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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.

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)

Vowing Not to 'Demonize' the Rich, Biden Tells Billionaires 'Nothing Would Fundamentally Change' If He Was Elected

It "might be the most honest thing he's said since he defended segregated schools."

Eoin Higgins

Don't worry, billionaires: your standard of living won't change under a Joe Biden administration. 

That's the message the Democratic frontrunner delivered to donors Tuesday as he continued a fundraising trip in New York that saw him on Monday tell a room of wealthy Wall Streeters "you guys are great" and ask a Trump-loving supermarket magnate for support. 

In Biden's comments Tuesday, the former vice president told a room of 100 of the New York financial elite, including bankers Robert Rubin and Roger Altman, both of whom worked in the Treasury Department under Democratic administrations, that he wasn't their enemy. According to Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein, Biden took pains to separate himself from the rest of the field in his comments.

"Remember, I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, you know, what I've found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people," said Biden. "Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who's made money."

But, said Biden, their taxes might have to be raised a little to achieve some of his legislative goals—though he assured the members of the 1 percent in attendance at the Upper East Side Carlyle Hotel that under his plan, the increase wouldn't even be noticeable.

"The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done," said Biden. "We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it's all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished."

"No one's standard of living will change," said Biden. "Nothing would fundamentally change."

A number of observers on Twitter seized on that message as emblematic of Biden's campaign strategy in general. 

"Biden 2020: 'Nothing would fundamentally change,'" said financial reform advocate Alexis Goldstein. 

Biden's phrasing "might be the most honest thing he's said since he defended segregated schools," writer Nathan Bernhardt tweeted

Lawyer Matthew Cortland agreed.

"When someone tells you who they are," said Cortland, "believe them."


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Harris Says White House Not 'Discussing' Use of Federal Land for Abortion Care

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the Democratic lawmakers who have expressed support for the idea as GOP-controlled states move to outlaw abortion.

Jake Johnson ·


Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·

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