Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden took off his rose-colored glasses to admit his campaign’s received a “gut punch” in Iowa.
The former vice president changed his previously optimistic tone on Monday’s disastrous caucuses in Iowa, telling supporters at a New Hampshire event that the dismal results for his 2020 campaign were being felt.
“Twenty-four hours later, they’re still trying to figure out what happened in Iowa,” Biden said with a slight laugh on Wednesday. “At this rate, New Hampshire will be the first in the country to get the vote.”
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We took a gut punch in Iowa,” he told the Somersworth crowd.
“The whole process took a gut punch,” Biden said. “But look this isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been knocked down.”
His tone was decidedly different from that just one day earlier as Democrat officials began to release partial results from Monday’s caucuses.
“We had a good night last night in Iowa. I know you think that’s silly,” Biden reassured a crowd in Nashua on Tuesday. “But everything we can feel, it’s good. Here’s the deal, we think we’re going to come out of there really doing well.”
“I know the Iowa Democratic Party is trying to work through all the issues with that application, they had that app and other problems. I said last night, let’s give them time. And I’m not being critical. Let’s give them time to work out those issues carefully and deliberately, because a lot depends on it,” he said.
“So we don’t know precisely how many delegates we have or how many we’ll get, but I feel really good about getting more than our fair share,” he added. The latest results show Biden secured no delegates at all in the state.
Biden took direct aim at former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during Wednesday’s event.
“Mayor Pete likes to attack me as well. He’s a good man. Calls me part of the old, failed Washington,” Biden said as he touted his accomplishments under the Obama administration, including the Affordable Care Act, the Paris Climate Accords and the Iran nuclear deal.
“Is he really saying the Obama-Biden administration was a failure? Pete, just say it out loud,” he said.
He called out Sanders for his progressive policy ideas and how it would not be in the best interest of the Democrat Party to have the Vermont senator as the nominee.
“We need a nominee who can help Democrats up and down the ticket,” he said. “But if Sen. Sanders is the nominee for the party, every Democrat in America up and down the ballot in blue states, red states, purple states, in easy districts and competitive ones, every Democrat will have to carry the label Sen. Sanders has chosen for himself.”
“He calls himself a Democratic socialist. Well, we’re already seeing what Donald Trump is going to do with that,” Biden added. “Donald Trump is desperate to pin the socialist label […] on our party. We can’t let him do that.”
Though many are seeing Biden’s poor performance in Iowa as a sure sign of the demise of his 2020 bid, the Democrat did not see the same reality.
“I know there are an awful lot of folks out there who are writing off this campaign. They have been since I started running,” Biden said in Somersworth.
“But I’m not going anywhere,” he added.
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