Bernie Sanders & Co. ARE going after EVERBODY else running for the Democratic nomination…
First it was Elizabeth Warren, who has fired back…
Now it’s Joe Biden…
It’s getting to be crunch time, eh?
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Saturday accused Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign of distorting his record on Social Security, claiming without evidence that Mr. Sanders’s team was promoting a “doctored” video, a loaded word in an era of disinformation.
“There is a little doctored video going around,” Mr. Biden said, adding that it was “put out by one of Bernie’s people.”
The remarks, which Mr. Biden made in response to a question about his Social Security stance at a campaign event here Saturday afternoon, marked a departure from his typical oblique swipes at opponents when speaking before voters. The clash, over an issue of great significance to older Iowa voters, seemed to signal an escalation in tensions between the two contenders who are competing for an overlapping slice of blue-collar Iowans here in the leadoff caucus state.
The Sanders campaign has been increasingly critical of Mr. Biden’s broader record on Social Security. At issue on Saturday: The campaign claimed recently that Mr. Biden had praised former House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Mr. Biden’s 2012 rival for the vice presidency, in support of making cuts to Social Security.
On Jan. 1, a Sanders adviser circulated on Twitter a video clip that captured only a portion of a Biden speech that appeared to promote that argument, without context, though the video did not appear doctored.
On Saturday, Mr. Biden invoked PolitiFact, the fact-checking outlet, which ruled that the Sanders campaign claim was false and lacked context. The PolitiFact ruling did not focus on the video, contrary to Mr. Biden’s suggestion, but it did address the substance of the Biden speech at issue.
“It is simply a lie, that video that’s going around,” Mr. Biden said, adding, “I’m looking for his campaign to come forward and disown it. They haven’t done it yet.”
The remarks in Indianola came as the Sanders campaign was still dealing with a bruising clash with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts over his campaign tactics and whether he had told her in 2018 that a woman could not be elected president.
The Sanders campaign has been intensifying its attacks on Mr. Biden’s long record on Social Security. Throughout his decades in public life, Mr. Biden has at times supported freezes and backed proposals that have alarmed some who worry about the effect on the program. He has also released a plan that calls for strengthening Social Security, and has embraced proposals like providing a higher benefit to the oldest beneficiaries….