“My focus is just dealing with this crisis right now. I haven’t thought about any more debates. I think we’ve had enough debates. I think we should get on with this,” Biden said when asked by CNN whether he would debate Sanders again.
The former vice president’s comment, during a press conference with reporters video-streamed from Biden’s home in Delaware, comes the day after a Sanders aide said the senator would participate in an April debate.
“If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there,” Sanders communications director Mike Casca said Tuesday.
His comment was an indication that — despite Biden’s overwhelming delegate lead, and states pushing back their primaries amid the coronavirus pandemic — Sanders intends to remain in the Democratic nominating contest.
The Democratic National Committee’s initial debate schedule had included an April meeting. A DNC aide said Wednesday that the party had no updates about an April debate — but added that there is no venue, media partner or date set for the hypothetical contest.
It takes 1,991 delegates to win the Democratic nomination. CNN’s delegate estimate shows Biden with 1,155 pledged delegates so far — well ahead of Sanders’ 840. Biden also has clear momentum, sweeping the latest round of primaries on March 17 with dominant wins in Arizona, Florida and Illinois.
But the pandemic has led some states to push their primaries into June, opening up the possibility that it could take more than two months for a candidate to cross the threshold needed to clinch the nomination.
Biden has said his staff and Sanders’ staff are in contact, but that the two candidates haven’t spoken personally.
CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.