News & Politics

Biden Denies Democrats Are Too Liberal

(Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

Former Vice President Joe Biden told CNN in an interview that Democrats are not too far left, despite most of the party’s presidential candidates embracing “Medicare for All” and other radical, out-of-the-mainstream proposals.

Biden, speaking with CNN’s Chris Cuomo in Des Moines, Iowa, suggested that “Medicare for All” is irrational, argued that the majority of Democrats are “center left” not “way left,” and said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while “brilliant” and “bright,” did not represent Democrats who can win a general election in a competitive district or state.

Biden also addressed his performance during the first Democratic debate, saying that he wasn’t prepared for California Sen. Kamala Harris to confront him on issues of race the way she did.

The interview made clear that Biden, who is facing criticism from the left of the party amid an increasingly contentious Democratic primary, does not feel the need to sway to the left to capture the party’s base and, instead, hopes to set himself apart by embracing his moderation.

Biden may be right about many Democrats being “center-left,” but where is the “center” in American politics today?

When Joe Biden first ran for president in 1988, he was considered too liberal to win. Democrats chose the more “moderate” Bill Clinton. But today, despite Biden embracing several of the radical ideas proposed by his Democratic rivals, the former vice president is seen as “moderate.”

This is nuts. He has tilted leftward for 30 years, supporting several out-of-the-mainstream Democratic proposals including many elements of the “Green New Deal.” Joe Biden is a “moderate” like Trotsky was a moderate compared to Lenin.

Indeed, the major debate in the Democratic Party is said by the media to be how “moderate” their presidential candidate should be.

Biden’s clearest policy difference with the left — health care — was evident during the interview, too.

“I have a plan how to do that that’s rational, that will cost a hell of a lot less and that will work,” Biden said about health care, slamming Medicare for All, the liberal-backed proposal that would mandate Medicare as the single-payer system for all Americans. Biden, despite talking about health care on the trail, has yet to roll out a formal plan, but a number of his Democratic opponents in 2020, like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have fully embraced Medicare for All.

Biden said he would not abolish private insurance but would offer Medicare as “an option for anybody who in fact wants to buy into Medicare for All.”

“But if they like their employer-based insurance, which a lot of unions broke their neck to get, a lot of people like theirs, they shouldn’t have to give it up,” Biden said.

Where have we heard that one before? I guess it’s now considered “center-left” to support abolishing most private insurance.

Biden believes that “Democrats who are very progressive on social issues and very strong on education and healthcare” have the recipe for electoral success. The problem is that “very progressive” on issues like transgenderism and after-birth abortions is considered loony tunes by most Americans. How that translates into victory remains to be seen. But it’s another indication that Biden and many Democrats have lost touch with reality and why Trump — despite all — has a good shot at winning a second term.