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Sanders Went Into Super Tuesday On Top But It Was Biden's Night


The results from the Super Tuesday primaries are in, and the race for the Democratic nomination is, in some ways, looking a little clearer. A few minutes ago, Michael Bloomberg announced he was dropping out of the race after a poor showing last night. He's endorsing Joe Biden, who did well yesterday. Biden won nine states, including Texas.


JOE BIDEN: I'm here to report we are very much alive.


BIDEN: And make no mistake about it; this campaign will send Donald Trump packing.

KING: Bernie Sanders won California and three other states. Speaking last night, Sanders said to his supporters, I tell you in absolutely confidence, we are going to win the Democratic nomination. That is looking harder for Sanders now.

Joining me is California Congressman Ro Khanna. He's the national co-chair of the Sanders campaign.

Good morning, sir.

RO KHANNA: Good morning.

KING: So I talked to you earlier this morning a few hours ago, before the announcement from Michael Bloomberg that he was dropping out. Do you feel like the hits just keep on coming today?

KHANNA: No, it was expected. I mean, Michael Bloomberg's campaign showed that money can't buy votes in this country for a presidential election. But he had made it clear that he was going to support the moderate, so I don't think it's going to have much impact on the actual race. We have to focus on getting our message out in Michigan and the states that are upcoming.

KING: Money does impact races, though. We know that. It's a fact. And Bloomberg pumped a ton of money into this race. He has now essentially said, I am out of the race; my money, though, is still in it, and I'm endorsing Joe Biden. That seems like a real problem for Bernie Sanders. Michael Bloomberg, I need not remind you, is a billionaire.

KHANNA: Well, I believe that Michael Bloomberg has said that he would spend money to defeat Donald Trump. I would be very surprised and disappointed if he starts spending money to attack Bernie Sanders. To his credit, he has not done that so far. And I think he is going to focus on what we need to do to unify this party. Whether Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden is the nominee, they're going to need the other person's supporters to defeat Donald Trump. And I don't think that Michael Bloomberg would want to be attacking either of them.

KING: Senator Sanders, in many ways - in some ways, had a disappointing night last night. There were places like Texas, Minnesota, Massachusetts where he was expected to do better than he did. What do you think happened?

KHANNA: Well, I would actually push back on the idea that he didn't have a good night. I mean, remember; in 2016, he lost Texas by 30 points to Hillary Clinton, and he was within a few points of Joe Biden. So he is expanding his coalition. He won, overwhelmingly, Latino voters. And there's no path to beating Donald Trump without huge turnout with Latino voters.

But, look; I give Vice President Biden credit for a strong night. I think he was a two-term vice president to the most popular president, Barack Obama, in recent democratic history. And so I think that's what played to his advantage. And we need to just continue to get our message out. We know our policies are more popular. We know we have a working-class, young, Latino coalition. And we need to make sure that we can win on that.

KING: What states are you targeting at this point? What's big coming up for the Sanders campaign?

KHANNA: We are going to be focused on Michigan - we won Michigan in '16; we can win Michigan again - and then the Midwest, in places like Illinois and Ohio, where they have faced deindustrialization. Bernie Sanders has a pro-union method, a pro-jobs method, and I think that will resonate.

KING: Congressman Ro Khanna of California - he's the national co-chair of the Sanders campaign. And we thank him so much for his time.

KHANNA: Thank you for having me on. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.