Bernie Sanders unloads on Joe Biden as Super Tuesday makes it a two-man race

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. —  Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at former Vice President Joe Biden, his chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, at a rally here, as Super Tuesday results trickled in from across the country. 

Sanders did not utter Biden’s name, but the senator predicted that he would win the nomination and defeat President Trump, because the race would become a “contrast of ideas.” He then laid into Biden’s long record in Washington, which he compared with his own. 

“One of us in this race led the opposition to the war in Iraq. You’re looking at him. Another candidate voted for the war in Iraq. One of us has spent his entire life fighting against cuts in Social Security. ... The other candidate has been on the floor of the Senate calling for cuts to Social Security,” Sanders said. 

Sanders continued attacking Biden, who scored numerous victories in Tuesday’s contests and cemented his status as a leading contender for the Democratic nomination. 

“One of us led the opposition to a disastrous trade agreement which cost millions of good-paying jobs, and the other candidate voted for disastrous trade agreements. One of us stood up for consumers and said, ‘We will not support a disastrous bankruptcy bill,’ and another candidate represented the credit card companies and voted for that disastrous bill,” he said.  

Sen. Bernie Sanders is accompanied by his relatives, including his wife Jane, as he addresses supporters at his Super Tuesday night rally in Essex Junction, Vermont, U.S., March 3, 2020. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

With strong performances in the first three states on the primary calendar — Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada — Sanders had emerged as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. However, on Feb. 29, Biden scored an overwhelming win in South Carolina that helped him catch up to Sanders’s delegate lead and gave him much-needed momentum heading into Super Tuesday, when 14 states were holding primaries. 

As of this writing, Sanders has earned victories in Utah, Colorado and his home state of Vermont. He was also projected to win California, the biggest state up for grabs. 

