Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders should take some responsibility for his supporters bullying people online.
Biden addressed the issue during a pre-taped interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd that aired Sunday on “Meet the Press.”
Todd began by noting that Sanders had pledged several times to throw his support behind the Democratic nominee, assuming he did not win the nomination, but that his supporters might not all be willing to fall in line and do the same.
“Bernie Sanders is a guy who says he’s going to support whoever is the nominee and he’s all in,” Todd said. “Are you confident his supporters will do that or are you worried that some of his supporters — if his supporters are attacking culinary union members, who’s responsible for that?”
Biden was quick to say that Sanders was not necessarily responsible but probably should have dug a little deeper to root out the problem. (RELATED: Joe Biden Says He ‘Can Hardly Wait’ To Get Donald Trump On The Debate Stage)
“Look, he may not be responsible for it, but he has some accountability,” Biden explained. “You know me well enough to know that if any of my supporters did that, I’d disown them. Flat disown them. The stuff that was said online, the way they threatened these two women who are leaders in that culinary union, it outrageous. Just go online and take a look at the things they said. The vicious, malicious, misogynistic things they said, the threats they put out. To say I’d dissociate is one thing. Find out who the hell they are, if any of them worked for me, fire them. Find out. See what’s going on.”
“You don’t think he’s been curious enough?” Todd pressed.
“I tell you what, so far I don’t think it’s sufficient just to say I’d dissociate myself,” Biden concluded, adding that he hoped Sanders was looking into the situation further.
The spat between Sanders supporters and the Nevada Culinary Workers Union arose over the fact that Medicare for All, one of Sanders’ signature platform issues, would end the union’s health care plans. The union responded by announcing that it would not endorse any candidate going into 2020, and a number of Sanders supporters attacked union leadership online.
Sanders made a statement in response, saying, “Harassment of all forms is unacceptable to me, and we urge supporters of all campaigns not to engage in bullying or ugly personal attacks. Our campaign is building a multi-generational, multi-racial movement of love, compassion, and justice. We can certainly disagree on issues, but we must do it in a respectful manner.”