Joe Biden’s Press Secretary Goes After Sanders, Buttigieg After NH Debate

SAINT ANSELM COLLEGE, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Former Vice President Joe Biden’s press secretary Symone Sanders went after his two top rivals after the debate in New Hampshire on Friday and dispelled the notion that he was throwing in the towel after a lackluster performance in the Iowa Caucus.

Sanders said:

Today we thought Vice President Biden did amazing. All week, people in the past, folks have been attempting to write the obituary of our campaign asking, ‘Is Vice President Biden still in this,’ and I think tonight he unequivocally delivered and said that he was.

She said there were two poignant exchanges to note — both with Biden attacking Sanders.

“One on health care. Sen. Sanders said he wrote the damn bill, but he either can’t or won’t tell you how much the damn thing is going to cost,” she said.

She said the other one was on guns. “When asked to respond to Sen. Sanders’ record on guns, Vice President Biden noted that Sen. Sanders voted five times against the Brady Bill, a bill that Vice President Biden championed.”

She said the campaign “fully intend[s]” to compete in New Hampshire, despite recent polls showing Sanders as the top candidate. But, she said, the campaign is looking forward to the “nominating contest — Nevada, South Carolina, on through Super Tuesday.”

“He is here to stay, we are still in it, and I think this was reinforced this evening,” she said.

Biden came in fourth in the Iowa Caucus – after Buttigieg, Sanders, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Sanders argued that the first four contests of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina should be looked at as a “package.” The Biden campaign expects him to do well in South Carolina, and considers it his “firewall.”

She acknowledged, however, that Biden “took a lump” in Iowa. She said the campaign has no plans to file for a recount of the Iowa Caucus.

When asked about the possibility of Biden finishing behind Buttigieg in New Hampshire, despite Buttigieg not being from the area, Sanders took a swipe at Buttigieg.

“Look, I think this state is actually a state that also probably tracks pretty good for Pete Buttigieg given its demographic makeup,” she said.

She added:

Whatever happens here in New Hampshire, we are going on to Nevada. We are not giving up New Hampshire by any means… . We do plan to vigorously compete here. But at the end of the day, I’d like to remind you all that the Democratic nominee since 1992 has been the person who’s been able to garner a substantial amount of votes from the African American community.

She then took a swipe at the media:

That will not happen if some people attempt to curtail this nominating process, by people I mean the media, with Iowa and New Hampshire.

Kristina Wong

“We have to put forth a nominee from this party that can go toe to toe with President Trump, who has the commander in chief experience that knows what he or she is talking about when it comes to policy, and I think Vice President Biden delivered all of that on the debate stage tonight,” she said.

“I think voters are looking for someone who can stand toe to toe with Donald Trump and someone who knows what they’re doing. Someone who doesn’t need on the job training, and I think Joe Biden delivered on every single point where that is concerned,” she added.

When asked if Biden ever planned to come to the spin room — where candidates interact with the press after the debate, she laughed, and said, “Maybe. We got a couple more debates to go.”

Biden so far has not yet come to the spin room in any of the previous Democrat debates. Although he has come to the spin room in the past, Sanders did not show up on Friday either while the other candidates did.


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