Biden Mocks Bernie on Socialism, Inconsistency: 'This Is America!'
In the third Democratic debate, former Vice President Joe Biden went on the offensive against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). He got two strong jabs at the democratic socialist. The first involved Bernie's broken record about "every other major country on Earth." The second jab called Bernie out for claiming to be a socialist but trusting corporate America.
Sanders launched into another diatribe about how America spends more on health care than "any other major country on Earth." Bernie constantly uses the "any other major country on Earth" line to refer to how the U.S. stacks up to other countries in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Attacking Bernie's focus on other countries, Biden chimed in, "This is America." Sanders responded, "Yeah, but Americans don't want to pay twice as much as other countries."
Yet Bernie missed the point. Americans have a unique situation on health care for a myriad of reasons. The system is complicated and needs reform, but it is ours. Bernie's constant comparisons to other countries is a rhetorical tactic to support his radical single-payer Medicare for All plan, which Americans do not want.
"This is America," is a strong response to Bernie's broken record about the U.S. failing when compared to "every other major country on Earth." As for how the U.S. stacks up to other OECD countries, America's poorest 20 percent consumes more resources than the average person in 64 percent of OECD countries. America is unique, and its health care system needs unique reform.
Furthermore, it is a good response to Bernie Sanders, who vacationed in the Soviet Union because he preferred its communist system.
Biden's jab also involved health care, specifically whether employers will essentially refund the money for health care benefits.
"My friend from Vermont thinks that the employer’s going to give you back — if you negotiated with the union all these years, got a cut in wages because you got insurance. They’re gonna give back that money to the employee?" Biden asked Sanders.
"Matter of fact, they will," Bernie replied.
"For a socialist, you've got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do," Biden quipped.
What a creative attack. Biden knew it, and he tweeted it out.
The former vice president clearly aimed to knock Bernie Sanders down a peg. Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are gaining on Biden in the polls. The former vice president is still the Democratic frontrunner, but he seems to have realized he needs to fend off these two rising challengers.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had her moment in attacking Biden in the first debate. Now Biden is taking up this offensive strategy on the defense — to preserve his leading position. In the case of Bernie Sanders, he may do well. After all, Sanders was very hoarse during the debate.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.