Pointing specifically to Democrats’ desire to enact universal health care and bolster the working class, two areas where Biden and Sanders sharply diverge on policy prescriptions, Bedingfield argued that she believes “there is a whole lot about our message that appeals to Sanders voters.”
“I hope they would come on board. I think we’re building a big inclusive campaign,” she added, pointing to Biden’s success over the past week across race and class lines.
A decisive victory for Biden in Michigan — a state Sanders won in an upset in 2016 — has put the former vice president firmly in the driver’s seat to be his party’s nominee. After being routed in primaries across the country on consecutive Tuesdays, Sanders’ path to victory has grown increasingly narrow.
“I think we saw last night that Biden is the person who is building the coalition here,” Bedingfield said, trying to dispel the notion that it would be difficult for the party unite around its eventual nominee after a bruising primary. As evidence, she held up the coalescing support around Biden over the last two weeks, a period during which nearly every one of Biden’s former opponents endorsed the former vice president.
“We have had an incredible amount of unity across the party — some tremendous endorsements from other candidates who have been in the race, their supporters have found a home with Biden,” Bedingfield noted. “Certainly if Sanders voters are looking for a home, I think they have a home here too.”
But Bedingfield stopped short of calling on Sanders to drop out of the race, though pressure on the senator to do just that has begun to mount as Biden is expected to extend his delegate lead.
“We are not going to tell Senator Sanders what to do, that’s his decision,” she explained. But she alluded to the recent shift in the tenor of the race, which has become more combative as the field winnowed down to essentially a two-man race. “I do think voters are tired of a long, drawn-out primary process, I think they are not looking to see a long, negative, drawn-out process here. We’ll let Senator Sanders make his own decision, of course.