Accusing the media of "getting it all wrong" after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton for the U.S. presidency in 2016, former Vice President Joe Biden said the real lesson of that year's result—which progressives at the time declared as "unutterably horrifying"—was not that Democrats overall shifted to the left but that most remain enamored with the kind of moderate, corporate-friendly policies that Clinton exemplified as opposed to the kind of inspiring, progressive vision championed by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren or the newer generation of elected lawmakers such Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
"It's just bad judgment," Biden explained to journalist Mike Allen in a clip released Friday morning of an interview scheduled to air in full on "Axios on HBO" Sunday night.
"You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary—AOC was a new party," said Biden. "She's a bright, wonderful person. But where's the party? Come on, man."
Asked specifically about Medicare for All, Biden said that while his more progressive rivals Sanders and Warren support it, "The party's not there. The party's not there at all."
Watch the clip:
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In its reporting, Axios described the intra-party fight over Medicare for All as "the central battlefield for go-big-or-go-home Democrats like Warren and Sanders vs. go-biggish-but-not-so-big-you-scare-moderates Democrats like Biden."
Progressives, though likely unsurprised by Biden's latest comments about Medicare for All or what he perceives as the future direction of the Democratic Party, voiced their displeasure with his latest comments:
OK Boomer https://t.co/vlwvUT3F7H
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) December 6, 2019
Joe Biden, with all of his difficulties and historic baggage... the last thing he needs is to try to go toe to to with @AOC on who represents the future of the Democratic Party https://t.co/BiAmGjemp5 via @mediaite
— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) December 6, 2019
Countering Biden's claim that Democrats "are not there" on Medicare for All, a Politico/Morning Consult poll in August showed that 65 percent of Democratic primary voters are more likely to support a 2020 presidential candidate who backs Medicare for All over incremental fixes to Obamacare. Earlier this year a Politico/Harvard poll revealed that a full 84 percent of Democrats didn't only support Medicare for All, but wanted their elected officials to make achieving it an "extremely important priority."