2020 Democratic White House hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said he would consider Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as a running mate. In the same interview, he criticized former Vice President Joe Biden on trade and foreign policy.
In an interview with the Intercept’s “Deconstructed” podcast published Thursday, the podcast host Mehdi Hasan asked Sanders pointblank whether he would consider putting Warren on the ticket.
“I would look absolutely to Elizabeth Warren as somebody who would play a very, very important role in everything that we’re doing,” Sanders said. The Vermont senator went on to praise his fellow left-wing progressive in the race for being an adamant supporter of his signature health care plan dubbed “Medicare for All.”
“I appreciate very much that Senator Warren is a strong supporter of Medicare for All, and is supporting the legislation I introduced which is the only way that we’re going to provide quality health care to all people in a cost-effective way,” Sanders said, but maintained that it was still too early to consider the number two ticket.
Sanders went on to pledge a diverse administration, repeating a popular line among Democrats in the primary in the age of identity politics, when touting diversity has become a mandatory practice.
“My cabinet will look like America. It will be the most diverse administration and most diverse cabinet this country has ever seen,” Sanders said. “We are proud of our diversity.”
The Vermont senator also criticized Biden, former vice president and senator from Delaware, for supporting the war in Iraq and advocating for legislation that Sanders considers cozying up to the nation’s wealthy.
“[Biden] was one of the leaders on this disastrous bankruptcy bill. He voted for these terrible trade agreements, NAFTA, PNTR with China, which cost us millions of good paying jobs,” Sanders chastised. “Joe was on the floor of the Senate talking about the need to cut back on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. So, you know, I think what you’re seeing is somebody who raises a while lot of money from the wealthy and the powerful, somebody who touts in many ways the corporate line.”
Sanders’ comments come as the 2016 progressive flag-bearer has seen new competition from Warren for his role in being the party’s anti-establishment socialist in the race. Warren and Sanders remained neck-and-neck in the polls for much of the summer with Warren breaking ahead in September to solidify a second-place status behind Biden in Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of polls.
In the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Warren leads Sanders comfortably as Biden begins to see his frontrunner status sink in jeopardy while President Donald Trump’s impeachment keeps the Biden family’s shady business dealings with Ukraine in the spotlight.
Despite Warren’s success, the two progressive senators have avoided trading attacks on the campaign trail and have instead campaigned as allies, parrying off attacks on their left-wing proposals from the more relatively moderate candidates in primary debates.
Nationally, Warren holds just more than 21 percent support to Sanders’ approximately 18. Both trail Biden, who is ahead with nearly 29 percent in the Real Clear aggregate.