Minutes after Bernie Sanders announced the suspension of his presidential campaign and congratulated his primary rival Joe Biden, saying he would “work with” the ex-veep going forward, CNN anchor John King claimed Sanders “didn’t say anything nice” about Biden or offer to “work with him.”
In a live-streamed message to supporters on Wednesday, which was carried by CNN, Sanders noted that Biden had an overwhelming delegate lead and therefore is the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about,” he declared. “The fight for justice is what our movement remains about. Today I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.”
Sanders also noted that he would keep his name on the ballot in the remaining primary states and continue to gather delegates so that he could “exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions,” adding that after the Democratic convention they will “stand united” to defeat President Donald Trump.
Just three minutes after Sanders called Biden a “very decent man” who he would “work with to move our progressive ideas forward” on CNN airwaves, King insisted that we did not hear what we all had just heard.
“What struck me the most there is Senator Sanders, in saying goodbye, did acknowledge that Joe Biden had an insurmountable lead, but he didn’t say anything nice about Joe Biden,” King declared. “He did not say he’d spoken to him, he did not say he would work with him. He said it was imperative to beat President Trump, but there was no big embrace for Joe Biden. He said nicer things about Joe Biden during the Democratic debates than he did in saying goodbye.”
CNN correspondent Dana Bash, meanwhile, agreed with King, saying it was “really noteworthy that that was not part of his message at all.”
Later on Wednesday afternoon, King issued a mea culpa on Twitter, blaming technical issues for not hearing Sanders’ comments while also saying he was totally at fault.
“Harpoons deserved and accepted, and my apologies to Senator Sanders,” King wrote. “We had some technical issues and I did not hear the ‘I will work with’ -- The error was mine and the blame lies with me not anyone else in the conversation.”