazy Bernie Sanders is not a fighter. He gives up too easy! The Dem establishment gets Alfred E. Newman [sic] (Mayor Pete) & @amyklobuchar to quit & endorse Sleepy Joe BEFORE Super Tuesday, & gets Pocahontas to stay in the race, taking thousands of votes from Bernie,” the president tweeted.
Trump went on to argue that the progressive senator from Vermont would have “beaten Sleepy Joe in a LANDSLIDE, every State, if these events didn’t happen. Even if Warren just dropped out, he would have easily won. Dems did it to him with Crooked Hillary and now, even more so...and Bernie doesn’t even complain. VOTE for Trump on TRADE, better than BS!”
Sanders, after narrowly winning the New Hampshire primary and walloping his rivals in the Nevada caucuses, was the front-runner in the Democratic presidential nomination race heading into the Feb. 29 South Carolina primary. But Biden won the Palmetto State in a landslide, which immediately sparked a tsunami of support for the former vice president from many establishment and centrist Democrats.
In the two days after the South Carolina primary – and just ahead of Super Tuesday on March 3, when 14 states held contests -- Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg suspended their White House campaigns and endorsed Biden.
Warren stayed in the race through Super Tuesday before ending her presidential bid on March 5.
While the coalescing of Klobuchar and Buttigieg behind Biden boosted the former vice president’s performance as he enjoyed major victories on Super Tuesday – and Warren’s presence in the race likely robbed Sanders of some progressive support – Trump failed to mention Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City Mayor and multi-billionaire business and media mogul -- who spend an unprecedented amount of his own money on his presidential campaign -- remained in the race on Super Tuesday and took moderate votes away from Biden.
Trump, true to form, used nicknames in his tweets, calling Sanders “Crazy Bernie,” Biden “Sleepy Joe,” and Warren “Pocahontas.” He also once again compared Buttigieg to the ‘Mad Magazine’ character Alfred E. Neuman.
After Biden continued to sweep nomination contests later in March and early April, Sanders – who was Biden’s last remaining rival – suspended his campaign in April and endorsed Biden a week later.
This month, the Biden and Sanders teams unveiled unity task forces to seek common ground on key policy issues.
While Sanders is backing and working with Biden, some of his legions of young and progressive supporters have said they won’t vote for Biden in November. Trump and his campaign are trying to exacerbate those divisions, in hopes of diverting support for Biden in the general election.
They’re aiming for a replay of the 2016 election, when plenty of Sanders supporters didn’t vote for Clinton, which was a contributing factor in Trump’s upset victory.
The Biden campaign, responding to the president, termed Trump’s tweets an attempt to divert attention from what they’ve repeatedly characterized as his abysmal efforts in combating the coronavirus pandemic.
“Translation: "I failed the country on the worst public health crisis in 100 years and am terrified of being held accountable for my negligence, with a death toll over 90,000 and the strong economy I inherited from the Obama-Biden Administration careening toward a depression,” Biden campaign rapid response director Andrew Bates tweeted.