A former top European Union (EU) official is openly pining for former Vice President Joe Biden to win the November general election.
Donald Tusk, a one-time prime minister of Poland and until last year the president of the European Council—the body responsible for defining the EU’s political direction, took to social media on Thursday to signal his backing of Biden.
“I’ve always believed in the Republican ideals and greatness of America,” Tusk wrote, noting his own history as an “anti-communist” opposition leader in Poland during the Cold War. “Reagan was my hero. And I got to know Donald Trump really well. These are the reasons why I pray for Joe Biden’s success.”
Tusk’s backing of the former vice president is the first endorsement by any European leader in the 2020 presidential election. Although the reason behind its timing remains unclear, Tusk’s support is by no means a surprise. The former EU president has long been a critic of the emergence of populist leaders and causes, most notably Trump.
Last September, during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Tusk urged the leaders assembled to “protect the truth,” arguing “it is not enough to accuse others of promoting fake news.” Even though the speech made no reference to Trump, it left little speculation as to who was its target. Tusk only seemed to make his feelings toward the commander in chief clearer in December 2019 by sharing a picture of himself making a gun gesture behind Trump’s back during a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in London.
— Donald Tusk (@donaldtuskEPP) December 5, 2019
More broadly, though, Tusk’s endorsement underscores the difference in foreign policy between the former vice president and Trump.
Biden, himself, opined on those differences in July 2019 when laying out a “forward-looking global” vision, meant to stand in repudiation of Trump’s America First agenda. The centerpiece of that vision, according to the former vice president, would be renewed cooperation with other nations to tackle “dangers” like climate change, nuclear proliferation, cyber warfare, and terrorism.
“American security, prosperity, and our way of life requires the strongest possible network of partners and alliances working alongside one another,” Biden said at the time. “Donald Trump’s brand of ‘America First’ has too often led to America alone.”
The former vice president’s words were echoed only a few short months later by Tusk in front of the United Nations.
“In my political vocabulary, globalism and solidarity mean the same thing,” Tusk told the UNGA last September, during the same speech in which he urged nations to protect the truth. “And I am not talking about some naive ideology or abstract linguistics, but about concrete challenges and a chance for pragmatic solutions.”