Joe Biden (D) attempted to put some distance between himself and the radical left, effectively dissing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and dismissing his wing’s policy proposals — from the Green New Deal to Medicare for All — several times during the first presidential debate Tuesday evening.
Many progressives reluctantly accepted Biden securing the Democrat nomination despite two far-left progressives — Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sanders, making headway throughout the process. During the primary, Sanders earned the endorsement of the far-left members of the “Squad,” such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who recently expressed hope that the radical left will be able to push Biden even farther to the left, should he take the presidency.
“I think, overall, we can likely push Vice President Biden in a more progressive direction across policy issues,” the New York lawmaker told Just the News in an interview earlier this month.
“There are some areas where we just fundamentally disagree, but that’s okay. I think it’s important to acknowledge that we can have, in some cases, very large disagreements — it doesn’t mean that we’re trying to undermine the party or undermine each other,” she added. “It means that we’re trying to do what’s best for people in the country.”
However, despite embracing radical progressive ideas in the past, as seen in the Biden-Sanders “Unity” Platform, the former vice president struck a different tone throughout the debate, attempting to distance himself from the Bernie Bros.
1. “No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.”
Biden sent a confusing message during the presidential debate, fully denying any support for the radical left’s multitrillion-dollar Green New Deal. Yet, just moments before stating that he did not support it, Biden seemingly defended the proposal, stating that the Green New Deal “will pay for itself as we move forward”:
Notably, Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), is a cosponsor of the Senate version of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.
2. “The party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party.”
The former vice president dissed one of the sterling policy proposals of the radical left, Medicare for All, and declared himself the Democrat Party as a way to prove that he does not want socialist medicine and socialist health care.
“What I proposed is that we expand Obamacare and we increase it. We do not wipe any. And one of the big debates we had with 23 of my colleagues trying to win the nomination that I won, were saying that Biden wanted to allow people to have private insurance still. They can. They do. They will under my proposal,” Biden said, prompting Trump to point out that it is “not what your party is saying.”
“Your party doesn’t say it. Your party wants to go socialist medicine and socialist health care,” the president said.
“The party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party,” Biden said.
“And they’re going to dominate you, Joe,” Trump quipped. “You know that.”
Again, Biden repeated, “I am the Democratic Party right now.”
3. “I’m totally opposed to defunding the police offices.”
One of the primary demands of the Black Lives Matter movement has been to defund the police. Prominent Democrat lawmakers have also backed the idea, but Biden, again, put distance between himself and the activists.
“Look, what I support are the police having the opportunity to deal with the problems they face, and I’m totally opposed to defunding the police offices,” Biden said.
“As a matter of fact police, local police, the only one defunding in his budget calls for a $400 million cut in local law enforcement assistance,” he continued. “They need more assistance.”
Notably, the Biden-Unity Task Force also calls to reimagine public safety.
4. “The violence should be prosecuted.”
Many Democrat leaders have been slow to condemn the violence perpetrated by the radical left, as seen in Democrat-run cities across the nation. However, when asked if he had called the leaders of Oregon and Portland to encourage them to “do whatever it takes” to stop the violence in Portland, Biden said that violence “should be prosecuted.”
“I don’t hold public office. Now I am a former vice president. I’ve made it clear. I’ve made it clear in my public statements that the violence should be prosecuted,” he said. “It should be prosecuted and anyone who committed it should be prosecuted.”
5. “The fact of the matter is I beat Bernie Sanders.”
During a discussion on the future of health care in America, Trump mentioned the radical left’s devotion to ushering in universal health care in the country.
“Joe, you agreed with Bernie Sanders, who’s far left, on the manifesto, we call it. And that gives you socialized medicine,” Trump said.
“I’m not going to listen to him. The fact of the matter is I beat Bernie Sanders,” Biden said, adding, “I beat him by a whole hell of a lot.”
Following the debate, Trump declared that Biden “lost” the radical left.
“Chris had a tough night. Two on one was not surprising, but fun. Many important points made, like throwing Bernie, AOC PLUS 3, and the rest, to the wolves! Radical Left is dumping Sleepy Joe,” he said. “Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership!”
“Nobody wants Sleepy Joe as a leader, including the Radical Left (which he lost last night!),” Trump added in another tweet. “He disrespected Bernie, effectively calling him a loser!”:
Chris had a tough night. Two on one was not surprising, but fun. Many important points made, like throwing Bernie, AOC PLUS 3, and the rest, to the wolves! Radical Left is dumping Sleepy Joe. Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership! https://t.co/BGbPVHau3M
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2020
Nobody wants Sleepy Joe as a leader, including the Radical Left (which he lost last night!). He disrespected Bernie, effectively calling him a loser!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2020