Former Vice President Joe Biden sounded class warfare themes in an economic speech streamed live on Twitter on Friday, accusing President Donald Trump of favoring “the wealthy” even before the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden was speaking in the wake of the April jobs report, which reported that 20.5 million Americans had lost their jobs that month, spiking unemployment to 14.7% (from a 50-year low of 3.5% just two months before).
Holding a face mask draped over a pen in his left hand, and reading from a script evidently placed slightly off-camera, Biden labored through a presentation that sought to portray Trump as a plutocrat serving his cronies.
He claimed that Trump’s economic policies had “three unmistakable failings.” First, he said, Trump viewed the economy “only” through the stock market’s performance, claiming Trump had delayed reacting to the virus “to protect the Dow Jones average.” Second, he said, Trump’s “entire economic strategy is focused on helping the wealthy and big corporations,” citing the 2017 tax reform bill (which, in fact, raised taxes on the rich in places). He claimed Trump had created incentives to shift jobs overseas (when, in fact, Trump had done the opposite).
Third, Biden said, Trump had failed the middle class. He claimed Trump had neglected the “unforgotten middle class” — then corrected himself, declaring that Trump “immediately forgot them once he got elected.”
Biden seemed to admit that Trump had started out well, but claimed his economic policies were failing before the coronavirus pandemic struck: “The numbers looked good, but underneath those numbers, things were eroding.”
He accused Trump of running a “corrupt recovery,” alleging that the president had steered relief funds to his political donors and cronies, while the “mom and pop shops that needed help got the most shut out.”
Biden did not offer an alternative plan of his own. He promised to produce a “detailed plan” at a later time, promising that it would be devoted to “rebuilding the backbone of this country: a stronger, more inclusive, more resilient middle class.” His economic plan would include “making sure everyone has paid sick leave, and child care support,” Biden said, and would “rip out race-based inequities from every part of our society.”
“We can choose who our economy … works for: just the wealthy, or everyone else as well,” Biden concluded.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.