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 3, 2020: Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by his wife Dr. Jill Biden, speaks to California voters during a Super Tuesday election night party at Baldwin Hills Recreation Center in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday March 3, 2020. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a primary election night campaign rally Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during a primary night election rally in Essex Junction, Vt., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
DETROIT, UNITED STATES - MARCH 3, 2020: Elizabeth Warren speaks during a rally held on super Tuesday in Detroit. Super Tuesday will be a major deciding factor in her place in the polls for the Democratic primary election.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Megan Jelinger / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Megan Jelinger / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 3: Supporters cheer for Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg during his Super Tuesday event at the Palm Beach Convention Center in Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
DETROIT, UNITED STATES - MARCH 3, 2020: Elizabeth Warren greets her supporters during a rally held on super Tuesday in Detroit. Super Tuesday will be a major deciding factor in her place in the polls for the Democratic primary election.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Megan Jelinger / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Megan Jelinger / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, UNITED STATES - MARCH 3, 2020: Democratic presidential candidate former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg addresses his supporters at a campaign stop at the Bloomberg campaign field office in Orlando.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Paul Hennessy / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Paul Hennessy / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives to vote in the Vermont Primary near his home in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Nuala sports an "I Voted" sticker while accompanying her owner Jannet Bond to the polls after voting in the Vermont Primary in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
HERNDON, VA - MARCH 03: Two women mark down their votes on a ballots for the Democratic presidential primary election at a polling place in Armstrong Elementary School on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020 in Herndon, Virginia. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Somoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - MARCH 03: Buttons supporting Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are seen on the Virginia Commonwealth University Campus on March 3, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Samoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - MARCH 03: "I Voted" stickers are seen at a polling place on March 3, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Samoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - MARCH 03: A mural depicting Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), painted in 2016, is seen on a building on March 3, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Samoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - MARCH 03: Voters cast ballots at a polling place on March 3, 2020 in Ashland, Virginia. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Samoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
"I Voted" stickers cover a table at a polling station during the North Carolina primary on Super Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 3, 2020. - Forteen states and American Samoa are holding presidential primary elections, with over 1400 delegates at stake. Americans vote Tuesday in primaries that play a major role in who will challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, a day after key endorsements dramatically boosted Joe Biden's hopes against surging leftist Bernie Sanders. The backing of Biden by three of his ex-rivals marked an unprecedented turn in a fractured, often bitter campaign. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo by LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images)
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - MARCH 03: Fayetteville State University students get off a Black Votes Matter bus at Smith Recreation Center on March 3, 2020 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Samoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Photo by Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)
Poll worker Denetria Cooperidge, right, greets voters at the Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church polling location as voters go to the polls on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, to vote in the Super Tuesday primaries. (Jim Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)
Olivia DiNucci, volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign, leaves a pamphlet at a residence on the day of the presidential primary in El Paso, Texas on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. - Fourteen states and American Samoa are holding presidential primary elections, with over 1400 delegates at stake. Americans vote Tuesday in primaries that play a major role in who will challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, a day after key endorsements dramatically boosted Joe Biden's hopes against surging leftist Bernie Sanders. The backing of Biden by three of his ex-rivals marked an unprecedented turn in a fractured, often bitter campaign. (Photo by Paul Ratje / Agence France-Presse / AFP) (Photo by PAUL RATJE/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images)
Residents wait to cast their ballots during the Democratic presidential primary in Montgomery, Alabama on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. - Fourteen states and American Samoa are holding presidential primary elections, with over 1400 delegates at stake. Americans vote Tuesday in primaries that play a major role in who will challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, a day after key endorsements dramatically boosted Joe Biden's hopes against surging leftist Bernie Sanders. The backing of Biden by three of his ex-rivals marked an unprecedented turn in a fractured, often bitter campaign. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
Two people walk under umbrellas outside a polling station at Dallas County Courthouse during the presidential primary in Selma, Alabama on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. - Fourteen states and American Samoa are holding presidential primary elections, with over 1400 delegates at stake. Americans vote Tuesday in primaries that play a major role in who will challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, a day after key endorsements dramatically boosted Joe Biden's hopes against surging leftist Bernie Sanders. The backing of Biden by three of his ex-rivals marked an unprecedented turn in a fractured, often bitter campaign. (Photo by Joshua Lott / AFP) (Photo by JOSHUA LOTT/AFP via Getty Images)
Election clerks check in voters for the primary election, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Lewiston, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Joe Cormier votes in the primary election, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Freeport, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Election clerks Pauline Plourde, left, and Susan Gallant process absentee ballots for the primary election, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Lewiston, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Mike Walsh votes in the primary election, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Freeport, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
A roll of "I Voted' stickers sit on a table at Town Hall in Richmond, Mass., during the state's primary election, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Stephanie Zollshan/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)
Russell Freedman sits outside of the polling station at Lanesborough Town Hall advocating for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during the state's primary election, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Lanesborough, Mass. (Stephanie Zollshan/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)
Joe Michael places election signs near an early voting site in San Antonio, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. Early primary voting for began Tuesday for Texas and Arkansas ahead of Super Tuesday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A voter places his ballot in the ballot counter at the downtown library polling site in Minneapolis as part of Minnesota's Super Tuesday presidential nomination primary March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Hazel Goree, 3, waits as her mother, Kristin Goree, right, votes on Super Tuesday in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom , center, casts his ballot as his wife, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, left, waits to cast hers while voting on Super Tuesday in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Volunteer Anabelle observes other volunteers at the Paradise Senior Center, a polling place for the presidential primary during Super Tuesday on March 3, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP) (Photo by ARIANA DREHSLER/AFP via Getty Images)
People wait to vote during the presidential primary at the Santa Monica Public Library in Santa Monica, California on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - Fourteen states and American Samoa are holding presidential primary elections, with over 1400 delegates at stake. Americans vote Tuesday in primaries that play a major role in who will challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, a day after key endorsements dramatically boosted Joe Biden's hopes against surging leftist Bernie Sanders. The backing of Biden by three of his ex-rivals marked an unprecedented turn in a fractured, often bitter campaign. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
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Biden, meanwhile, won in Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas. As of 3 a.m., Maine was too close to call. 

Despite Biden’s surge, Sanders declared in his speech that “It is our campaign, our movement, which is best positioned to defeat Trump.”  

“You cannot beat Trump with the same old, same old kind of politics,” Sanders said. “What we need is a new politics that brings working-class people into our political movement, which brings young people into our political movement and which, in November, will create the highest voter turnout in American political history.”

Supporters hold a sign before a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden on March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Sanders has made promising to transform the electorate with an influx of new voters a cornerstone of his campaign. But while he has succeeded in winning over Latino voters in the early states, overall turnout has not reached record levels, and young voters, who largely favor Sanders, have not come out in force. 

Sanders concluded his speech by expressing confidence in his chances of winning California. 

“I don’t know what’s going to happen later tonight. We’re doing well in Texas right now. We won Colorado, and I’m cautiously optimistic that later in the evening we can win the largest state in this country, the state of California,” he said. 

He went on to take one more thinly veiled shot at Biden.

“But no matter what happens ... if it comes out to be a campaign where we have one candidate who is standing up for the working class and the middle class, we’re going to win that election. And if we have another candidate who has received contributions from at least 60 billionaires, we’re going to win that election,” Sanders said.

Early on in his speech, Sanders noted it was the 31st anniversary of his first election as mayor of Burlington, Vt. He said he had not been expected to win that race, but ultimately prevailed by just 10 votes, a situation he compared to the presidential election.

“When we began this race for the presidency, everybody said it couldn’t be done,” Sanders  said. “But tonight, I tell you with absolute confidence, we are going to win the Democratic nomination, and we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country.” 

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