LAS VEGAS — Former Vice President Joe Biden is lashing out at Democratic rival Bernie Sanders for not doing enough to control his most aggressive supporters.
Biden's attack comes during an interview with NBC's “Meet The Press” set to air Sunday.
Biden is fighting to rescue his struggling presidential bid while Sanders works to strengthen his top-tier standing after the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Both are among the candidates campaigning this weekend in Nevada.
The state's formal presidential caucuses are still a week away, but Democrats turned out Saturday for the first of four days of early voting.
The former Vice President also delivered a fiery speech at the Clark County Democratic Party gala and he drew sharp distinctions with Bernie Sanders on guns and healthcare.
Biden didn’t call Sanders’ name Saturday night as he stood in a casino ballroom and recalled the worst mass shooting in modern American history that occurred several hundred yards away in 2017.
Then the former vice president alluded to the Sanders' Senate vote for a 2005 law that gave gun manufacturers immunity from civil lawsuits related to gun violence.
“It’s a horrible, horrible decision,” Biden said, asking the audience to imagine Big Tobacco having legal immunity. He recalled meeting parents of children killed in school shootings. “I will not rest until they’re able to sue the gun manufacturers,” he said.
Biden later turned to health care. Again without naming Sanders, Biden repeated a recent argument from the power Culinary Union that a single-payer “Medicare for All” system would eliminate union members’ health coverage won through collective bargaining. Biden touted his idea to add a “public option” to existing health insurance markets.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders went after billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Democratic Party dinner in Las Vegas.
Sanders rattled off a list of Bloomberg heresies against the Democratic party -- implementing “racist policies like stop and frisk” in New York, opposing the minimum wage or higher taxes on the wealthy during the Obama administration.
"The simple truth is that Mayor Bloomberg with all his money will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump,” Sanders said.
It was a rare attack by name from Sanders.
Bloomberg is skipping the Nevada caucuses and was not at the Clark County Democratic Party dinner where Sanders and other 2020 contenders spoke.