While not surprised that the Democratic Party establishment would close ranks against socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Sanders campaign was reportedly caught off guard by just how quickly establishment Democrats coalesced around Joe Biden.
“Many of the establishment Democrats don’t want us to win,” Sanders told 5 Eyewitness News in Dallas on Monday.
Having dropped out of the race following Biden’s win in South Carolina, both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar threw their support behind the former vice president.
“We always anticipated that there would be consolidation of an establishment side,” Sanders campaign manager Faiz told The New York Times. “It’s one thing to know it’s going to happen, and it’s another thing to watch it happen so very quickly.”
“Because of the swiftness with which it moved,” Shakir added, “it’s becoming clear that in order for us to win this nomination, that road clearly flows through Joe Biden.”
Buttigieg dropped out of the Democrat race on Sunday and, after a phone call with former President Barack Obama, formally endorsed Biden.
Klobuchar dropped out of the race on Monday and appeared alongside Biden at a rally in Dallas, expressing her support for Biden along with the gone but apparently not forgotten Beto O’Rourke.
As rumors began to emerge that Obama played a major role in the candidates’ move to Biden’s camp, Biden said of his former boss: “He’s not going to get involved in endorsing anyone for this nomination. But I think he will make sure that, you know, the party is united at the end of the day, and as I will, whether I win or not.”
Other prominent Democrats are said to be waiting for the results from the Super Tuesday primaries to decide whether Biden or Mike Bloomberg represent the best “moderate” alternative to Sanders.
“The economic establishment, Wall Street and drug companies and the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry, they don’t want me to win,” Sanders said.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I don’t know what’s going to happen in a few months,” Sanders said. “The candidate who goes into the convention with the most popular votes, with the most delegates should be the candidate who gets the nomination.”
President Donald Trump reacted to the stream of endorsements for Biden by saying: “I think it’s rigged against Bernie. That’s called ‘quid pro quo,’ right? Quid pro quo. And they probably said, ‘Hey, listen, if I win, I’ll give you an endorsement, but will you take me in the administration?’ ”
Trump also tweeted that the Democrat establishment is “staging a coup against Bernie.”