Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

 Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden holds a campaign event at the IBEW Local 490 on June 4, 2019 in Concord, New Hampshire. (Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Biden Tells Donors and Lobbyists at Fundraiser That GOP Will 'Know Better' After Trump and Wall Street Bankers 'Are All Positive'

"Trying to decide which of 'Wall Street: they're all positive' or 'Republicans know better' would be a more fitting slogan for the Joe Biden campaign."

Jake Johnson

Providing more evidence of the fundamental political differences between himself and progressives vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden told lobbyists and donors at a fundraiser Monday night that Republicans in Congress "know better" than to align with President Donald Trump and declared that Wall Street bankers "can be positive influences in the country."

"Wall Street and significant bankers and people, they're all positive, they can be positive influences in the country," Biden told the audience gathered in Washington, D.C. "But they didn't build the country. The middle class built the country."

"As a strategic matter one is baffled why Democrats wouldn't hang the toxic label of Trumpism on all of the Republican Party until the end of time. That is, unless, like Biden they work for a donor class before they even do a party, much less working people."
—Adam Johnson

Observers were quick to note the sharp contrast between Biden's friendly stance toward Wall Street and the positions of top 2020 contenders Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who are both rejecting Wall Street cash as they campaign against the corrosive influence massive banks and corporations have on the American political system.

Biden also doubled down on his view that President Donald Trump is an aberration from the Republican Party rather than a symptom of the corruption and racism at the core of the modern GOP—a statement that has put him at odds with Democratic candidates who believe ousting Trump is necessary but not sufficient to tackle crises that long precede his presidency.

"Here's the deal: we all know, and I don't think this is hyperbole, we all know in our gut this election is the most important election we've ever engaged in—and not just because I'm running," Biden said. "With Trump gone you're going to begin to see things change. Because these folks know better. They know this isn't what they're supposed to be doing."

The former vice president's remarks were quickly condemned and derided by progressive commentators, with one critic mockingly struggling to decide which line would make a more suitable slogan for Biden's presidential campaign.

"Trying to decide which of 'Wall Street: they're all positive' or 'Republicans know better' would be a more fitting slogan for the Joe Biden campaign," tweeted Ben Spielberg, co-founder of the progressive site 34justice.

Adam Johnson, host of the "Citations Needed" podcast and contributor to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), noted that in addition to being "wrong and stupid," Biden's portrayal of Trump as an anomaly is strategically disastrous.

"Clinton tried this very same strategy [in 2016] and her campaign knew it backfired even before her surprise election loss," Johnson tweeted. "Just as a strategic matter one is baffled why Democrats wouldn't hang the toxic label of Trumpism on all of the Republican Party until the end of time. That is, unless, like Biden they work for a donor class before they even do a party, much less working people."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Leaked Report Suggests Impunity for IDF Troops in Deadly Stop of Palestinian-American Elder

"This is a policy: Israel does not prosecute those responsible for harming Palestinians, thus making their lives miserable," said the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Exactly Right': Progressives Back Arizona Dems Censure of Sinema

"If you are a Democrat and you can't uphold the fundamental right to vote for all citizens... then there's a problem," said Rep. Ro Khanna.

Brett Wilkins ·


Amid Existential Threat to Reproductive Rights, Congress Urged to Act

"It's the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and if we don't fight like hell it could very well be the last," said one campaigner, who called on U.S. lawmakers to pass the Women's Health Protection Act.

Brett Wilkins ·


Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed

"We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards," said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. "That's what this bill does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo