Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ignored several attempts to reach him during a Sunday morning interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Sanders blew past Tapper’s questions about his past criticisms of both former Vice President Joe Biden and his newly-selected running mate Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris, keeping his focus on President Donald Trump.
Tapper began by pressing Sanders on his prior criticisms of both Biden and Harris, asking, “How do you tell your voters to support a ticket that, in their view, might be more moderate than progressive?”
Sanders said that the most important thing was to defeat President Trump in November, calling him the “most dangerous” president ever. But he also made it clear that he planned to rally his base and push for his agenda “the day after we elect Joe Biden as president.”
“So we’re going to do everything we can, a, to elect Biden, and b, after he’s elected, move this country in as progressive a way as we possibly can,” Sanders added.
“Your former press secretary tweeted that — I think you’re getting a phone call,” Tapper continued. “Your former press secretary Briahna Joy Gray tweeted that nominating Biden and Harris shows contempt for the base.”
A noise interrupted the line, prompting Sanders to ask, “Can you hear me?”
“I can hear you,” Tapper said over another noise. “I think someone’s calling you though. But, in any case, senator, I wanted to ask you, it says — yeah, you’re getting a phone call. But, in any case, this Wall Street Journal headline says ‘As Kamala Harris Joins Biden Ticket, Wall Street Sighs In Relief’ … If Wall Street breathes a sigh of relief, what does Bernie Sanders do?”
Sanders glossed over the question about Harris, pivoting back to Trump to attack him on his response to the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic issues.
“This is not a complicated issue. Donald Trump must be defeated. Biden must be elected. And after that election, we’re going to do all that we can to fight for a progressive agenda,” Sanders insisted.
“All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, I think you have an urgent phone call. I hope everything’s okay,” Tapper said to close out the interview.