Bakari Sellers & Amanda Renteria on Biden’s Presidential Bid

As Joe Biden declares his latest presidential bid, former South Carolina House member Bakari Sellers and Hillary Clinton’s former national political director Amanda Renteria discuss where his campaign fits into an already crowded Democratic field.

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BAKARI SELLERS, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA STATE HOUSE MEMBER: So, I think this was not a surprise to anyone in politics for a very long period of time. In fact, there were a large number of us who thought that Joe Biden was going to run for president in 2016. And so, people have been waiting now for a few years for Joe Biden to decide to run for president.

I think that Joe Biden clearly articulated why he is running for president. Whether or not that will work or not is still yet to be seen. But he is running on values, not necessarily issue or policy. And he’s running as the anti-Trump. And I think that one of the things that voters this go around will look for and say to themselves is being anti-Trump simply isn’t enough, you have to give us a reason to vote for you. This is very early on, but Joe Biden is not going to have a coronation and there are a lot of good candidates in this race and he’s going to have to run a principle ray showing people why they should vote for him, not that he’s just anti-Trump. And we’ll see if he’s able to do that.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Amanda, people do know Joe Biden and he has principles and he has policies and he has a massive, probably longer than anybody out there, legislative record and has been around for decades, literally. To Bakari’s point, what do you think he should be running on? Where do you think his strengths lie?

AMANDA RENTERIA, CHAIR, “EMERGE AMERICA”: You know, I think it is leaning into some of his experience, particularly as it pertains to foreign affairs. Over the course of his, you know, tenure in the Senate and really as Biden as vice president, you saw him really lean into that, and there’s still aspects of that in his rollout video. So, that wasn’t a surprise to see, really him taking charge in terms of what this means for our country and what this means for the world. You had that sentiment.

And then I think what was interesting is that he started off with Charleston and really pointing out that the Democratic Party is a party of bringing people together. And I think that part of it really speaks to the future of the Democratic Party and what you’re hearing from a lot of folks on the ground in the electorate.

AMANPOUR: And to both of you, we said in the introduction that he jumps in right at the top of the polls. I mean, partly because he’s so well-known, there’s name recognition, because he was popular as president Obama’s vice president, because he’s considered sort of a regular Joe, not to coin a phrase. But nonetheless, he does have that regular-guy kinds of appeal to people. He himself has been quoted as saying that what’s really going to matter is not the first caucus or the first primary, not Iowa or New Hampshire, but the first 24 hours when it comes to the amount of money he can raise. Just give me what your take on that, would you?

RENTERIA: I think it really —

SELLERS: Well, I think that the first 24 hours is very — Oh, I’m sorry, Amanda. Go ahead.

RENTERIA: No. Go ahead.

SELLERS: I think that the first 24 hours is very, very important. I think you saw Beto O’Rourke have a strong first 24 hours. And what people know and we hold true is that Bernie Sanders is a prolific small-dollar donor. And Joe Biden has never been one who has been a, what “prolific” fundraiser.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Bakari Sellers & Amanda Renteria about Joe Biden’s presidential bid; and Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt about unconscious bias. Alicia Menendez speaks with Ryan O’Connell about self acceptance and his new Netflix series.