Bi­den says white work­ing class not racist: ‘Barack and I won’

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Jes­sica Chas­mar

For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joseph R. Bi­den blamed his own party for los­ing the 2016 elec­tion, telling a crowd at the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia that Democrats ig­nored one of its core ideals dur­ing the cam­paign: main­tain­ing “a bur­geon­ing mid­dle class.”

Mr. Bi­den sat down with Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia Pres­i­dent Amy Gut­mann for a wide-rang­ing dis­cus­sion at the new Penn Bi­den Cen­ter for Diplo­macy and Global En­gage­ment. With­out specif­i­cally nam­ing Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton, the for­mer vice pres­i­dent said his party lost to Pres­i­dent Trump be­cause it failed to pay at­ten­tion to strug­gling mid­dle-class work­ers dur­ing the cam­paign.

“I think that what hap­pened was that this is the first cam­paign that I can re­call where my party did not talk about what it al­ways stood for, and that is how to main­tain a bur­geon­ing mid­dle class,” Mr. Bi­den said.

“You didn’t hear a sin­gle soli­tary sen­tence in the last cam­paign about that guy work­ing on the as­sem­bly line mak­ing $60,000 a year,” he said, “and a wife mak­ing $32,000 as a host­ess in a restau­rant, and they’re mak­ing 90 grand, and they’ve got two kids and they can’t make it — and they’re scared. They’re fright­ened, be­cause they’re not stupid.”

Mr. Bi­den said while glob­al­iza­tion has been a “phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess” on a macroe­co­nomic level, it’s also “left a lot of peo­ple be­hind.”

“All those an­gry white men we talk about that are racist — guess what? Barack and I won them,” he said. “Let’s get this straight: It wasn’t racist. They voted for a black man twice in a row, but they didn’t this time … be­cause they look out there, and they’re scared, and no one’s talk­ing to them.”

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