In 2016, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton justified her rationale for once admitting that she held both public and private positions on some of the same issues.
Clinton said during a debate that after watching the 2012 biographical drama “Lincoln,” she appreciated how the first Republican president, portrayed by actor Daniel Day-Lewis, used his sharp political skills in a deceptive strategy to accomplish bold achievements, such as getting the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery passed.
Clinton was of course excoriated by then-candidate Donald Trump for using the portrayal of Abraham Lincoln to explain away her duplicitous nature.
But since we’re on the subject of biographical tales, we can mention that history tends to repeat itself.
In 2020, Democrats have again nominated the party establishment’s preferred candidate for president, and like Clinton, Joe Biden apparently has different opinions on the same subject.
But Biden hasn’t invoked the acting of Day-Lewis to explain his inconsistency — yet.
Biden, who is also facing Trump, told voters in natural resource-rich Pennsylvania Monday that he would preserve the state’s oil and natural gas fracking industry.
The 77-year-old candidate said in Pittsburgh, “I am not banning fracking no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”
The statement came as a shock to many, given Biden’s previous statements about fracking.
The former vice president has been very clear with regard to his stance on the energy industry, as has his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.
The Daily Caller published a video which juxtaposes Biden’s Monday statement with previous statements he’s made about fracking:
Did Joe Biden lie or just not remember? pic.twitter.com/0JtfsSEt9b
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 31, 2020
As The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, during a July 2019 CNN debate, Biden said, “We would make sure it’s eliminated,” with regard to “fossil fuels, including coal and fracking.”
Not too long ago in January, Biden was also crystal clear about where he stood on hydraulic fracturing.
In an exchange with a voter in Claremont, New Hampshire, a C-SPAN camera caught Biden affirming he would hit the energy industry hard, should voters elect him.
“But what about, say, stopping fracking?” a woman asked Biden.
Biden resounded, “Yes.”
“And stopping pipeline infrastructure?” the woman asked.
Biden again responded, “Yes.”
Biden’s Monday remarks don’t align with those he made earlier this year, or with what he said during the CNN debate last July.
Perhaps Biden, who is now plagued by constant verbal missteps, forgot he vowed to kill an industry that employs 609,000 Pennsylvanians and generates $23.4 billion in annual income to the state, according to a 2019 Global Energy Institute study released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican representing Pennsylvania, previously shared the findings on Twitter:
These stats are scary: the unilateral banning of natural gas fracking by a future president would devastate the U.S./PA economies. To help safeguard against this, the Senate should pass my measure making clear that no president has the authority to ban fracking on private land. https://t.co/1Ti22PwDgK
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) December 19, 2019
Was Biden telling those listening in Pittsburgh his public position on fracking Monday?
Perhaps Biden has simply found himself lost on the campaign trail after spending the better part of the year in the basement of his Delaware home.
In any event, the former vice president’s stunning turnaround on the oil and natural gas industry won’t help to dispel notions he’s either lost a step mentally or that he is being dishonest.
Either scenario could be true, as Biden has faced questions about his apparent cognitive decline throughout the duration of his campaign, and his record with honesty has been challenged since his failed 1988 presidential bid.
Now facing blowback over irregular statements about a subject which could affect hundreds of thousands of jobs for Pennsylvanians, it might be time for Biden to invoke a Hollywood defense of his own.
Biden could always use the fictional 2007 film “There Will Be Blood,” which is about drilling for oil, and stars Day-Lewis as a charming, deceitful and cunning character who is not only unraveling mentally, but will say anything to endear himself to honest, hardworking people.
Using charm and other cunning methods to appeal to working people sounds an awful lot like running for president as a Democrat.
But Biden is a man of little charm, and unless he’s a better actor than Day-Lewis, he’s proven that he’s not the slightest bit cunning.
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