Joe Biden's last stand? Candidate foundering after finishing fourth in Iowa, slams Sanders, Buttigieg
The former vice president, who finished a poor fourth as the delayed results of Iowa Caucuses came out, slammed top opponents Bernie Sanders' socialist tag and Buttigieg's inexperience ahead of the February 11 test
There was not much difference in Joe Biden’s fate at the Iowa Caucuses (February 3) this time around, compared to that in 2008. Back then, the former vice president had finished a poor fifth with less than one percent vote. This time, even though the results of the snag-hit caucuses were still coming out, Biden was seen struggling against his top opponents like Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.
With 86 percent of the precincts reporting on Wednesday, February 5, Buttigieg was leading the lot with 26.6 percent of the delegates while Sanders was a close second with 25.4 percent. Warren was trailing at third with 18.3 percent while the former vice president was at fourth with a little less than 15 percent. Amy Klobuchar was behind him with 12.1 percent.
That Biden was disappointed with the results became pretty evident. On a campaign trail in New Hampshire, he said that the next state to pick the candidate for the November election, he took a “gut punch” in Iowa. Biden is one of the Democratic heavyweights this election season and the fourth rank in the Hawkeye State certainly must have been a heavy blow to his reputation.
But in a move to show that he is not giving it up, the 77-year-old on Wednesday lashed out at both Sanders and Buttigieg when questions started arising over the viability over his own campaign in the long term. According to the Associated Press, while Biden called Sanders’ socialist label a liability, he felt the 38-year-old Buttigieg will be inexperienced and risky as the presidential nominee.
Biden says socialist Sanders, not an election choice
“If Senator. Sanders is the nominee for the party, every Democrat in America up and down the ballot, in blue states, red states, purple states, and easy districts and competitive ones, every Democrat will have to carry the label Sen. Sanders has chosen for himself,” Biden said during a campaign event in New Hampshire, where the first primary will be held on February 11.
“I don’t criticize him, he calls himself a Democratic socialist. Well, we’re already seeing what Donald Trump is going to do with that.”
On Buttigieg, Biden said he has “great respect” for the former South Bend mayor but felt he might not be too strong a candidate to take on President Donald Trump because of his low political experience.
“It’s a risk, to be just straight up with you,” he said.
The Biden campaign also parted ways with Adrienne Bogen, who headed the field operations for the candidate in Iowa, two days after the poor showing. She might not stay in the campaign any more even as other members of the campaign leadership were asked to head to other early states or to play supporting roles for the Super Tuesday polls.
While sources in the Biden campaign said there were precinct captains who did not know how to run a caucus. Bogen’s aides countered saying she was being made a victim of a vulnerable campaign, adding that she had earlier complained about its weaknesses and put the onus on the higher-ups.
In 2008, Biden called off presidential campaign after Iowa disaster
Biden’s show in Iowa left some establishment Democrats, including some of Biden’s supporters, questioning his campaign’s claim on whether he will regain the top position in the race once it goes past Iowa and New Hampshire to more racially diverse states. Biden had called off his presidential campaign after the Iowa disappointment in 2008 while in 1988, he had not even lasted into the primary season.
This time as well, Biden has seen a not-so-encouraging start and according to Bill Freeman, a Biden donor from Nashville, Tennessee, it could hurt him, the AP report added.
Biden’s low rank in the primary season could also boost the campaign of billionaire Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City mayor has decided against appearing in the four early states going for the nomination and his plan is more based on a likely failure of Biden. If the former vice president doesn’t return to the race strongly soon enough, Bloomberg might be able to financially and politically kill his mission.