Former U.S. Sen. George Hanks Brown (R-Colo.), who goes by “Hank Brown,” said in a recent interview that former vice president and current Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden is by no means a moderate.
“Senator Biden is a pleasant, outgoing individual,” Brown said. He was a colleague of Biden’s in the early to mid-90s. But Brown added that Biden is certainly no moderate: “He was consistently one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate. To hear him described as a moderate could only happen only in Washington D.C.”
Hanks’ comments on Biden came in an interview with National Review when discussing the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 and comparing them to the way Democrats acted last fall during the Senate proceedings on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Thomas’s hearings, delayed the process after Democratic attacks on the judge’s qualifications for the high court failed to bring down the African-American nominee. The delay allowed Thomas’ opponents to organize and bring forward charges of sexual assault that allegedly occurred years earlier, in a last-ditch effort to remove Thomas from consideration.
Brown said that, after his years of observing Biden, the former Colorado senator does not think his former colleague is up to the task of commanding the nation’s highest office.
“I never observed in him the qualities of intellect, vision, exceptional integrity, or savvy that are required to be an effective president,” Brown said. “I will be surprised if he survives the primaries.”
Biden currently maintains a double-digit lead in the polls ahead of any other candidate in the crowded Democratic primary. According to Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of polls, Biden leads, with almost 30 percent of Democrats backing the former vice president. That’s nearly 13 percent ahead of the second-place candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), followed closely by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
A new poll released from the Pew Research Center last week, however, shows the race is still anybody’s game as a majority of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters voiced interest in several candidates and not just their first-choice preference. A majority of Biden’s supporters in particular reported significant interest in other candidates seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.
Biden has attempted to frame himself as a moderate candidate with a track record of bipartisanship during his long time in government employ, even touting his friendly relationships with segregationist senators as examples of the former Delaware senator’s civility in government. His desire to tweak far-leftists’ signature pushes for government-run health care and decriminalizing illegal border crossings has caused some to buy-in the argument, but a closer examination of Biden’s policy positions reveal his moderation is more illusion than reality.
In race where the farthest-left candidates are dominating the Democratic primary field and moderate candidates dropping out, Biden would likely not be the front-runner if he were a true centrist.