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Bernie Sanders says Gaza may be Joe Biden’s Vietnam

Biden doesn’t hesitate to point out where he splits with Sanders when given the chance. “I like him, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I’m not a socialist,” Biden said in January 2022. “I’m a mainstream Democrat.”

usaWASHINGTON: In April, Bernie Sanders repeatedly stood shoulder to shoulder with President Joe Biden, promoting their joint accomplishments on health care and climate at formal White House events while eviscerating Donald Trump in a widely viewed campaign TikTok video.

Then just last week, Sanders was bluntly warning that the crisis in Gaza could be Biden’s “Vietnam” and invoking President Lyndon B. Johnson’s decision not to run for reelection as the nation was in an uproar over his support of that war.

Such is the political dichotomy of Bernie Sanders when it comes to Joe Biden. They are two octogenarians who share a bond that was forged through a hard-fought primary in 2020 and fortified through policy achievements over the last three years.

Now, in this election year, Sanders will be Biden’s most powerful emissary to progressives and younger voters — a task that will test the senator’s pull with the sectors of the Democratic Party most disillusioned with the president and his policies, especially on Gaza.

Privately, Sanders has felt less enthusiastic in recent days about making the political case on Biden’s behalf as the Gaza crisis worsened, according to a person familiar with Sanders’ sentiments. Still, Sanders remains adamant that the specter of Trump’s return to the Oval Office is too grave a threat and stresses that “this election is not between Joe Biden and God. It is between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.”

“I understand that a lot of people in this country are less than enthusiastic about Biden for a number of reasons and I get that. And I strongly disagree with him, especially on what’s going on in Gaza,” Sanders said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

But Sanders continued: “You have to have a certain maturity when you deal with politics and that is yes, you can disagree with somebody. That doesn’t mean you can vote for somebody else who could be the most dangerous person in American history, or not vote and allow that other guy to win.”

That will be the thrust of the message that Sanders will carry through November, even as progressive furor over Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza continues to escalate, protests continue to fester and Sanders’ own critiques of the administration’s policy become more pointed.

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