Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) refused to clarify on Thursday what sets his presidential campaign apart from that of his fellow progressive challenger Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
“I’ll let you guys, and the punditry, and the American people make that decision,” Sanders replied on “CBS This Morning” when asked how he differentiates himself from Warren.
After the hosts again pressed the Vermont senator to name the biggest distinction between the dueling campaigns, Sanders once again declined to answer.
“No, I have to tell the American people what I believe and I’m going to take on the greed of Wall Street, the drug companies, the insurance companies,” he said. “We are going to tell the fossil fuel industry that they cannot continue to destroy this planet for their short term profits.”
“Right now the American people understand that there is something wrong when people, many people, are working longer hours for lower wages. Forty-nine percent of all new income goes to the top 1%,” Sanders continued. “That’s my message to the American people. We’ve got to take on corporate greed. We’ve got to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1%. That’s my message, that’s what I campaign on.”
Sanders also acknowledged that neither his campaign nor Warren’s have taken shots at one other while seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency, referring to the strategy as “not good policy.” However, he again refused to answer whether or not the duo has a “non-aggression pact.”
“Elizabeth and I have been friends for over 20 years. She is running her campaign, and I am running my campaign. They are different campaigns,” Sanders said. “I think the most effective way to campaign, to be honest with you, is to talk to the American people about why the middle class is disappearing.”
“You talk about those issues, you do well,” he added. “You try to beat up on somebody else, frankly, I don’t think that’s good politics.”
The Vermont senator revealed prior to announcing his candidacy that he would only launch a bid for the presidency if another candidate did not emerge who is more likely to beat President Donald Trump in 2020.
“If there’s somebody else who appears who can, for whatever reason, do a better job than me, I’ll work my ass off to elect him or her,” Sanders said in Nov. 2018. “If it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run.”
Interestingly, Sanders declared that he would officially be entering the presidential race nearly two months after Warren launched her campaign in December.
Warren, however, has been gaining momentum in the polls. In the most recent national poll, conducted by The Economist/YouGov, she edged out Sanders by seven points, coming in second behind former Vice President Joe Biden. Regardless, Warren is still lagging Sanders by nearly two points on average.