Former Vice President and current Democratic nomination frontrunner Joe Biden is taking flack from all angles, including some that have supported his efforts in the recent past. They’re scrutinizing every word he says publicly and calling him out for inconsistencies. And after a very long career in politics that he’s trying to culminate by appealing to progressives, there are plenty of inconsistencies to highlight.
The latest is his claim that he is being improperly characterized for his role in passing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, still the largest crime bill in American history.
“I didn’t support more money to build state prisons. I was against it. We should be building rehab centers and not prisons,” he said Saturday at a rally in South Carolina.
Except, he did support more money to build state prisons. The bill, which he helped write, authorized $9.7 billion in new funding for prisons. CNN called him out on it:
Biden expressed unequivocal support, in both 1994 and in the years following, for the law’s billions in funding to build state prisons, including in his home state of Delaware. He argued in 1994 that the law should include less money for prison construction than Republicans wanted to spend — but he emphasized that he too wanted to spend billions.
His campaign is trying to spin it as him saying he wanted less money in the bill for prisons than Republicans were requesting. This is almost certainly true, but the spirit of his statements regarding the bill do not match with the facts. He’s distancing himself from the bill rather than trying to justify his support. That’s a mistake. Instead, he should be saying the bill was a necessary fix at the time and he stands behind his view that rising crime rates needed to be addressed through stronger law enforcement presence and resources. He should be showing how the bill worked (which it did, to some extent) to change trends in crime rates. And if he wants to appeal to progressives today, he should then say the bill was the last required expansion to slow crime back then, but now he’s ready to walk it back to match current needs.
For some reason, his campaign is stuck in the middle trying to appeal to everyone. Instead, he needs to go straight into general election mode and assume he’s going to be the nominee, offering real policy proposals and countering the leftist lurch within his own party. I’m not one who likes giving advice to the Democrats, but it’s pitiful watching how ineptly his campaign is handling everything being thrown at him. This is how he loses the nomination.
It’s odd that someone so firmly planted at the top of the pack is struggling to drive the narrative. He’s reacting rather than going on the offensive, which seems to be indicative of the state of the Democratic Establishment today. The radicals rule them now.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
[gravityform id=”2″ title=”true” description=”false”]