Vice President Joe Biden, a man for whom every day is a living nightmare in which he is not running for president, dissed Hillary Clinton on CNN last night. Clinton is “relatively new” to engaging with income inequality, he said, while rival Bernie Sanders “has credibility” on the issue. Oh damn.
“Bernie is speaking to a yearning that is deep and real. And he has credibility on it,” Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger. “It’s relatively new for Hillary to talk about [income inequality]...Hillary’s focus has been other things up to now, and that’s been Bernie’s—no one questions Bernie’s authenticity on those issues.”
He added that he is not surprised that Sanders is currently “neck-and-neck” with Wall Street-backed rich person Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Clinton beating Sanders 48-45 in Iowa and Sanders beating Clinton 50-46 in New Hampshire.
When asked if he had fully “closed the door” on a 2016 bid for president, Biden responded, “I don’t think there’s any door to open. Even if Hillary loses votes—I’ve thought this through—it’s a long way to go in the nomination.”
On the Today show this morning, Biden clarified the comments he made on CNN this way: “What I meant was, for the last five years, [Clinton has] been engaged in foreign policy.” Income inequality, meanwhile, “has been Bernie’s mantra from the time he’s gotten involved,” he said. “Even when income inequality wasn’t as serious as it is today, it was his drumbeat. And so that’s what I meant.”
He meant just what he said.