In a somewhat less-than-electrifying endorsement on Monday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gave his official thumbs-up to Joe Biden after dropping out of the presidential race last week. But, in a sign that it will be just as difficult to bring die-hard Sanders supporters over to the nominee as it was in 2016, a couple of the socialist’s top supporters said they would not follow Dear Leader over to the dark side.
First out of the gate was Briahna Joy Gray, who worked as Sanders’ national press secretary during the campaign. She took to Twitter after Bernie released his endorsement video, assuring her followers that she could not bring herself to support Biden’s candidacy.
“With the utmost respect for Bernie Sanders, who is an incredible human being & a genuine inspiration, I don’t endorse Joe Biden,” Gray wrote. “I supported Bernie Sanders because he backed ideas like #MedicareForAll, cancelling ALL student debt, & a wealth tax. Biden supports none of those.”
Gray also criticized Biden’s Johnny-come-lately attempts to weakly adopt Bernie’s agenda, saying it was “almost insulting” to hear that Biden would lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60, which is a far cry from Medicare-for-All, Sanders’ biggest and most prominent agenda item. She went on to note that Sanders had done Biden a great favor by not mentioning the “credible sexual assault allegations” that have been made against the former vice president.
No more excited by the endorsement was prominent Sanders surrogate Shaun King, who said that watching the Sanders/Biden video was an exercise in humiliation.
“I can hardly believe what I am watching. In his conversation with @BernieSanders, @JoeBiden is clearly reading from a TelePrompTer. It’s supposed to be a CONVERSATION. I’ve never seen this happen in my entire life,” he tweeted.
King also said that Biden’s claim to have been a major part of the 1960s civil rights movement was an embarrassing lie.
“I’ve now counted at least 50 times that @JoeBiden blatantly lied about his participation in the Civil Rights Movement from sit-ins he never participated in to marches he was not a part of, to being trained in Black churches as a boy,” King wrote. “He must apologize & explain this.”
The truth is that Bernie Sanders’ power comes from his outward hostility to the Democratic Party mainstream. So he can go through the motions and endorse Joe Biden, but it’s not going to amount to much. His supporters see the party’s “moderate” leaders as traitors to the progressive cause, and they know that Sanders is just going along to get along. They’ll follow him off a socialist cliff, but they won’t follow him to vote for Joe Biden.