Former vice president Joe Biden slammed his primary opponent Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, saying that the nominee “will have to carry the label” of democratic socialism if Sanders remains in contention.
Biden, who walked back criticism of Sanders last week for not being “a registered Democrat,” warned supporters that Republicans will tar the party with the socialist label due to Sanders’s influence.
“Donald Trump is desperate to pin the socialist label of socialist, socialist, socialist, on our party,” Biden said. “We can’t let him do that.”
News broke Tuesday that South Carolina Republicans planned to boost Sanders — who trails Biden by five points — in the upcoming state primary because they view him as the weakest opponent to face Donald Trump.
Biden also admitted to voters in New Hampshire Wednesday that “we took a gut punch in Iowa,” with results showing that the former vice president likely finished outside the top-three in the caucuses.
“I am not going to sugarcoat it,” Biden told the crowd. “We took a gut punch in Iowa. The whole process took a gut punch. But, look, this isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been knocked down.”
But Biden defended himself against those trying to “write off this campaign,” saying “I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’m counting on New Hampshire,” he added. “We’re going to come back.” On Tuesday, Biden told voters at a separate event “I need your help.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, with 71 percent of results reported, Biden sat in fourth place with 15.4 percent of the vote and no delegates.
The Biden campaign sent a letter to the Iowa Democratic Party late Monday night asking that they be detailed on the failure to collect caucus results “before any results are released.”