President Trump drew clear distinctions between himself and Joe Biden during Thursday’s debate. He reiterated that he is a Washington outsider, a businessman who sought government service to fix the problems caused by out-of-touch career politicians like Biden: “You’re the reason I ran, Joe,” he said.
Biden insisted this characterization is all wrong, but then proceeded to promote a radical energy agenda, saying that he would “transition from the oil industry.” Trump responded, aghast: “Oh. That’s a big statement.” Rather than walking it back, Biden retorted defiantly: “It is a big statement.” After the debate, the Biden campaign said he wants to get rid of subsidies, not end the oil industry entirely. This is exactly what happened when Biden made statements supporting the end of fracking. His campaign had to follow up by clarifying that what he really meant is that he wants to end federal subsidies. To use a favorite Biden response: “Come on, man.”
The economy is striving to recover amid a global pandemic. Biden can deny all he wants Trump’s assertion that he’s a radical whose agenda will weaken the country, but blurting out an intent to do something that would hurt struggling families in fossil fuel states — including key states Ohio and Pennsylvania — and increase America’s reliance on other nations, only lends credence to the president’s claims, and puts Biden on defense going into Election Day.
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