In January, a CNN anchor said that if Biden ran for president that he would be the “quintessential centrist” of the 2020 Democratic primary. An op-ed in The Guardian last month by Geoffrey Kabaservic dubbed Joe Biden “the ultimate centrist Democrat.” Last week, CNBC political reporter Kevin Breuninger wrote a piece with the headline “Mike Pence accuses centrist Joe Biden of ‘advocating a socialist agenda’ like other 2020 Democrats,” and mocked those “Lumping Biden with some of the most progressive voices in the race under the umbrella of socialism” suggesting it “may be intended to harden moderate Republicans against the former vice president, as well as stoke additional infighting within the Democratic field.”
For months, the media has been perpetuating the idea that Joe Biden, the same Joe Biden who was Barack Obama’s vice president, is a centrist. This alleged centrism was supposed to stand in stark contrast to radical far-left (euphemistically dubbed “progressive”) candidates who had already jumped in. Now that he’s officially in the race, I’ve been waiting to see evidence of Joe Biden’s so-called centrism, but I haven’t seen any evidence so far, and there was little evidence to support this claim beforehand.
Right now, what matters most is whether Biden is living up to his manufactured reputation as a centrist. In the short time he’s been a presidential contender, the answer is clear: he has not.
Biden, who recently claimed he “doesn’t have time” to give details about his healthcare plan, has now given one detail: The United States (read: taxpayers) should provide healthcare to illegal immigrants. “Look, I think that anyone who is in a situation where they are in need of health care, regardless of whether they are documented or undocumented, we have an obligation to see that they are cared for,” Biden said during a campaign stop in Los Angeles this week.
According to a Rasmussen report released this week, 76 percent of likely voters oppose government benefits for illegal immigrants. While Republican voters more strongly oppose government benefits for illegal immigrants, “Most voters in nearly all demographic categories agree that individuals need to prove they are in this country legally before being eligible for local, state or federal government benefits.” In other words, Joe Biden’s position on this issue is way out of the mainstream for the entire country.
Biden, whose foreign policy credentials got him picked to be Obama’s running mate, dismisses the threat of China. “They’re not competition for us,” he said. Biden’s ignorance of the threat of China is all too reminiscent of Obama’s dismissal of ISIS as a “jayvee team.” Is it just anti-Trump posturing, or does it have to do with his son’s connections with the government of China?
Biden has called on Attorney General William Barr to resign and believes holding Barr in contempt (for following the law) is the right thing. He also claims the Second Amendment “is being badly interpreted, it’s not consistent with what our founders intended.” He’s also made the bizarre claim that Republicans are bringing back Jim Crow laws.
I’m still waiting for Biden to prove himself to be the centrist the media has been desperate to paint him as. So far, he’s done nothing to distinguish himself as the reasonable candidate in a clown car full of far-left radicals who are way outside the mainstream of America. So far, Biden looks and sounds just like every other rabidly anti-Trump socialist Democrat running for president.
Biden’s current frontrunner status is largely due to his universal name recognition. He might want to be seen as a centrist in the general election to win votes from Obama voters who supported Trump in 2016, or Never Trumpers looking for a moderate Democrat to support, but right now he’s trying to win support from the Democratic base, and you don’t do that by being a moderate Democrat–if such a thing even exists.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis