‘It’s not a crutch. You can ask President Obama…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Former Vice President Joe Biden, who presently leads the polls for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, has touted his service under President Barack Obama as part of his stump speech—so much that he’s been accused of using Obama as a crutch.
Biden responded to the criticism at a forum in Detroit sponsored by the NAACP.
“It’s not a crutch,” he said. “You can ask President Obama. I don’t need any crutch.”
The Associated Press said that Biden’s reliance on the former president is an indication of the fragile nature of his frontrunner status.
While Obama is popular with African Americans, many other voters in the party are looking for the party’s standard bearer to lead it in a new direction—an even more liberal one.
These liberal voters think that it’s not enough to go back to the pre-Trump era. They think drastic change is needed—and they support other candidates like Pete Buttigieg, who has made his youth part of his message.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, made what many viewed as a veiled shot at the former vice president. “We will not and cannot win if our message as a Democrat Party is ‘We’re just going to go back to normal,’” he said.
Despite his popularity with African Americans—in no small part due to his role in the Obama administration—Biden has faced repeated criticism over the past few weeks for his handling of civil rights issues during his long senatorial career.
Biden’s support of the 1994 crime bill during Bill Clinton‘s presidency has also become a major issue.
“We had a gigantic epidemic in America of violence, particularly in African–American communities,” Biden said. “We have now a systemic problem in too many African Americans in jail right now. So I think we should shift the whole focus from what we’re doing in terms of incarceration to rehabilitation.”
And, responding to attacks on his civil-rights record, Biden once again used Obama as a crutch.
“I doubt he would have picked me [as vice president] if these accusations about being wrong on civil rights are correct,” Biden stated.