Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he is ready to participate in the next Democratic presidential debate but former Vice President Joe Biden is not interested, The New York Times reports.
“Senator Sanders is still running for president,” Sanders adviser Mike Casca told reporters. “If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there.”
The Democratic National Committee previously said there would be a debate in April but there are no current plans after the coronavirus upended the campaign. Many states have moved their upcoming primaries to June.
Biden has a nearly insurmountable delegate lead after winning the vast majority in states that voted in March.
Biden not into it:
“My focus is just dealing with this crisis right now,” Biden said on Wednesday. “I haven’t thought about any more debates. I think we’ve had enough debates. I think we should get on with this.”
Both candidates have been forced off the campaign trail and have had to speak to supporters through online live streams. Biden has largely focused on criticizing President Trump’s coronavirus response.
Biden uses coronavirus response to reach young Sanders supporters:
Biden has focused on trying to reach out to Sanders’ young base of supporters and his coronavirus remarks have been no different.
“Every day we’re hearing heart-rending stories of deaths from people in their twenties and their thirties,” Biden said on Wednesday. “But here’s what we must not do. We must not allow this pandemic to rob our young people of the futures and the economic opportunities that they’ve been working so hard to build.”
“The public health crisis is hitting older Americans especially hard,” he said. “The economic crisis is hitting younger people. All those hard-working young people in service industries, and in retail, that are being decimated by layoffs. All those who are hustling to make a living in the gig economy. They deserve the same benefits as everyone else does. We have to make sure they get them.”