Joe Biden former vice president of the United States of America, a Democrat runner for the 2020 election kick off his campaign rally today calling for unity in politics while mocking Trump, calling him a “Divider in Chief”
Amid the calls of unity, Biden looked past the upcoming primary contest and jumped into general election mode, reserving time to namecheck his would-be opponent.
“Our politicians, today traffics in division and our president is the divider-in-chief, but he’s not the only one, far from it,” Biden said in his address in Philadelphia. “He’s just the worst practicioner of politics that singles out, scapegoats and demonizes.”
“Our politics has become so mean, so petty, so negative, so partisan, so angry and so unproductive,” he said. “Instead of debating our opponents we demonize them. Instead of questioning judgements, we question their motives. Instead of listening, we shout.”
In the speech, he made reference to the angrier rhetoric coming from his fellow primary rivals and distanced himself from it.
“Some of the smart folks say Democrats don’t want to hear about unity. They say Democrats are so angry that the angrier a candidate can be the better chance he or she has to to win the Democratic nomination,” he said. “Well, I don’t believe it. I really don’t, I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That’s what our party’s always been about.”
The speech taps into the perception of Biden as a more centrist candidate, who supporters say can clinch vital swing states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that went to Trump in 2016.
But he could face a difficult time in the primaries, with 22 other opponents so far and many of them pulling the party to the left on issues such as taxation, Medicare-for-all, impeaching President Trump and the Green New Deal.
Biden emphasized his calls for unity when he said that he does not want to demonize Republicans or his fellow Democrats. When some in the crowd yelled at a protester, Biden said: “That’s not how we do it. That’s how other campaigns do it but that’s not how we do it.”
He later said he was hoping to offer “a different path.”
“If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead with a clenched fist, closed hand and a hard heart, to demonize your opponents and spew hatred — they don’t need me, they’ve got President Donald Trump” he said to boos.
He later said he knows how to work with Republicans “because I’ve done it,” in reference to his decades in the Senate, where he worked with Republicans on various pieces of legislation.
But that more open stance toward some Republicans may be controversial among some in the party’s left-wing base. In February, Biden walked back his description of Vice President Mike Pence as a “decent guy” after criticism from “Sex and the City” actress and activist Cynthia Nixon called him out.
He was on safer territory with activists on Saturday when he hailed former President Barack Obama as “an extraordinary man” and spoke of Obama’s record on passing ObamaCare and the Recovery Act — items that Biden will likely tout in part as his credentials for running for office.
He also claimed that Trump inherited a good economy from an “Obama/Biden administration, just like he inherited everything else in his life” — a barb that drew some of the loudest applause in his speech.
Biden’s campaign relaunch comes as the former vice president has shot to the top of polls for the Democratic nomination, and his lead appears to be growing.
A Poll published Friday found that among Democratic primary voters, Biden’s 35 percent (up from 31 percent in March) leaves Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in a distant second place with 17 percent (down from 23 percent). All other candidates are in single digits.
Biden also performs best in hypothetical 2020 matchups. Among all registered voters, he leads Trump by 11 points (49-38 percent), up from a 7-point advantage in March.
Biden’s is the only lead outside the margin of sampling error in the matchups tested — and he is the only Democrat to push Trump’s support below 41 percent.
Biden has aligned himself closely with Obama, drawing major support from African-American voters, and he went out of his way Saturday to highlight their alliance and to praise Obama’s “courage,” character and vision.
In doing so he took another swipe at the current Republican president, who has routinely boasted about the well-performing US economy.
“President Trump inherited an economy from the Obama/Biden administration that was given to him, just like he inherited everything else in his life,” he said.
Biden styles himself, like Trump, as an ardent defender of working-class Americans, someone who can win back the Midwestern, white, male blue-collar voters who went for the Republican in 2016.
Trump has insisted he does not see Biden “as a threat.”
But he has bestowed a negative nickname on his rival — “Sleepy Joe” — and scheduled a campaign rally for Monday in northern Pennsylvania, near Scranton.
But as voters start paying more attention, Biden — who to date has campaigned mostly in broad strokes — will be under pressure to flesh out positions on everything from health care and wages to immigration.
Some rivals have already hit out at Biden over reports he plans to unveil a “middle ground” approach to tackling climate change.
Biden played on the criticism, quipping, “If you want to know what the first and most important plan in my climate proposal is: Beat Trump. Beat Trump. Beat Trump.”
Despite progressives’ criticism, Biden has swiftly emerged as the mushrooming primary field’spacesetter as the race heats up, topping every national poll since he announced his White House bid last month and hauling in millions of dollars in donations.
With Biden’s focus squarely on the general election, the only Democrat he mentioned was his ace in the hole, former President Barack Obama, whose association he flaunted to add an extra jab at Trump.
Joe Biden earlier on based his presidential campaign headquarters in Philadelphia, his team announced Thursday.
The move, which came as no surprise, is the latest signal that the former vice president and current clear front-runner in the race for Democratic presidential nomination is focused on winning the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania in what he hopes will be a 2020 general election showdown against Republican President Trump.