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Biden warns Sanders would jeopardize House and Senate races

Biden: Sanders would jeopardize House & Senate races
Biden: Sanders would jeopardize House & Senat... 09:33

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden criticized fellow contender Bernie Sanders on Monday, saying that voters want "results" over a "revolution" and warning that a ticket led by Sanders could jeopardize the success of down-ballot Democrats in November.

"There's an awful lot of people who are running for office who don't want to run with Bernie at the top of the ticket as a self-proclaimed socialist," Biden told CBS News in an interview in Houston on Monday. "Imagine here in Texas or in North Carolina or in Georgia, the idea, if I said to you, 'This is an open test. You're running for office. Do you want a very popular, self-proclaimed socialist or a popular mainstream Democrat running at the top of the ticket?' My guess is in most states, they'd say no."

Biden is currently trailing Sanders by just two national delegates as the candidates head into Super Tuesday, when voters in 14 states will head to the polls. The former vice president was victorious in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, a pivotal win for his campaign.

In the wake of the South Carolina contest, the field of Democratic candidates has continued to thin. Billionaire investor Tom Steyer ended his campaign Saturday night and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg ended his bid on Sunday, leaving Biden, Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren competing for more moderate Democratic voters. Senator Amy Klobuchar is the latest to suspend her campaign and intends to endorse Biden during a rally in Dallas on Monday night.

Biden has also racked up a growing list of endorsements, announcing a flurry of them from key states like Virginia. Democrats on the ballot in those states, he said, are beginning to realize their chances of success in November are higher with Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee.

"It's not going to be enough just to beat Donald Trump. We have to win back the Senate, we have to keep the House," he said. "Whether they're right or not, those people who are running for those offices think that Bernie was not likely to help them, but hurt them in their pursuit of their Senate or their House seat or their governor's seat."

Biden has positioned himself as the seasoned candidate, one who has a proven track record of dealing with a bevy of issues across his tenure in the Senate and as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

"It's going to be a real choice that the Democrats are going to have to make between a revolution and results," he told CBS News. "I admire Bernie, but I think that what he's proposing is he keeps going for this revolution. I think people are looking for results."

Voters, he continued as "looking for who can get things done and get them done in a realistic fashion that are really progressive."

"I think what the Democratic Party is looking for is a Democrat, and I mean that sincerely, an Obama-Biden Democrat," Biden said. "A Democrat that is very progressive but is able to get things done, and we'll find out whether I'm right about that or not."

Biden noted that it's Sanders who described himself as a democratic socialist, and said that while he admires his "consistency," it's "not where I think the Democratic Party is."

As voters prepare to hit the polls Tuesday, a key question is whether Biden will pick up an endorsement from Buttigieg, which could provide him with momentum heading into the contests.

Biden said he spoke with Buttigieg on the phone but did not ask for his endorsement.

"I encouraged him, just stay engaged," he said. "Run for other offices. Be engaged. Do not walk away because he is that next generation of talent and he should be fully engaged."

Biden also said he asked Obama not to endorse him, though the two did speak after Biden's South Carolina victory Saturday. The former president does not have plans to publicly back a Democratic candidate during the primary.

"The argument I knew was going to be Biden feels like he is entitled, he's the vice president," he said. "You saw everybody on that stage from the first debate on said he's acting entitled, he's the vice president. He thinks he's owed this."

Instead, Biden said he wants to demonstrate "that I earned this on my own."

Biden's South Carolina victory provided his election effort with an injection of cash — he said his campaign has brought in more than $10 million since Saturday alone and roughly $28 million since the beginning of February. Sanders, meanwhile, raked in more than $46.5 million in February and Warren is now getting support on the airwaves from a super PAC, the Persist PAC, with a $9 million ad buy.

The former vice president knocked Warren for accepting support from the super PAC, as she has denounced such groups.

"I think a little truth in advertising is a very important thing to do," he said. "One of the things I think makes a difference is some authenticity. State what you're going to do, how much it's going to cost and who's going to pay for it. And how you're running your campaign."

Biden praised his own campaign operation for its transparency and said voters are "now beginning to focus on maybe some inconsistencies and the records of my opponents."

Hear more of Biden's conversation with CBS News on the CBS This Morning Podcast:

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