- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The momentary truce between former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont didn’t last long, with both camps accusing one another of going negative in dueling ad spots on Social Security.

In an approximately minute-long Biden spot released on Tuesday, a narrator says that Mr. Sanders’ campaign has unleashed a “barrage of negative attacks on Joe Biden.”

“Bernie’s campaign is not telling the truth,” the narrator says, saying Mr. Biden has voted multiple times to “save” Social Security. “Bernie’s negative attacks won’t change the truth: Joe Biden is still the strongest Democrat to beat Donald Trump.”

As both men jockey for front-runner status in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Mr. Sanders’ team has been highlighting past comments from Mr. Biden in which he talked about freezes to Social Security.

The former vice president said at a forum in Iowa this week that there will be “no compromise” on cutting Medicare or Social Security.

Faiz Shakir, Mr. Sanders’ campaign manager, called the Biden video “the first negative ad of the 2020 Democratic primary” and said Mr. Biden is trying to fudge his record on the issue.

Mr. Sanders promoted his own 30-second video that plays one of the past clips of Mr. Biden and says he has advocated cutting Social Security for “40 years.”

“When I argued if we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well,” Mr. Biden says in Mr. Sanders’ video.

Earlier in the week, Mr. Sanders had apologized for an op-ed written by a surrogate and pushed by his team that said Mr. Biden had a “big corruption problem.” Mr. Biden thanked him and said the focus should be on defeating President Trump.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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