Sanders says the media has made politics 'into a beauty contest'

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday called on President Biden to focus more on policy while making his case to voters and blamed the media for turning politics “into a beauty contest.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins pressed Sanders on Biden’s age and ability to carry out his role as president on Monday’s episode of “The Source.” Sanders expressed confidence in Biden’s ability to serve as president, but continued to emphasize candidates’ stances on policy are what matters most.

“It’s an issue,” he said when asked about Biden’s age. “But you know what else people are worried about? Yeah, they’re worried about his age. They’re worried about his mental acuity. But you know what else they’re worried about?… Are they able to afford to feed their families, to pay the rent? Are they having a living wage?”

“Let me just say this, what media does to a large degree, is make politics into a beauty contest, into a Grammy Award winning contest. You are voting for somebody on policy. Who is going to improve your life? Do you want somebody who thinks that climate change is a hoax, who takes away women’s right to control their own bodies, who has appointed extremely anti-union leaders to his administration, which is what Trump did,” Sanders continued.

Biden has been under fire in recent weeks following a rocky debate performance against former President Trump. A handful of Democrats, including some lawmakers, have called on the president to step down from the ticket, but Biden has maintained that he will not do so.

Sanders also suggested that Biden interact with voters to make his case, and again took aim at the media.

“And I think what he has got to do is get out there, interact with people, turn off the teleprompter, and people can make a judgment for themselves how well he’s doing,” he said. “But what I would also say that what we are not talking about. And this I really fault media for. This is not who is the best entertainer. The truth is Trump had a good TV show. He was a very good entertainer.”

“So what we’ve got to do is inject policy, the contrast between what Biden stands for and what Trump stands for. And then if you do that, I think Biden’s gonna do just fine,” he added.

Sanders urged Biden on Sunday to appeal to voters by promoting his economic policy amid his ongoing age concerns. Sanders said in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview with Robert Costa that Biden needs to shift his focus to talking about an agenda for the working class.

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