Former Vice-President Joe Biden hasn’t announced that he is running for president yet; even so, speculation that he is likely to run has led to many journalists taking a closer look at comments that he has made over the last several decades of his political career.
While the former VP is certainly known for his gaffes, his controversial stance on multiple issues could prove to be an even bigger problem with the left-wing voters he would need to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination.
Biden’s comments on race-related matters may be particularly thorny, especially given the fact that the former VP is competing against African-American presidential candidates. In the 1970s, then-Senator Joe Biden criticized the practice of bussing children to different schools in order to desegregate the school system. He told journalists that he felt that move was a waste of money.
He also stated that the Democratic Party needed a liberal version of the conservative politician George Wallace. While some would note that comments made more than thirty years ago don’t necessarily reflect the man Joe Biden is today, the fact is that not all his controversial, racially-related comments were made in the distant past. Just over ten years ago, he expressed astonishment at the fact that former President Barack Obama was an articulate, clean and nice-looking African American. He also told voters in Iowa that the state’s schools were in good shape because they didn’t have many racial minorities and said that, in Delaware, it is impossible to go into a Seven Eleven without faking an Indian accent.
This isn’t just about Biden’s dated comments on race. His policy positions, though once mainstream among Democratic voters, have long lost favor with the rabid progressive base. While most people today view him as a liberal, the truth is that he held to conservative viewpoints for most of his political career. He worked with late former President Ronald Reagan to slash taxes on the rich, supported former President Bill Clinton’s crime bill, voted against antitrust legislation and even said that the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion went too far.
At one point, liberal watchdogs said that Biden was even more conservative than a number of his Republican colleagues in the Senate. To make matters even worse, the former Vice President has been caught on camera touching women in a creepy manner so many times that he has earned himself the notorious nickname “Creepy Uncle Joe”. Once, when hugging the thirteen year old daughter of Sen. Joni Ernst, he told her that he hoped her mother had a big fence around her property. In today’s #MeToo age, it’s not unrealistic to say that such actions alone could doom Joe Biden’s career.
On one hand, it is possible that Biden will be able to overcome his past and even recent present. He is currently considered the frontrunner by a wide margin, despite not having officially jumped into the race. He has name recognition and the backing of moderate Democrats, something which most upstart Democrat presidential candidates are sorely lacking. His foreign policy experience and the fact that he is closely associated with still-popular former President Barack Obama are other important points in his favor.
However, there is no questioning the fact that, in today’s day and age, all of Joe Biden’s past comments and actions will come back to haunt him. When this happens, he will need to be prepared to explain to his own party members why he embraced causes that many of them now find anathema.
~ Conservative Zone