Joe Biden blasts Bernie in pitch to Wisconsin voters: 'I beat the socialist'

'Do I look like a socialist? Look at my career, my whole career,' Biden said

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared to slight his former opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Monday in an attempt to assuage voters' concerns that he would pursue a socialist agenda if he wins November's election.

Fox 11's Kia Murray asked Biden: “If you could address our camera directly, talk to the voters that are worried about socialism and you raising taxes."

"First of all, I promise," Biden said. "I've never broken my word. Anyone making less than $400,000 will not see one single penny in their tax raised.

"Number two, I beat the socialist. That's how I got elected. That's how I got the nomination. Do I look like a socialist? Look at my career, my whole career. I am not a socialist."

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Biden added that he wasn't trying to "punish anybody" but wanted to make people pay "their fair share."

His comments underscored a growing divide between moderate Democrats and the party's more left-leaning members who appeared to gain prominence in the last two years. Conservatives have portrayed Biden as caving to progressive influences like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

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During the Democratic primary season, Biden famously took heat from his rivals for merely expanding on former President Obama's health care legislation, rather than pursuing a more ambitioius option like "Medicare-For-All" touted by Sanders and other more progressive candidates.

One of his fiercest critics was Sanders, a self-identified democratic socialist who eventually endorsed Biden. The two reportedly developed six policy working groups on health care, immigration, the economy, criminal justice, climate action and education.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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