Joe Biden has a problem that could come back to haunt him in the Democratic primaries: His past experience trying to convince conservatives he wasn’t one of those hippie lefties, and that he was, at least kind of, on the team.
The problem for Joe is that, 50 years ago, when he started in politics before doing much else that was worthwhile, Delaware was not such a liberal state. And so Biden was not such a liberal.
According to this great investigative piece from the Washington Examiner:
Joe Biden has described himself on the 2020 campaign trail as one of the most liberal members of the Senate, but in reality he has spent much of his five decades in politics denouncing the left-wing of the Democratic Party.
As early as 1970, when he was a member of Delaware’s New Castle County Council, the 27-year-old future vice president used the type of hyperbolic language that was to become his trademark. He lambasted the “far left” and the American Civil Liberties Union, a historic bastion of liberalism, on starkly racial grounds.
“I have some friends on the far left, and they can justify to me the murder of a white deaf mute for a nickel by five colored guys,” he said in a Nov. 11, 1970, interview with the News Journal of Delaware. “They say the black men had been oppressed and so on. But they can’t justify some Alabama farmers tar and feathering an old colored woman. I suspect the ACLU would leap to defend the five black guys. But no one would go down to help the ‘rednecks.'”Reese Witherspoon And Oprah Are Our New Favorite Best FriendsWatch Full Screen to Skip Ads
He added: “They are both products of an environment. The truth is somewhere between the two poles. And ‘rednecks’ are usually people with very real concerns, people who lack the education and skills to express themselves quietly and articulately.”
While such sentiments from Biden, now 76, could appeal to centrist voters in the 21st century — in part they sound like a prescient counterpoint to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 mocking of the Trump-supporting “basket of deplorables” — they are problematic in the Democratic Party of 2019.
Since entering the presidential race, Biden has struggled against criticism from the Left in an election cycle in which the party’s voters have shown they are increasingly open to socialist economic policies, expanding abortion rights, and dramatic environmental reform.
Biden’s historic positions on drug prohibition, the Iraq War, criminal justice reform, and abortion now put him to the Right of a political party that studies show has shifted to the Left over the past two decades. Recently, Biden has backed away from these policies, apologizing for his support for tough-on-crime laws and renouncing his opposition to federal abortion funding.
BTW, where’s all the screaming in the press about how Biden changes his stripes? When Trump was running, you couldn’t get out of the way of all the articles suggesting he had switched to being a populist conservative out of expediency.