Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders set for battle of the ‘ages’

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination turned into a sprint between two septuagenarians Wednesday following Joe Biden’s 10 wins in Super Tuesday’s 14 state primaries, leaving Bernie Sanders as his only viable challenger.

Biden, declared the winner in Maine Wednesday afternoon, roared ahead in the contest for delegates who will choose a presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July.

His strong performance ended Sanders’ status as the Democratic front-runner and forced ex-New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg out of the race.

Bloomberg, 78, gave up his presidential campaign Wednesday and endorsed Biden, 77, after spending hundreds of millions of dollars of his own cash on ads across the US.

But Bloomberg failed to deliver on Tuesday, the biggest day of voting in the Democratic nomination campaign, with his only win in tiny American Samoa.

After leaving Los Angeles, the former veep Biden planned to campaign in Missouri and Mississippi, both of which have primaries on March 10.

Sanders’ campaign said he would rally supporters in Chicago on Saturday and Rockford on Tuesday ahead of the Illinois primary on March 17.

Until a week ago, Biden had trailed Sanders in most state and national polls.

Sanders, a 78-year-old socialist popular with young voters, lashed out at what he called “the kind of venom we’re seeing from some in the corporate media,” and tried to draw a stark contrast between himself and Biden.

“What this campaign, I think, is increasingly about is: Which side are you on?” an aggrieved Sanders told a news conference in Vermont.

He attacked Biden’s record voting in favor of trade deals that he says had devastated parts of the Midwest, Biden’s votes in favor of the Iraq war and a bankruptcy bill, and his past record on Social Security.

In another move that could reshape the race, Elizabeth Warren, 70, was “talking to her team to assess the path forward,” a campaign aide said.

President Trump, 73, called Warren “a spoiler,” and some Bernie backers ripped her for taking progressive votes away from their favored candidate.

The liberal Massachusetts senator, who was seeking to become the nation’s first female president, had disappointing results across the board on Tuesday, including coming in an embarrassing third in Massachusetts.

A resurgent Biden rolled to victories across the South, Midwest and New England, setting up a one-on-one battle against Sanders, who won three states and was the projected winner in California.

Biden, whose campaign had been on life support just a week ago, registered surprise victories in Texas and Massachusetts.

Biden argues that after two terms by President Barack Obama’s side and decades as a senator, he has the experience both to beat Trump and then run the country.

Sanders says he wants to fight “Wall Street fat cats,” establish a free universal health-care system and eliminate private health insurance, forgive student loan debt and enact the “Green New Deal” of sweeping economic policies to fight climate change.

If Warren drops out, Sanders could benefit from some of her supporters shifting to him, though it was unclear whom she would back should she bail.

In an e-mail to her staff, Warren’s campaign manager, Roger Lau, offered a sobering assessment of Super Tuesday, just three weeks after he said internal projections showed she would finish in the top two in eight states.

Warren, he said, would “take time right now to think through the right way to continue this fight.”

Sanders said he had spoken to Warren over the phone on Wednesday.

“Elizabeth Warren is a very, very excellent senator, she has run a strong campaign. She’ll make her own decision in her own time,” Sanders said.

Delegate tallies after Tuesday showed Biden leading Sanders 566-501.

A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot at the July convention.

In Tuesday’s biggest upset, Biden took Texas, the largest prize after California.

Sanders, meanwhile, was declared the winner in Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont.

He also was the projected winner in California, where votes and the breakdown on the Golden State’s 415 delegates were still being tallied. By Wednesday afternoon, Sanders was ahead by 8.7 points with 87 percent of precincts reporting.

Biden, with overwhelming support from black, moderate and older voters, swept to wins in Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Maine.

With Wires 

Source: Read Full Article