Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that he’s committed to campaigning in the deep south and that if he’s the Democratic nominee he will defeat President Trump in Texas, Georgia and South Carolina, among other traditionally red states.
Speaking Monday at the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress at Trinity Washington University, a predominantly black and Hispanic school on the northeast side of the city, Biden was asked if he would fight to win the support from poor whites, blacks and Latinos in the South.
“I plan on campaigning in the South,” Biden said. “If I’m your nominee I’m winning Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, believe it or not, and I believe we can win Texas and Florida. Look at the polling there now … I have no intention of walking away.”
Democrats are bullish on their prospects in Texas after former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) nearly won Sen. Ted Cruz's (R) seat in 2018. New polls show Biden running neck and neck with Trump there.
Those public opinion surveys have Democrats eyeing an expanded path to the White House, although no Democratic presidential candidate has won in Georgia since 1992 and you have to go back to 1976 for the last time the party carried South Carolina.
Biden is one of 10 Democratic presidential contenders addressing the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress on Monday at Trinity Washington University.
Biden slammed Trump, saying the president had created an atmosphere in which different classes and races of people are seeking scapegoats for their personal struggles.
“We have to stop letting these guys use the divisions that exist in the country as charlatans always do to divide the country,” Biden said. “We have a guy in the White House who has turned that into an art form.”
Hundreds of activists from all 50 states gathered for the event inside the Trinity gymnasium, where they danced and sang spiritual hymnals and advocated for “a national call for moral revival” with a focus on closing the wealth gap between white people and racial minorities in the U.S.
Religious leaders here attacked the “systemic racism” they said had created an economic underclass of racial minorities and warned that the GOP’s “Christian nationalism” had exacerbated the divide.
“Our policies discriminate against and devalue black people, Native Americans, people of color, women and LGBTQ people,” Biden said.
The Poor People’s Campaign is led by the Rev. William Barber II, the black religious leader in Washington whose events have become a must-stop for the 2020 Democratic contenders. Barber started the “Moral Mondays” movement in North Carolina, which is credited with helping to elect a Democratic governor and cut into the GOP’s majority in the state Congress.
Polls show Biden, the Democratic front-runner who served as vice president under the first black president in history, with strong support among African Americans.
According to an Economist-YouGov poll released last week, 50 percent of black Democratic primary voters said they support Biden. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was a distant second place at 10 percent support, followed by Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), who is of Indian and Jamaican descent, at 7 percent support.
On Monday, Biden said he’d eliminate loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and the GOP’s tax cuts to pay for new programs for the poor. Biden also said he’d cut the military budget and pull the U.S. out of costly foreign conflicts to pay for new initiatives, such as free community college and new child tax credits.
“We have all the money we need to do it,” Biden said. Read more at The Hill