Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden have been engaged in an increasingly bitter dispute over Medicare for All. Obamacare was supposed to provide coverage to those who don't have it and lower the price of health care, but for all intents and purposes, that is the same promise that Biden is now making about his plan.
Sanders' supporters feel that Biden's approach is too incremental and antiquated. "C'mon man. How many push-ups do you want to do here, pal?' Biden told 'Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski in an interview.
But it was Sanders's staff who really shot back Biden.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol January 16, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Bernie Sanders joked a few hours after Tuesday's broadcast that he might challenge the president to a mile-long footrace. "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan", Obama said at a 2009 town hall on healthcare in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Those views, however, since the inception of ObamaCare, have softened somewhat against the creation of some kind of "Medicare for All" public insurance option which Biden now proposes as part of his new health care plan.
"Biden's plan would preserve a broken system", read the campaign's graphic. Obama has made no endorsements during the primaries, but Biden is positioning himself as the former president's heir apparent. Joe Biden (D), who has largely remained the frontrunner in general election polling, came in closely behind with 21 percent support. Sen.
Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said California Democrats believe that Biden - not Harris - is the best candidate to take on President Trump, "hands down".
Harris has seen her poll numbers soar since the debate, when she went on the attack against Biden, as she criticized recent comments by the former vice president spotlighting his ability to find common ground during the 1970s with segregationist senators with whom he disagreed, and over his opposition decades ago to federally mandated school busing. She also said she doesn't see a middle-class tax hike needed to fund her proposal, and she'd instead eye more targeted new revenue sources such as going after Wall Street.
"I think it could be a political problem", said Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who is seeking the party's nomination and favors a public option.
He then played video of a Biden campaign ad in which the former veep said, "Listen, I understand the appeal of Medicare for all, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of Obamacare".
But that's not the goal of most voters, who are more concerned about the cost of health care than the system itself, says Lanae Erickson, senior vice president of social policy and politics at the centrist think tank Third Way. Elizabeth Warren has been rolling out. "We should be building from what we have", he said last week. "If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it". Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard didn't register, falling from 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.