Former Vice President Joe Biden is making his first trip to Iowa today after entering the 2020 presidential race. Biden currently sits at the top of public opinion polls here and with party history showing the last four Democratic nominees for president emerged from Iowa Caucus night as winners.
Biden spoke with Radio Iowa late this morning, just before a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I think the Iowa folks represent the essence of who this party is in the primary and the caucus,” Biden said. “I’m going to be here. You’re going to see me a lot. I’m going to work like the devil. No one’s going to work harder. That’s what it’s about.”
Biden has run for president here in Iowa twice before, maintaining ties with Iowa Democrats over the years and making an Election Eve appearance at a Cedar Rapids rally last November.
“I’m going to be here a lot and spend a lot of time trying to make my case,” Biden saod. “But I think, again, Iowa when I was growing up and now and as an elected official has by and large been about fairness and decency and honor — you know, truth over lies and science over fiction.”
AUDIO of Biden answering first two questions, 1:15
Biden is now competing with 19 other Democrats for their party’s next presidential nomination, a few of whom are a couples decades younger than the 76-year-old Biden. Biden suggests voters are more interested in policy positions than a candidate’s age.
“What are the new ideas? Who can lead the country? Who is ready to do that? And I’m not saying others aren’t. I have to demonstrate that I can,” Biden told Radio Iowa. “But I think what I find as I go around the country, voters want to know: Do you mean what you say? Do you have the authenticity that they’re looking for and whether or not your ideas are in line with what America needs right now? It’s about the future. It’s not about the past.”
In 2007, while campaigning in Iowa, Biden called for a $45,000 minimum wage for teachers and a buy-in option to Medicare for Americans who’ve reached the age of 55. Biden also said the country should embark on an “Apollo-like mission” to remake the American automobile industry — to end dependence on oil. Today, Biden told Radio Iowa he’s been an advocate for climate action since the 1980s.
“It’s the existential threat to our children and the planet,” Biden said. “And one of the things that I’m most disappointed in is we made significant progress in terms of transportation in terms of dealing with pollution. Cars emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases and as a consequence of that we did some really good things and this administration has come along and cut them all back.”
AUDIO of the rest of the Radio Iowa interview, 9:00
Biden told a crowd in Cedar Rapids early this afternoon it’s time to rebuild the “backbone of America…the middle class.” Check back for more coverage of Biden’s rally remarks and his interview with Radio Iowa.