Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden insisted Saturday that Democrats will not defeat the Republican president if they pick an angry nominee, according to an AP report.
Edited by: JV Staff
Campaigning in his native Pennsylvania as a 2020 contender for the White House, Biden offered a call for bipartisan unity that seemed far more aimed at a general election audience than the far left Democratic activists most active in the presidential primary process, such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, among others. He acknowledged, however, that some believe Democrats should nominate a candidate who can tap into their party’s anti-Trump anger.
“It’s hard to imagine how Joe Biden is not angry,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the liberal group known as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has long supported Elizabeth Warren’s presidential ambitions.
“Has he been living in the Trump era? Kids are being torn away from their mothers’ arms at the border,” Green continued. “It’s completely legitimate to have righteous outrage at this horrible Trump moment in history, and to want a candidate who will channel that anger toward positive change.”
“That’s what they are saying you have to do to win the Democratic nomination. Well, I don’t believe it,” Biden declared. “I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That’s what the party’s always been about. That’s what it’s always been about. Unity.”
The AP report indicated that Biden’s moderate message highlights his chief advantage and chief liability in the early days of the nascent presidential contest, which has so far been defined by fierce resistance to Trump on the left and equally aggressive vitriol on the right. Biden’s centrist approach may help him win over independents, but it threatens to alienate liberals who favor a more aggressive approach in policy and personality to counter Trump’s turbulent presidency.
The event was the culmination of a three-week campaign rollout that began and ended in Pennsylvania, home to Biden’s campaign headquarters and where he was brought up. The 76-year-old native of working-class Scranton, Pennsylvania, has climbed to the front of the crowded primary field, in part by ignoring his Democratic rivals and focusing on his ability to compete with Trump head-to-head next year, according to the AP report.
In the fight to deny Trump reelection, no states will matter more than Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, three states the Republican president carried by razor-thin margins in 2016.
Biden is betting big that voters in the Midwest and beyond will ultimately embrace his optimistic appeal.
Biden’s campaign security team estimated that the Saturday event, which closed down a Philadelphia thoroughfare and attracted a huge police presence, drew an estimated 6,000 people. Compared with events held by some of his top rivals — and certainly Trump’s rallies — the crowd was large, but not overwhelming.