Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said on Monday that he was “not surprised” to see the Democrat establishment coalescing around Joe Biden (D) in the eleventh hour, on the eve of Super Tuesday, telling local news station 5 Eyewitness News that “many of the establishment Democrats don’t want us to win.”
Pete Buttigieg (D) dropped out of the Democrat race on Sunday and, after a phone call with former President Barack Obama, formally endorsed Biden.
“That was always a goal that was much bigger than me becoming president. And it is in the name of that very same goal that I am delighted to endorse and support Joe Biden for president of the United States,” the former mayor said.
Support for Biden exploded on Monday, but Sanders was not shocked by the former vice president’s flurry of endorsements on the eve of Super Tuesday.
“I’m not surprised,” he told 5 Eyewitness News, noting that the Democrat establishment does not want him to win.
“The economic establishment, Wall Street and drug companies and the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry, they don’t want me to win. And many of the establishment Democrats don’t want us to win,” he continued, echoing the concerns of his supporters.
He dismissed concerns over his brand of socialism performing poorly in a head to head matchup with the president by pointing to battleground state polling and ultimately refused to speculate on how the Democrat convention will play out.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I don’t know what’s going to happen in a few months,” Sanders said, reiterating his newfound belief that the candidate going into the convention with the most delegates, regardless if it is the majority, should be the nominee.
“The candidate who goes into the convention with the most popular votes, with the most delegates should be the candidate who gets the nomination,” Sanders said.
It’s a stark contrast from the position he held in 2016, when he stressed that superdelegates have an obligation to take an “objective look at reality”:
— The Fix (@thefix) February 27, 2020
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) dropped out of the race on Monday and appeared alongside Biden at a rally in Dallas, Texas, expressing her support for the former vice president alongside Beto O’Rourke (D).
Klobuchar told the crowd:
He [Biden] can bring our country together and build that coalition of our fired-up Democratic base, and it is fired up, as well as Independents and moderate Republicans because we do not in our party want to just eek by a victory. We want to win big and Joe Biden can do that.
O’Rourke also took the stage and stressed the need for a candidate who can “bring us together and heal us.”
“We need somebody who can re-establish the moral authority of the United States. We need somebody who will fight for democracy here and abroad because democracy is under attack here and aboard. We need Joe Biden,” he said.
President Trump reacted to Biden’s stream of endorsements with a dose of sympathy for Sanders.
“I think it’s rigged against Bernie,” Trump told reporters on Monday.
“That’s called ‘quid pro quo,’ right? Quid pro quo,” he continued. “And they probably said, ‘Hey, listen, if I win, I’ll give you an endorsement, but will you take me in the administration?’”
“It’s rigged against Bernie. There’s no question about it,” he added. “Sounds like it’s a little bit unfair.”
Trump also tweeted that the Democrat establishment is “staging a coup against Bernie”:
They are staging a coup against Bernie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2020
Sanders, however, did not welcome the president’s sympathy, instructing him to “stay out of the Democratic Primary.”
“Why don’t you do your job for a change as president,” he said during a Monday discussion with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “Stop lying. Stop running a corrupt administration. Pay attention to the American people, not just your own political aims.”