- - Wednesday, May 22, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Who is the real Joe Biden?

The media would like you believe he’s the savior to the Rust Belt with his middle-of-the-road policy positions. Yet, in an interview with ABC News last month, Mr. Biden stood up for his progressive credentials proclaiming: “I was always labeled as one of the most liberal members of the United States Congress.”

The comment was in stark contrast to an interview he gave Kitty Kelley in 1974 where he said: “When it comes to civil rights and civil liberties, I’m a liberal but that’s it. I’m really quite conservative on most other issues.”

Progressive or conservative?

Herewith in lies the problem with Mr. Biden: By spending more than 40 years in the Washington, D.C., swamp, he can be whomever you want him to be, whenever you want, depending on the political climate. He’s the epitome of a swamp monster, shifting his positions and policies as the political tides turn.



Take for example the Hyde Amendment, which restricts taxpayer money from being used to pay for abortions. Mr. Biden — a Catholic who spent 36 years in the Senate boasting about his pro-life bona fides — held firm, saying he was against federal dollars being used for abortions.

Fast forward to the 2020 presidential campaign, and it appears these long-held beliefs have shifted in the wind as his own party lurches to the left.

In response to an ACLU member asking him, if as president would he support abolishing the Hyde Amendment, Mr. Biden gave an unequivocal “yes.”

Immigration is another area of concern.

During his days in the Senate, Mr. Biden voted for border wall fencing and argued “tons” of drugs where being smuggled across the border by “corrupt Mexico.” He said the U.S. government should “punish” American employers who hired illegal immigrants, and sanctuary cities should abide by federal law. (Not too dissimilar to President Donald J. Trump’s stance.)

However, this month, while campaigning in Los Angeles, Mr. Biden backed health care for illegal immigrants, saying the U.S. has “an obligation,” to provide it. He went on to accuse President Trump of engaging in fear tactics at the U.S.-Mexican border, and not delivering real solutions (solutions of which he once supported).

The moniker “Middle-class Joe” should be questioned by all Americans.

It was Mr. Biden who advocated for the Trans-Pacific Partnership as vice president, and who as a senator voted for the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement which killed more than 700,000 American jobs, hurt U.S. wages and devastated the Rust Belt states.

“Fair trade is important,” Mr. Biden told the Associated Press on the campaign trail this month. “Not free trade. Fair trade. And I think that back in the time during the Clinton administration, it [NAFTA] made sense at the moment.”

Yet on China, Mr. Biden seems to contradict his fair-trade stance.

“They [China] can’t figure out how they’re going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. They’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not competition for us,” Mr. Biden remarked in Iowa.

The remarks were met with bipartisan condemnation. Democratic presidential hopeful Tim Ryan of Ohio called Mr. Biden’s China comments “stunningly out of touch,” and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted “it’s wrong to pretend that China isn’t one of our major economic competitors.”

Which forced Mr. Biden to retreat into familiar territory — changing his position.

“I don’t suggest China is not a problem. I’m the guy who’s been the toughest on I’ve spent more time with Xi Jinping than anybody else, just because the nature of my job,” Mr. Biden reportedly said during a South Carolina fundraiser. “He’s got problems, he’s got gigantic problems. Doesn’t mean he’s not a threat, doesn’t mean they’re not a threat.”

So, what is it Joe? Is China a threat or not a threat? Do you really support fair trade? Or only fair trade with select countries?

Mr. Biden is the kind of swamp creature the American electorate thoroughly rejected in 2016 — the status-quo politician too afraid of his or her own shadow to take the bold, reformative actions needed to better our country.

• Kelly Sadler is the communications director of America First, the official super PAC for President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 re-election bid.

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