- The Washington Times - Friday, April 24, 2020

The news that former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has Joseph R. Biden’s ear as an economic adviser isn’t sitting well with liberal activists who have been critical of his presidential campaign.

Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement announced on Friday they are launching a petition calling on Mr. Biden to sever all ties with Mr. Summers — marking the latest in a series of demands that far-left groups say could help the former vice president bolster his support among younger voters.

“Larry Summers’ legacy is advocating for policies that contributed to the skyrocketing inequality and climate crisis we’re living with today,” the groups said in a joint statement. “We hope Biden publicly rejects Summers’ role as an economic advisor to better earn the trust of our generation.”

News reports surfaced Thursday that the Biden camp’s team of outside economic advisers included Mr. Summers.

Seeking to quell liberal concerns, a Biden adviser told Reuters that the presumptive Democratic nominee is listening to “a very large and well-rounded informal network of experts” on the policy front.

“Joe Biden’s will be the most progressive agenda of any president in generations, and he looks forward to his continuing engagement with progressive leaders to build on his existing policies and further the bold goals driving his campaign,” the adviser said.

The response, though, evidently was not enough for some.

Justice Democrats, the group which helped give rise to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the Sunrise Movement, said Mr. Summers’ record shows that he doesn’t share their liberal economic worldview.

They said he has not done enough to support the clean energy movement, advocated for the Keystone XL Pipeline, and opposes a “wealth tax” on the nation’s richest individuals.

They also pointed out that Mr. Summers, as president of Harvard in 2005, “offended women attending a conference by suggesting that innate differences in sex may explain why fewer women succeed in science and math professions.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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