The progressive group Justice Democrats, which backed Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar among other 2018 candidates, has come out strongly against the presidential candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a statement following Biden’s Thursday announcement, Justice Democrats hit him for being part of the party’s “old guard,” someone who does not represent the ideals for which the new Democratic Party must stand.
“The old guard of the Democratic Party failed to stop Trump, and they can’t be counted on to lead the fight against his divide-and-conquer politics today. The party needs new leadership with a bold vision capable of energizing voters in the Democratic base who stayed home in 2016,” the group said, according to a report by The Hill.
“Democrats are increasingly uniting around progressive populist policies like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, free college, rejecting corporate money, and ending mass incarceration and deportation. We don’t need someone who voted for the Iraq War, for mass incarceration, and for the Bankruptcy Reform Act while voting against gay marriage, reproductive rights, and school desegregation.”
Joe Biden is out-of-touch with the center of energy in the Democratic Party today. pic.twitter.com/CC1RcNIhqU
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) April 25, 2019
Justice Democrats was founded in January 2017 by former staffers from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ first 2016 presidential run and liberal journalists, including “The Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur and “Secular Talk” host Kyle Kulinski, Mic reported.
Seven candidates endorsed by the group won during the 2018 midterms. In addition to Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Omar in Minnesota, other winners were Reps. Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts.
The group’s cover picture on Twitter features Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Tlaib, and Omar.
Biden officially launched his long-anticipated 2020 bid with a video announcement, quoting from the Declaration of Independence and arguing President Donald Trump is actively undercutting its ideal of equality for all.
He referenced the president’s response to the Charlottesville riots of August 2017, saying, “At that moment I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.”
Trump said there were “fine people” on both sides, but added, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.”
“You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now,” Trump also stated at the time, in an apparent reference to the violent radical left-wing group, Antifa, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Biden’s video focused heavily on the presence of white nationalists seeming to blame Trump, but did not mention Antifa’s involvement.
“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden contended. “I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are — and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
Fox Business Network’s Charles Payne responded to Biden’s video announcement suggesting the candidate was engaging in hyperbole.
He noted other “threats” America experienced in 76-year-old Biden’s lifetime included World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, Flu Pandemic of 1968 (in which 100,000 died in the U.S. and 1 million worldwide), and the AIDS pandemic (which led to the deaths of approximately 675,000 Americans and millions more around the world).
Joe Biden citing President Trump comments on Charlottesville why he’s entering presidential race: “I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had seen in my lifetime.”
Other “threats” in Biden’s lifetime
Flu Pandemic 1968
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) April 25, 2019
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich agreed with Biden that the future of the U.S. is at stake in 2020, during an appearance on Fox News on Thursday.
“I agree with Joe Biden. We are in a battle for the soul of the nation,” Gingrich said. “You have Democrats now who favor killing babies after they’re born. You have Democrats who favor allowing terrorists and bombers to vote while they’re in prison.”
Sanders voiced his support for allowing Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, along with other convicted felons serving jail time, to vote during a CNN town hall earlier this week, The Hill reported.
Gingrich added, “You have Democrats who are for open borders letting anybody in who wants to. You have Democrats who want to take away your right to have private health insurance.”
The former speaker predicted Biden will be forced to take positions on these issues by the progressives in the Democratic Party.
“This is fight over the nature of America and the future of America, and the choice next year is maybe going to be the widest choice in modern times,” Gingrich said.
“If it’s Trump versus the most likely Democrats on their ticket, vowing for the things they claim they favor, I think he’s going to beat them by a surprisingly big margin.”
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