Former Vice President Joe Biden said the narrative that far-left Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are the future of the party is incorrect, according to Axios on HBO.
According to Biden, that narrative, which he said is the fault of both the media and his more progressive rivals, is causing the party to overestimate how liberal Democratic voters are. Biden's criticism of the media led interviewer Mike Allen to jab that Biden sounded like President Donald Trump.
"You guys have it all wrong about what happened," Biden said of the media's analysis of the party after Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss. "It's not fake, it's just bad judgment. You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary. AOC was a new party. She's a bright, wonderful person. But where's the party? Come on, man."
Regarding Medicare for All, the preferred health care plan of his top rivals, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Biden said "The party's not there. the party's not there at all."
AXIOS on HBO: Joe Biden (Season 2 Special Promo) | HBO youtu.be
Biden's entire campaign depends on his belief that most Democratic voters are not ready to take the far-left plunge offered by Sanders and Warren and, to some extent, Pete Buttigieg.
That's the basis of the former vice president's "electability" argument — the belief that in order to beat Trump, the Democratic nominee needs to be more moderate and practical. As a result, Biden offers himself as a candidate whose presidency could look much like former President Barack Obama's with some leftward progression.
Biden's assertion that the party isn't there on Medicare for All is an open question, however. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed that 77% of Democrats either somewhat favor or strongly favor a system in which all Americans get their insurance from a single government plan.
At the same time, the poll showed 55% of people favored a candidate who would build on Obamacare (like Biden proposes), compared to just 40% who preferred a candidate who would repeal Obamacare and replace it with Medicare for All.