Trump’s latest attack on Biden echoes criticism from the Left

Trump’s latest attack on Biden echoes criticism from the Left
Joe Biden, Donald Trump

By Evie Fordham

President Donald Trump attacked 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden on Twitter Monday with a critique that liberal outlets have been using for years.

“Anyone associated with the 1994 Crime Bill will not have a chance of being elected. In particular, African Americans will not be [a]ble to vote for you. I, on the other hand, was responsible for Criminal Justice Reform, which had tremendous support, and helped fix the bad 1994 Bill!” Trump wrote on Twitter Monday.

“Super Predator was the term associated with the 1994 Crime Bill that Sleepy Joe Biden was so heavily involved in passing. That was a dark period in American History, but has Sleepy Joe apologized? No!” Trump continued.

Biden warned of “predators on our streets” who were “beyond the pale” in a 1993 speech on the justice system, reported CNN. The “Super Predator” term Trump mentioned was said by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1996. The term was viewed as racially charged and Clinton called it “a poor choice of words” when pressed during a Democratic presidential debate in 2016.

Trump’s attack is similar to stories that plagued Biden when it was rumored the former vice president might run in the 2016 election. “Joe Biden’s Role in ’90s Crime Law Could Haunt Any Presidential Bid,” a story by The New York Times declared on Aug. 21, 2015.

Biden, who became Senate Judiciary Committee chair in 1987, focused on crime-slashing legislation in the 1980s and 1990s. His critics maintain he did more harm than good, and his many years of lawmaking may hamstring him with Democratic voters who resent his harsh drug and crime legislation and connect it to today’s devastating opioid crisis.

Trump pointed to his bipartisan work on criminal justice reform in his critique of Biden.  Trump signed the First Step Act, which gives judges more leeway when sentencing drug offenders and offers more opportunities for prison rehab programs, on Dec. 21, 2018. Even CNN host and criminal justice reform advocate Van Jones could not help but praise Trump when it passed the Senate, calling the president the “loudest champion on criminal justice.”

Biden’s Democratic 2020 rivals are already piling on as well.

“That crime bill was one of the foundations of mass incarceration and a very painful era in our nation’s history,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “[Biden] and anyone else has to be accountable for every vote they take and what’s on their record. And I think that was a huge mistake.”

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