Biden says he'd 'disown' anyone who made online attacks like Bernie Sanders' supporters

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden told NBC's "Meet The Press" he'd "disown" anyone who behaved online like Bernie Sanders' supporters.
  • Sanders recently came under fire after some of his purported supporters bombarded leaders of the Culinary Workers Union with abusive and sexist messages after the union criticized "Medicare for All."
  • Sanders himself has denounced the attacks and suggested they were not truly coming from his own supporters.
  • But Biden said it wasn't enough for Sanders to distance himself from the behavior, saying he must "find out who the hell they are, if any of them work for [him]. Fire them."

Former Vice President Joe Biden urged his 2020 rival Bernie Sanders to take greater responsibility for the rhetoric of his supporters, telling NBC's "Meet The Press" he'd never stand for similar behavior.

"If any of my supporters did that, I'd disown them. Flat disown them," Biden said. "The stuff that was said online. The way they threatened these two women who are leaders in that Culinary union. It is outrageous."

40 PHOTOS
Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign
See Gallery
Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA, UNITED STATES - 2019/07/17: Former United States Vice President Joe Biden greets supporters while he campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 United States presidential election at Grass Wagon Events Center. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA, UNITED STATES - 2019/07/17: Former United States Vice President Joe Biden campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 United States presidential election at Grass Wagon Events Center. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Former US Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, gestures as he holds a speech about his foreign policy vision for America on July 11, 2019 at the Graduate Center at City University New York City. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Former US Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, gestures as he holds a speech about his foreign policy vision for America on July 11, 2019 at the Graduate Center at City University New York City. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
MARSHALLTOWN, IA - JULY 04: Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden leaves a campaign event on July 4, 2019 in Marshalltown, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
MARSHALLTOWN, IA - JULY 04: An attendee holds up a sign that reads "Immigration" as former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on July 4, 2019 in Marshalltown, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 28: Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to guests at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Annual International Convention on June 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Biden is one of 25 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president and the opportunity to face President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 28: Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to guests at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Annual International Convention on June 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Biden is one of 25 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president and the opportunity to face President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopefuls Former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden (L) and US Senator for Vermont Bernie Sanders (R) participate in the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Democratic presidential candidates (L-R) South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) take part in the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) looks on during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden greets attendees after the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. greets supporters after the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes pictures with supporters after the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden participates in the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Presidential hopeful Joe Biden greets attendees after the World Famous Jim Clyburn Fish Fry at the EdVenture Children's Museum in Columbia, South Carolina, on June, 21 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president are in Columbia to make appearances at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention and the Planned Parenthood Election Forum on June 22. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
DAVENPORT, IA - JUNE 11: Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on June 11, 2019 in Davenport, Iowa. Biden and over two dozen presidential candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump during the 2020 general election.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
DAVENPORT, IA - JUNE 11: Attendees wait for former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to arrive during a campaign event on June 11, 2019 in Davenport, Iowa. Biden and over two dozen presidential candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump during the 2020 general election.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
DAVENPORT, IA - JUNE 11: Campaign volunteer William Brown displays a sign for former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden before his campaign event on June 11, 2019 in Davenport, Iowa. Biden and over two dozen presidential candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump during the 2020 general election.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
OTTUMWA, IA - JUNE 11: Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is silhouetted as he speaks during a campaign event on June 11, 2019 in Ottumwa, Iowa. Biden and over two dozen presidential candidates are seeking the democratic nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump during the 2020 general election.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 06: Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at a Democratic National Committee event at Flourish in Atlanta on June 6, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The DNC held a gala to raise money for the DNCs IWillVote program, which is aimed at registering voters. (Photo by Dustin Chambers/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden greets the crowd during his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden greets the crowd during his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Former Vice President Joe Biden kicks off his campaign for the 2020 US election at a rally in Philadelphia, PA on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Former Vice President Joe Biden kicks off his campaign for the 2020 US election at a rally in Philadelphia, PA on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: The crowd listens as Democratic presidential candidate, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign kickoff rally, May 18, 2019 on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since Biden announced his candidacy in late April, he has taken the top spot in all polls of the sprawling Democratic primary field. Biden's rally on Saturday was his first large-scale campaign rally after doing smaller events in Iowa and New Hampshire in the past few weeks. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: Democratic presidential candidate, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a campaign kickoff rally, May 18, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since Biden announced his candidacy in late April, he has taken the top spot in all polls of the sprawling Democratic primary field. Biden's rally on Saturday was his first large-scale campaign rally after doing smaller events in Iowa and New Hampshire in the past few weeks. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: Democratic presidential candidate, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign kickoff rally, May 18, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since Biden announced his candidacy in late April, he has taken the top spot in all polls of the sprawling Democratic primary field. Biden's rally on Saturday was his first large-scale campaign rally after doing smaller events in Iowa and New Hampshire in the past few weeks. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, kiss during his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, wave to the crowd during his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: Former U.S. Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden takes off his jacket as he takes the stage for a campaign kickoff rally, May 18, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since Biden announced his candidacy in late April, he has taken the top spot in all polls of the sprawling Democratic primary field. Biden's rally on Saturday was his first large-scale campaign rally after doing smaller events in Iowa and New Hampshire in the past few weeks. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Crowds begin to line up ahead of the Kick-off rally of Joe Biden for the 2020 campaign in the US Presidential Election, in Philadelphia, PA on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Crowds begin to line up ahead of the Kick-off rally of Joe Biden for the 2020 campaign in the US Presidential Election, in Philadelphia, PA on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Crowds begin to line up ahead of the Kick-off rally of Joe Biden for the 2020 campaign in the US Presidential Election, in Philadelphia, PA on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
HAMPTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE - May 13: 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Vice President Joe Biden speaks to and meets voters at The Community Oven in Hampton, New Hampshire Monday May 13, 2019. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
IOWA CITY, IOWA - May 1: Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to and meets Iowa voters at the Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City, Iowa Wednesday May 1, 2019. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
DUBUQUE, IOWA - April 30: Former Vice President Joe Biden, and now 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate, speaks to and meets Iowa voters at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa Tuesday April 30, 2019. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/29: A view of the podium during the rally. Joe Biden comes to Pittsburgh to start off his 2020 bid for the president of the United States. Rally is held at Teamsters in the Lawreceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Joe Biden refrains from announcing a 2020 US Presidential Run during his keynote speech at the First State Democratic Dinner at the Rollins Center in Dover, DE on March 16, 2019. While still unannounced, the former Vice President is reportedly close to officially entering the race for the 2020 US Presidential Elections and is considered a favorite in the already crowded field of candidates. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Biden's comments come in the wake of a controversy over the Culinary Workers Union, which recently criticized Sanders' "Medicare for All" proposal. The union represents some 60,000 members of the hospitality industry in Nevada.

The group's leadership said they were "viciously attacked" by phone and on Twitter all day by Sanders supporters. In particular, the secretary-treasurer and spokeswoman were bombarded by profane, sexist remarks, though it's unclear who attacked the officials and whether they were truly Sanders supporters.

Sanders himself has denounced the attacks and suggested they were not truly coming from his own supporters.

"I don't know who these so-called supporters are," Sanders told PBS Newshour on Thursday. "We're living in a strange world on the Internet. And sometimes people attack people in somebody else's name. But let me be very clear. Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of my movement."

But Biden said it wasn't enough for Sanders to distance himself from the attacks. He said Sanders must "find out who the hell they are, if any of them work for [him]. Fire them," he said. 

Read Full Story