As early voting surged in Nevada’s nominating contest, former Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at Democratic rival Bernie Sanders on Saturday for not doing enough to control his most aggressive supporters.
Biden’s attack during an interview for NBC’s “Meet The Press” came as he fights to rescue his struggling presidential bid and Sanders works to strengthen his strong standing with the contest speeding into a new phase. Biden also sought to downplay expectations for next Saturday’s Nevada caucuses, telling reporters that he did not need to win.
In the interview, the former vice president seized on reports that Sanders’ supporters insulted and made online threats against leaders of an influential union that declined to endorse any of the eight candidates still in the Democratic race.
“He may not be responsible for it, but he has some accountability,” Biden charged. He continued: “If any of my supporters did that, I’d disown them ... flat disown them.”
The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Biden’s assertion. But Thursday in an interview with PBS, Sanders distanced himself from such behavior. “Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement,” Sanders said, denouncing such behavior in all campaigns.