Biden rejects April debate as Sanders says he wants a face-off

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WASHINGTON — Joe Biden rejected any idea of an April debate with Bernie Sanders, signaling Wednesday that he views the Democratic nominating contest as essentially over.

“I think we’ve had enough debate,” Biden said during a live streamed news conference. “I think we should get on with this.”

Sanders, however, responded later that he wanted a face-off because it would help inform Americans as they confront the coronavirus.

“One of the things that I think the people want, especially in this unprecedented crisis in modern American history, is to hear the ideas of candidates as to how we got into this disaster,” Sanders said Wednesday evening on CNN. “So I think we need a good debate as to where we go, not only just now but in the future.”

The Democratic National Committee had previously said a debate would be held sometime in April, though none has been planned and Biden’s near-insurmountable lead in delegates has called into question whether Sanders will stay in the race.

Sanders said last week that he was “assessing” his campaign after a series of primary losses this month. But an adviser indicated Tuesday that the Vermont senator didn’t intend to quit.

“Senator Sanders is still running for president,” campaign spokeman Mike Casca said. “If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there.”


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