Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) said he has “a better relationship” with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE than he had with former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE.
Sanders, who was the No. 2 contender in each of the last two Democratic presidential primaries, told The New Yorker in an interview published Tuesday that he thinks he has a “stronger” and “closer” relationship with Biden because he’s known the former vice president for about 14 years.
“I think the difference now is that, between you and me, I have a better relationship with Joe Biden than I had with Hillary Clinton,” Sanders said. “And that Biden has been much more receptive to sitting down and talking with me and other progressives than we have seen in the past.”
The former 2020 contender said he chats with Biden on the phone, and if he requests a call, Biden’s campaign will set it up “within a day or two.”
Sanders said the former vice president has been “open and personable and friendly, but his views and my views are very different, in some areas more than others.” The Vermont progressive predicted Biden will be “rather strong” on a push for a new economy and said Biden wants to be “as strong as possible” on climate change.
The senator said he is waiting to see what the six task forces, made up of his own and Biden’s supporters, come up with for agreements on the economy, health care, immigration reform, criminal justice reform, education and climate change policies.
“Joe has been open to having his people sit down with some of the most progressive folks in America, and that’s a good sign,” Sanders said.
But Sanders said he rejects the argument that he could have done more to get Clinton elected president four years ago, saying he “did everything that I could in 2016” to get her into the White House and move the Democratic Party in a progressive direction.
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“There is a myth out there that all a candidate has to say, whether it’s Bernie Sanders or anybody else, to millions of people who voted for him or her, is, ‘I want you to do this,’ and every single person is going to fall in line,” he said. “That’s just not the way it works in a democracy. In fact, that’s not the way it should work.”
Biden formally clinched the Democratic presidential nomination last week. Sanders dropped out of the race in early April after the former vice president developed a strong lead starting with the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday.
Democrats have criticized the Vermont progressive for not throwing enough support behind Clinton in the 2016 election, saying that helped lead to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s win.