Axios Agrees: Joe Biden Has Moved Left; Centrist Image a ‘Mirage’

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)
Matt Rourke / Associated Press published an analysis Friday that concluded former Vice President Joe Biden has shifted decisively to the left, a conclusion that agrees with observations by fellow Democrats, by the Washington Post, and by Breitbart News.

In an article titled “Biden’s centrist mirage,” Axios’s Hans Nichols wrote (original emphasis):

Joe Biden spent a career cultivating the image of a deal-making centrist — and is making this a key selling point for swing voters in 2020. But the modern Biden has been pushed left by his party’s insurgent progressives.

Why it matters: Biden has moved to the left to accommodate party activists on crime, climate, education, immigration and health care. His central challenge with many swing voters: Prove he didn’t move too far, too fast.

Between the lines: Biden wants many suburban voters to associate him with his persona as a white, firehouse Democrat — over a more woke 2020 Democratic primary candidate who navigated through his rivals to win his party’s nomination.

Flashback: Biden’s platforms and record shows how he has changed.

The article analyzes several of Biden’s policy flip-flops, omitting his shift on abortion. Biden once opposed the use of federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions; he changed his mind last year, and now backs the Planned Parenthood position fully.

In July, Breitbart News noted that there were few differences remaining between Biden and socialist rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):

Joe Biden has begun sounding like Bernie Sanders.

Not only does the Biden-Sanders “Unity” Platform propose many of the same ideas Sanders campaigned on — even lifting language directly from the Sanders website — but Biden himself has begun using the same radical left-wing buzzwords that Sanders used in his campaign stump speeches.

For example:

  • May 4: Biden calls coronavirus an “incredible opportunity … to fundamentally transform the country”
  • May 11: Biden says America needs “revolutionary institutional changes”
  • June 2: Biden calls for America to deal with “systemic racism”
  • July 4: Biden promises to “transform” America and “rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country”
  • July 9: Biden vows an “end to the era of shareholder capitalism”
  • July 13: Biden promises “systemic” and “institutional” changes
  • July 28: Biden promises to be “one of the most progressive presidents in U.S. history”

The Washington Post noted the change in June, noting that Biden had once promised “nothing would fundamentally change” and said the country was “looking for results, not a revolution,” but had since completely changed his tone.

Sanders himself has denied that Biden has become a socialist: “If only,” he said in an email to supporters last month.

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, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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