‘I think they started with the wrong attitude here and came in as trying to get people to accept inevitably…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Former Vice President Joe Biden picked up his first Iowa endorsement from a member of the state’s congressional delegation, giving his campaign a much-needed boost in a state he’s struggled to gain in.
With only a month to go until Iowa’s first-in-the-nation selection contest on Feb. 3, Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, told the Associated Press that she chose to endorse Biden because his past experience and ‘moderate’ proposals appeal to a variety of voters.
“We need somebody at the top who can lead from the White House, someone who’s willing to unite not just Democrats but the country,” Finkenauer said. “There are days where I swear Democrats and Republicans are speaking different languages, and there’s no translator. … [Biden] is the translator.”
Obama’s former second-in-command has frequently waffled over his policy positions, veering all over the political map in the process. He has promised to make his running mate a woman—even offering a short list of four radical liberals—and a minority, but told an audience in New Hampshire this week that he would consider a Republican.
Biden also changed his story several times over the course of a few days as to whether he would openly defy or fully comply with a subpoena from the GOP-led Senate in President Donald Trump’s pending impeachment trial.
He’s shifted leftward on abortion, healthcare and environmental restrictions while waxing nostalgic about his days as a young legislator working with pro-segregationist Democrats on anti-busing policies.
Biden has been lagging in Iowa polls, though he’s still leading the Democratic pack nationally.
Buttigieg earned 22% of support from Iowa caucus-goers in the November poll from Monmouth University. Biden came in second place with 19% support.
Grant Woodward, a former Democratic political operative who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Iowa campaign, was among those who said Biden’s decline with heartland voters didn’t bode well for his campaign.
“I wouldn’t count him out, but there’s certainly been some troubling signs,” Woodward told CBS News. “I think they started with the wrong attitude here and came in as trying to get people to accept inevitably. I always think that’s dangerous for people to do.”
Finkenauer—one of 31 much-hyped “moderate” freshman Democrats who replaced GOP incumbents in Trump-supporting districts last election— plans to tour the state with Biden over the next week.
“It goes back to the uniting factor,” Finkenauer said. “You can’t divide rural America and our cities. They do require different attention and different plans, but if rural America is forgotten, then our cities are also hurt, and vice versa. He’s understood that from the beginning.”
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.