Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Calls Out Media For Painting AOC As Representative Of Democratic Party
Former Vice President and Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden answered a question about Medicare for All by pivoting blame on the media, saying AOC is “a bright, wonderful person,” but not representative of the Democratic party as a whole. “You guys got it all wrong about what happened,” Biden told journalist Mike Allen on Axios on HBO. “You sound like Trump. Fake News,” Allen pointedly responded. Initially, Biden agreed, but then went on to reframe what Trump calls “Fake News” as simply “bad judgment.” Biden claims that the media’s assertion that “AOC was the new party” were “all wrong,” and that the Democratic party and its voters are not ready to relinquish private health insurance and adopt Medicare for all.
“Come on, man,” Joe Biden implored the journalist to see his perspective.
In a teaser trailer for Axios on HBO’s interview with presidential candidate Joe Biden, his view on the media took center stage. In fact, journalist Mike Allen prompted Biden’s response by asking if Medicare for all is “political suicide.” Before Allen could finish his sentence, Biden interrupts to chuckle, “The party’s not there at all.” Allen asserts that “Some of your opponents are,” but Biden doesn’t bite. He continues to state, “Yeah, but the party’s not there. You know the numbers. You guys got it all wrong about what happened.”
“You sound like Trump. Fake news.” Allen posits. “I do. No, look, it’s not fake, it’s just bad judgment,” Biden responds in an attempt to differentiate the semantics around a presidential candidate attempting to discredit negative media criticism. “You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary,” Biden added, referencing media stories that “AOC was the new party.” He goes on to add that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is “a bright, wonderful person, but where’s the party? Come on, man.”
However, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll shows that “a slight majority of Americans say they favor [“Medicare-for-all”].”
The poll results, published just last month, states that “overall, a majority of Democrats and about half of independents favor a national Medicare-for-all plan while most Republicans oppose.” The only dissent boils down to misinformation about the existing proposals on the table. KFF polling found that Americans “know little about how the leading Medicare-for-all proposals would reshape the way all Americans get and pay for health care, and public support for Medicare-for-all shifts significantly when people hear arguments about potential tax increases or delays in medical tests and treatment.”
The “what” is settled. The majority of Americans want Medicare-for-all. The “how” is still up for debate, and what Americans hope to see settled on the debate stage. The KFF polling found that Americans are more likely to support “incremental changes to expand the public health insurance program” rather than completely replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and private health insurance altogether with an entirely new proposal. The polling makes it clear that Democrats are far beyond the question of whether or not to expand public health care. They want to understand how their candidates-of-choice will expand public health care.
Biden’s top opponents, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have campaigned on Medicare-for-All.
In fact, the same KFF poll found that Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaign was what tilted Americans toward a majority favorability of government healthcare. “This is America. You should not go bankrupt because you’re diagnosed with a serious illness,” 2020 Democratic hopeful, Sanders, tweeted this week. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has endorsed Bernie Sanders for President, both of whom identify as Democratic Socialists. Both AOC and Sanders have a shared vision of free public college, guaranteed family leave, and free healthcare for all, often citing the successful examples of other European countries that offer those same solutions for basic human needs.
Thus far, the YouTube comments on the Axios on HBO trailer are telling. The top three comments, in order, are “Jose is the part of the party we’d like to leave behind tbh,” “Senile Grumpy Old Joe !!!!!!” and “‘you should vote for Trump’ – Joe Biden 2019.”
Most recently, AOC criticized Biden for asking Cory Booker to issue an apology for criticizing Biden’s insensitivities to Black history in the United States.
In June, Biden shared an anecdote that was meant to attest to his political diplomacy, about how he worked with segregationist Senators James Eastland and Herman Talmadge. Democratic hopeful Senator Cory Booker demanded an apology to the American people for paternalistic story during which Biden referred to Black men as “boys.” Booker’s demand for an apology has been outstanding since June 2019. “You don’t joke about calling black men ‘boys,'” Booker said.
In response, Biden said he didn’t have a “racist bone” in his body, saying the American people and elected officials should “know better,” adding, “I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career. Apologize for what? Cory should apologize. He knows better.” AOC took to Twitter to shoot back, “For the record, Cory Booker does *not* owe Joe Biden an apology for pointing out that waxing nostalgic about working with segregationists is insensitive. ‘He knows better?’ Really? What is ‘better?’ To stay quiet about it?”