Former vice president Joe Biden is being cast as the most “moderate” of the frontrunners for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and offering a return to normalcy, the political status quo before President Donald Trump.
However, Biden — who rejects the “moderate” label — is running the most left-wing campaign of any frontrunner in presidential history. His positions are even more left-wing than those of Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama.
Energy: End fossil fuels, including fracking and coal. In 2008, Biden ran on a promise to protect “clean coal,” and attacked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for wanting to “transition” away from coal. Now, he promises to eliminate coal and other fossil fuels. Biden wants to end fracking, which has made energy cheaper while reducing emissions. And he told CNN’s climate town hall last week that the $93 trillion Green New Deal does not go far enough.
Economy: Raise taxes immediately. Biden promised in June to repeal President Trump’s tax cuts “on the super-wealthy” on “Day One” in office, regardless of economic consequences. He continues to mischaracterize the tax cuts as having been for the rich, when in fact they primarily benefited the middle class and even raised taxes on wealthy property owners (in high-tax, Democrat-run states). Even Obama ran on promises in 2008 to cut taxes.
Health Care: Bring back individual mandate, allow Medicare option. Biden promised in July to bring back the individual mandate requiring everyone to buy health insurance — the most unpopular and constitutionally flawed provision of Obamacare. (Obama campaigned in 2008 against the individual mandate.) Biden is also promising to allow people to choose Medicare instead of private insurance, which could hurt seniors who currently use the plan.
Abortion: Repeal the Hyde amendment. No Democratic frontrunner has ever run on a promise to repeal the Hyde amendment, which prevents the federal government from using taxpayer money to pay directly for abortions. Under pressure from the pro-choice lobby, which has been removing restrictions on late-term abortion in Democrat-run states, Biden flip-flopped on the issue and now backs federal funding for abortion because “times have changed.”
Immigration: Open borders and free health care for illegal aliens. Biden told voters last month that he would close down migrant detention centers at the border — which the Obama-Biden administration itself opened to deal with a migrant. He also promised a return to “catch-and-release.” In June, he joined all other candidates onstage in the first debate in raising his hand to back free health care for illegal aliens. Even Obama famously opposed that.
Race relations: Reparations for slavery. Though Biden has not endorsed the idea of a committee on reparations, he has said the government should “gather the data necessary to have an informed conversation about reparations.” He has also courted the support of Al Sharpton, whose history of racism and antisemitism is so toxic that Barack Obama would not be seen with Sharpton in 2008 and made it publicly known he did not want his endorsement.
Crime: Restore a failed policy that allowed the Parkland shooting suspect to avoid prison. Biden, who once prided himself on being tough on crime, has flip-flopped. Among his proposals: restoring an Obama-era program that aimed to keep “students of color” from being suspended or arrested. Parkland dad Andrew Pollack blames that program for last year’s mass shooting, which protected the gunman from a criminal record, letting him buy guns.
Transgenderism: Biden vows to sign the “Equality Act” on his first day, which bars discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” Biden wrote in 2017: “We are at an inflection point for transgender equality, which I have called the civil rights issue of our time. And it’s not just a singular issue of identity, it’s about freeing the soul of America from the constraints of bigotry, hate, and fear, and opening people’s hearts and minds to what binds us all together.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.