Former Vice President Joe Biden has everything in place for his 2020 presidential campaign.
Ahead of his expected formal announcement in April, Biden has been working diligently behind the scenes of the Democratic Party. With two key rivals getting out of the way this week — Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg both announced they would sit out 2020 — Biden’s road to the White House has a lot more space to run than his rival Democratic candidates.
There’s just one problem — Biden has to get past the energized radical left in the Democratic Party. And a 1975 quote from Biden on racially segregated schools and slave reparations has just resurfaced that could undo his 2020 campaign before it begins.
“When Joe Biden was a freshman senator in the mid-1970s, his home state of Delaware, like other hotspots across the country, was engulfed in a bitter battle over school busing, debating whether children should be sent to schools in different neighborhoods to promote racial diversity,” The Washington Post reported Thursday.
What Biden said has the far-left calling for his head.
“I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race,’ ” Biden told a Delaware newspaper in 1975. “I don’t buy that.”
In the same interview, he also dismissed slavery reparations — something being promised by Democratic candidates heading into 2020. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have both promised Democrats that they’d push for reparations payments if they’re election in 2020.
In his 1975 interview, Biden said he’d be “damned” if he’d ever support that idea.
“I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather,” Biden said. “I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation. And I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.”
Before the quote surfaced, Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were consistently leading in early surveys of the 2020 Democratic field.
Biden will have to face vulnerabilities as well. He is famously prone to gaffes, and was forced to apologize last week after he admitted that Vice President Mike Pence is a “decent guy.”
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Ultimately, Democrats are weighing how to keep their grip on the increasingly radical far-left without alienating the average American voter.
Can Biden actually offer that?
— The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article