'We won't win playing it safe': rivals make case against Biden
Some of Joe Biden's leading rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination have warned that embracing a cautious platform in 2020 could hand US President Donald Trump a second term, making an implicit argument against his candidacy at the largest gathering of White House hopefuls so far this year.
Speaking at the Iowa Democratic Party's annual Hall of Fame celebration, Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, asserted that a "middle-ground strategy that antagonises no one, that stands up to nobody and changes nothing", amounts to a failed blueprint that could lead to Mr Trump's re-election.
Later, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg warned of dire electoral consequences.
"We're not going to win by playing it safe or promising to return to normal," he said.
Neither Mr Sanders nor Mr Buttigieg mentioned Mr Biden, who was noticeably missing from the festivities.
He skipped them to attend his granddaughter's high school graduation, according to his campaign advisers.
Mr Biden is heading to Iowa today - the same day Mr Trump is scheduled to be in the state.
But their rhetoric built on arguments they advanced in speeches last week at the California Democratic Convention, which have been widely interpreted as a case against the former vice president.
Mr Biden has adopted more moderate views than many of his competitors, and he has argued that the Trump presidency is an aberration.
In casting doubts about his electability, his Democratic opponents are attempting to subvert what Mr Biden's champions believe is one of his chief strengths: They think he can defeat Mr Trump by appealing to Democrats, moderates and some Republicans in a way no one else in the sprawling field can.
Many Democratic voters have said that a candidate's electability against Mr Trump is the most important quality for them.
Nineteen candidates spoke at the celebration in Iowa, delivering a rapid-fire series of speeches.
(© The Washington Post)