Biden rejects Democrats’ anger in call for national unity
His party may be enraged by Donald Trump’s presidency, but Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden insisted Saturday that Democrats will not defeat the Republican president if they pick an angry nominee.
Facing thousands of voters in his native Pennsylvania for the second time as a 2020 contender, the former vice president offered a call for bipartisan unity that seemed far more aimed at a general election audience than the fiery Democratic activists most active in the presidential primary process. He acknowledged, however, that some believe Democrats should nominate a candidate who can tap into their party’s anti-Trump anger.
“That’s what they are saying you have to do to win the Democratic nomination. I don’t believe it,” Biden declared. “I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That’s what the party’s always been about. That’s what it’s always been about. Unity.”
Biden’s moderate message highlights his chief advantage and chief liability in the early days of the nascent presidential contest, which has so far been defined by fierce resistance to Trump on the left and equally aggressive vitriol on the right. Biden’s centrist approach may help him win over independents, but it threatens to alienate liberals who favor a more aggressive approach in policy and personality to counter Trump’s turbulent presidency.
“I want aggressive change. I’m not hearing that from him yet,” said 45-year-old Jennifer Moyer of Blandon, Pa., who attended Biden’s rally and said she’s 90 percent sold on his candidacy. “I don’t want middle of the road.”