- The Washington Times - Monday, November 13, 2017

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden told an NBC audience Monday that he wouldn’t worry much about a potential 2020 matchup against President Trump because he’s “Middle-class Joe.”

A hypothetical election showdown between Mr. Biden, 77, and Mr. Trump was laid before a “Megyn Kelly Today” audience to start the week when the former vice president said blue-collar voters “love” him more than the president. He said that while he is still unsure about future plans, his connection with middle-class voters is not in doubt.

“You’ve already run twice and lost,” Ms. Kelly said. “You’d have to promise that it would be one term only. And the blue-collar Rust Belters who you’d need to get elected already love [President] Donald Trump.”

“They love me more, but you’re right — all the first part is correct,” Mr. Biden replied, The Washington Free Beacon reported. “I understand the Rust Belt. Donald Trump has no notion what those people are going through.

“They call me ‘Middle-class Joe,’” Mr. Biden continued. “Well, it’s not meant as a compliment in Washington. It means I’m not sophisticated, but I understand. I understand what built this country, and the only thing I know I know is the middle class, their hopes, their aspirations, because it’s where I come from. It’s what I am.”

Mr. Biden’s comments come roughly two months after the University of Delaware’s Biden Institute unveiled a “worker first” initiative, which aims to prepare Americans for massive changes in the economy due to technological advances.

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“I’m not prognosticating about what will happen four years from now, but I do know that there is a need to respond to the genuine concerns of these people who have reason to be concerned,” Mr. Biden said. “They’re worried about digitalization; they’re worried about artificial intelligence; they’re worried about ‘will there be a job for me?’”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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