- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2019

Slipping in the polls and lagging top Democratic rivals in fundraising, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden touted a longstanding strength among “ethnic communities” at a Thursday fundraiser in Palo Alto, California.

“All kidding aside, I’ve always been able to do very, very well in ethnic communities,” Mr. Biden said, according to a pool report of the event. “And I say something outrageous, but it’s true, where I come from, the most loyal constituency I’ve had is the African-American community, I still take a look at the numbers, by far and away, that is the base of my support and loyalty and it has stayed.”

Though Sen. Elizabeth Warren has caught or even passed Mr. Biden in some recent polls in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, the former vice president has indeed retained strong support among African-Americans, a key Democratic constituency in states like South Carolina, home to the first-in-the-south primary.

At the event on Thursday, Mr. Biden also pushed back against a “socialist” vision of the country. That could be seen as a knock on Sen. Bernard Sanders, a top rival for the Democratic presidential nomination who raised more money than Mr. Biden did in the third quarter.

“You’ve got to share in the benefits. That’s been broken. You don’t need some radical, radical socialist kind of answer to any of this - you’ve just got to make capitalism work like it’s supposed to work,” Mr. Biden said.

He also said he can’t make the same mistakes Hillary Clinton did in 2016 and get dragged into a mud fight with President Trump.

“I did 83 events for Hillary, I campaigned like the devil for her,” Mr. Biden said. “But what happened was, and she talks about it, you got sucked into the trap of the stuff that Trump was laying. He wants you in a mud fight.”

“But when you respond to that, it brings you back down into that and that got us into the whole thing, anyway,” he said. “So I feel confident, based on not just the polling, but all the campaigns I’ve run.”

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