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As Trump Invokes Leftists, Biden Says President ‘Thinks He’s Running Against Someone Else’

Topline

President Donald Trump spent much of the final presidential debate playing a familiar strategy, trying to tie Biden to progressive Democratic politicians to paint him as a radical, a narrative Biden firmly rejected.

Key Facts

Numerous times throughout the debate, Trump evoked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-identified democratic socialist who lost to Biden in the Democratic primary, accusing Biden of advocating “socialized medicine” in his support for a public option.

Apparently misidentifying Sanders as the governor, rather than the senator, of Vermont, Trump claimed he tried what Biden wants to do with health care in his state and that it didn’t work.

Biden shot back that Trump is a “very confused guy” who “thinks he’s running against someone else,” declaring “he’s running against Joe Biden. I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them.”

Trump’s claim that Biden and Sanders share the same view on health care was swiftly fact checked by CNN’s Daniel Dale, who tweeted Trump is “just lying when he says Biden would get rid of private health insurance for 180 million.”

“Biden has vocally rejected a Sanders-style ‘Medicare for All’ that’d eliminate most private plans,” Dale noted, while conceding there are “legitimate questions” about the availability of private plans under a public option.

Trump continued to try to tie Biden to leftist politicians throughout the night, including calling his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), “more liberal” than Sanders and claiming incorrectly his energy policy comes from “AOC+3,” a reference to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the progressive “squad.”

Chief Critic

“I hope that progressives are listening when #JoeBiden says he defeated the ideas advanced by Bernie Sanders,” tweeted Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins, a labor unionist and self-identified socialist. 

Crucial Quote

“While Joe and I disagree on the best path to get to universal coverage, his proposal will greatly expand access to health care and make it more affordable for tens of millions of people across this country,” Sanders, who has been one of Biden’s most active surrogates, said while campaigning in New Hampshire earlier this month. “It is no great secret that Joe Biden and I disagree on a number of issues, that’s a fact.”

Big Number

33%. That’s the share of registered voters who said in a YouGov poll released Wednesday that they perceive Biden as “moderate,” with 33% saying he is “very liberal,” 20% saying he is “liberal” and 5% saying he is “conservative.” Trump, by contrast, was seen as moderate by just 14%, with 27% viewing him as very conservative and 32% viewing him as conservative. Biden leads Trump by 7 points in that poll, winning 55% of self-identified moderates to Trump’s 30%.

Source: Forbes – Business

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