It wasn’t easy getting Bernie Sanders to appear on The View on Wednesday morning. Technical difficulties with his live feed from Burlington, Vermont caused the show to cut him off and then try again later. By the end of the interview, he may have wished he had bailed altogether.
Once they got him back online, the hosts spent the first segment asking the senator how he would handle the coronavirus pandemic if he were president. At one point, Sunny Hostin wondered aloud if he was “using” the crisis to push his Medicare for All plan.
But things got even spicier during the second segment when Whoopi Goldberg, who has been a fairly clear Joe Biden supporter from the beginning of the 2020 primary, asked Sanders to explain why he hasn’t dropped out yet.
“I have to ask you this question now because I have been watching to see what you were going to do, and I'm told that you intend to stay in this race for president because you believe there is a path to victory,” Goldberg said. “I want to know what that path is because this feels a little bit like it did when you didn't come out when Hillary Clinton was clearly the person folks were going for.”
As he started to protest, she asked, “Can you explain why you’re still in the race and what this path is that you see?”
“That's not quite accurate,” Sanders replied. “I worked as hard as I could for Hillary Clinton.”
When he started to lay out what he sees as his path to the nomination, Goldberg interrupted him. “Just so we're clear, you worked for Hillary,” she said, “but it took you a very, very long time to hop in, and your people also, it took a very long time for them to hop in.” In turn, Sanders said he doesn’t “accept that characterization,” leading the moderator to repeat her original question more bluntly: “Why are you still in the race?”
“Last I heard, people in a democracy have a right to vote, and they have a right to vote for the agenda that they think can work for America, especially in this very, very difficult moment,” Sanders said. “We are assessing our campaign, as a matter of fact, where we want to go forward, but people in a democracy do have a right to vote. And right now in this unprecedented moment in American history, I think we need to have a very serious look at how we need to go forward.”
As the senator began to explain the stimulus package that he’s currently crafting to help working Americans, Goldberg asked him if it wouldn’t be “smarter” for him to focus on that instead of splitting his time with a presidential campaign.
“Well, we are doing it, believe me,” Sanders said. “I'm sitting in my house right now. I'm not holding a rally in Wisconsin because of the nature of campaigns.”
Goldberg interrupted him once more a few seconds later to ask, “So your plan is to stay in, yes?”
“Well, for the fourth time,” the exasperated senator replied, “we are assessing the campaign.”