Joe Biden has been in Washington for decades, but we still don’t know where he actually stands on important issues.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that many Ohio workers are far more puzzled by Biden’s agenda today than when he announced his run for president last year. Back then, the mainstream media fawned over Biden as a “moderate” candidate who could unite the fractured Democrat Party and save it from being taken over by the radical left. But today, Biden’s political agenda has morphed into a carbon-copy of the far-left platforms that frightened the Democrat establishment into rallying around Biden months ago.
At first, Biden fully embraced the “moderate” label given to him by the Democrats and the media, striving to make himself look like a general election candidate while his opponents were staking out positions calculated to energize the party’s liberal base. During public events, the former vice president frequently touted the accomplishments of the Obama administration, dismissing “progressive” concerns that it did not go far enough on issues like healthcare and immigration. Even during the Democratic primary debates, Biden defended his record under Obama, pushing back on attacks from progressives like Sen. Kamala Harris (who, of course, is now his running mate).
Perplexingly, though, Biden ran from that “moderate” persona almost as soon as he locked up the nomination, undergoing a political metamorphosis that left him looking more like an ideological bomb thrower.
In a surprise move, Biden partnered with self-described “democratic socialist” Sen. Bernie Sanders, releasing a joint policy platform ahead of the Democrat National Convention last month that his team devised in conjunction with his top rival from the primaries. The policy manifesto — which copied several of Sanders’ proposals verbatim — smeared our law enforcement, committed to unprecedented environmental regulations, and vowed to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens in the U.S.
The far left instantly hailed Biden as their new champion, with Obama openly declaring that his former understudy has adopted the “most progressive platform” of any major party nominee in U.S. history.
Notably, Biden has also been troublingly inconsistent on a number of key policy issues that are important to voters in states like Ohio. Years ago, for instance, he supported building physical barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border — but no longer.
“Folks, I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won’t like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,” he once admitted. Now, however, Biden openly criticizes President Trump’s border wall, vowing to undo his border security policies if he ever gets elected to the White House.
After decades of supporting the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion, Biden also reversed himself on that important policy in order to better fit in with his party’s increasingly radical pro-abortion stance.
Biden’s infamous energy policy is another source of widespread confusion. At first, Biden repeatedly pledged to ban the practice of fracking — a radical move that would destroy a whopping 700,000 Ohio jobs and reduce our state GDP by $245 billion. But then, Biden made a conscious effort to soften his rhetoric, insisting that he won’t issue an outright ban on fracking in the U.S. At the same time, however, his policy platform embraces a campaign to phase out fossil fuels — something that can’t be achieved without job-killing environmental regulations.
Even Biden’s stance on law and order seems to have shifted over the past few months — presumably in recognition that coddling rioters and looters would hurt his standing among ordinary Americans. After months of calculated silence and occasional expressions of support for the “peaceful protesters” burning down our cities, the Democrat nominee began to actively condemn the “defund the police” radicals at the end of August, unconvincingly scoffing at the very idea that he has a soft spot for rioters.
Democrats try to defend their nominee by retorting that Republicans don’t know how to label Biden — but that’s only because Biden still has no clue how to label himself.
Does he support fracking, or does he want to phase out fossil fuels? Does he embrace social justice radicals, or does he back our law enforcement? Does he endorse physical barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, or does he want to weaken our border security?
Biden keeps changing his stance on the most critical issues of this election, and there’s no way to predict where his next flip-flop might take him.
Ohioans deserve to have a president who keeps his promises — not a puppet who breaks his vows at the pleasure of his masters. We simply can’t afford to gamble the future of our state on a presidential candidate who doesn’t even know what he stands for.
Ken Blackwell served as the mayor of Cincinnati, state treasurer for Ohio, and secretary of state for Ohio. He currently serves on the board of directors for Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers Union.