Former Vice President Joe Biden says President Donald Trump is just another populist pretender who really belongs with other “charlatans” in American politics.
He criticized the president for his fondness of social media while saying he’s using working-class voters who “become the targets for charlatans. Look what happens. Like most charlatans throughout time, you see them aggrandize themselves and consolidate their power by blaming the ‘other.'”
Biden, who has waffled over whether he plans to run for the presidency in 2020, sounded not only like a candidate at a Wednesday night Chicago speech, but also like his former boss.
As Politico reports, Biden hit all the themes that have dominated former President Barack Obama’s appearances over the last year, suggesting that America is sliding into its own dark age.
“How many of you now, whether you voted for him or not, are beginning to wonder if the roots, the invisible moral fabric that holds everything up, is eroding in a way that’s dangerous for democratic institutions?” Biden asked the audience at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “If we don’t stand up, the liberal world order we championed will quickly become an illiberal world order we suffer.”
Along the way, Biden bemoaned the sinister attempts by Russia to undermine U.S. elections and suggested that Trump was “yielding to all the wrong impulses” by canceling the Paris climate accord and not demonstrating unequivocal support for NATO. Biden was unapologetic for supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, even though his own party was deeply divided over it.
The former VP even raised the spectre of Charlottesville and white supremacy, implying it too was part of the threat represented by Trump; but Biden promised to “continue to stand up and speak” because otherwise, “silence is complicity.”
In what might someday be a campaign rallying cry, Biden declared:
“I’m not pessimistic about the fate of the world. Just get up. Get up. Look at who the hell we are,” Biden said. “The American public has never fallen short.”