There were not many stand-out moments in Thursday’s Democratic primary debate, but one was presidential candidate Joe Biden blatantly admitting that he would be willing to cut the jobs of “hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers” in order to pursue a greener economy.
“Vice President Biden, I’d like to ask you, three consecutive American presidents have enjoyed stints of explosive economic growth due to oil and gas production,” Politico moderator Tim Alberta said, providing context for the question: “As president, would you be willing to sacrifice some of that growth, even knowing potentially that it could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers in the interest transitioning to that greener economy?”
“The answer is yes,” Biden answered, BizPac Review reports.
He continued: “The answer is yes because the opportunity — the opportunity for those workers to transition to high-paying jobs … is real. We’re the only country in the world that’s ever taken great, great crises and turned them into enormous opportunities. I’ve met with the union leaders.”
BizPac Review adds:
Continuing his response Thursday, Biden then listed out some of the economically damaging regulations and requirements he’d impose if he were president.
These regulations and requirements included that every building be “energy contained” and that every highway contain charging stations. He claimed that the latter regulation would create “millions of jobs.”
“We shouldn’t build another new highway in America that doesn’t have charging stations on it,” he said. “We have an opportunity to put 550,000 charging stations so that we own the electrical vehicle market, creating millions of jobs for people installing them, as well as making sure that we own the electric vehicle market.”
“There are so many things we can do, and we have to make sure we explain it to those people who are displaced, that their skills are going to be needed for the new opportunities,” he added.
Despite the remarks, George Mason University political science professor Jennifer Victor wrote in Politico magazine that Biden “did not fumble in the debate” and is not likely to lose any political ground as a result.
“We’re only 46 days away from the Iowa caucuses, so the stakes are getting higher. Biden has been ahead in national polls throughout 2019, and we’re getting to the point where the race is his to lose. Biden did not fumble in this debate,” she wrote. “He had some good moments and came across as steady, informed and aggressive where he needed to be. Debates are not generally big game changers, and this one was frankly no different. Biden was ahead before, with Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg competing for second place, and those rankings do not change after this debate.”