Sanders, whose show just launched on the Peacock network after leaving the Biden administration as Vice President Harris’ top spokesperson, appeared on Monday’s episode of The New York Times’ “Sway” podcast, where she reiterated she is “not a spokesperson for the Biden administration” in the new job but spent the entire interview defending her old bosses.
President Biden has repeatedly suggested he intends to run for reelection despite reports of Democrats behind the scenes expressing concern due to his age and dismal polling.
On the subject of 2024, Sanders got into a heated exchange with “Sway” host Kara Swisher when she asked whether Biden should seek a second term.
“Look, I think Joe Biden has been running for president since before I was alive. I was born in 1989, okay?” Sanders said. “So someone who has wanted to be president that long who has ran on three different occasions, and now he finally gets it, he takes out someone who, many people, myself included, thought were taking our democracy to the brink, I think if he would like to run for reelection, he should. He got a lot of things done. Joe Biden beat Trump when a couple of other people could not. So he might as well.”
“‘He might as well.’ That’s a hearty endorsement,” Swisher sarcastically reacted. “You don’t work for him anymore, Symone… Does there need to be someone else?”
“I think it’s crazy for people to say,” Sanders said, which Swisher immediately pushed back saying “it’s not,” adding that the question of whether there’s a stronger candidate is a “totally normal question.”
Sanders acknowledged how there’s “a lot of chatter” from Democrats saying Biden shouldn’t run but then quickly touted how the president has “gotten a number of things done” and dismissed the argument that he should be sidelined because he’s a “little older” as a “crazy argument.”
“What I think is Joe Biden is the current President of the United States of America who has gotten a lot of things done. And if he wants to run for reelection, I think members of his party that are whispering in the shadows and on background and off the record to journalists, like shame on them,” Sanders said. “If you don’t think the president should run for re-election, put your name on that quote. But I just don’t think anybody has given a real argument as to why he should not.”
The MSNBC host also denied that things soured between Biden and Harris, insisting they have a “good relationship” and that despite the chatter, “This is not a drama-filled White House.”
“There’s not a lot of drama… I do think that a lot of people in the media continue to treat the vice president as though she is an active candidate for office, as opposed to the sitting Vice President of the United States of America. And when people are looking at her as some kind of heir apparent every single day, they are looking for stories and angles that show something is going on there,” Sanders said.
“Well, is there chaos in that office? Or do you think it’s overreported?” Swisher asked.
“Yeah, I think it’s overreported. Honestly, I really do,” Sanders responded. “I’m trying to think about the last time I read stories about male-elected officials like that. My experience with the vice president is that she is a boss that asks people to bring their best to work every day… I really think it’s hyped and overblown.”
Sanders’ weekend program “Symone” debuted earlier this month to dismal ratings despite landing an interview with First Lady Jill Biden.
On her first Saturday on-air, she reached only 361,000 viewers and a paltry 29,000 in the advertiser-coveted 25-to-54 demographic. She did even worse on Sunday, landing just 344,000 total viewers.
This may offer a grim forecast to her former and soon-be-current colleague Jen Psaki, who just left the Biden administration as the White House press secretary and is set to be an MSNBC contributor and have her own show on the Peacock streaming network.