President Donald Trump spent much of the final presidential debate playing a familiar strategy, trying to tie Biden to progressive Democratic politicians to paint him as a radical, a narrative Biden firmly rejected.
Numerous times throughout the debate, Trump evoked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-identified democratic socialist who lost to Biden in the Democratic primary, accusing Biden of advocating “socialized medicine” in his support for a public option.
Apparently misidentifying Sanders as the governor, rather than the senator, of Vermont, Trump claimed he tried what Biden wants to do with health care in his state and that it didn’t work.
Biden shot back that Trump is a “very confused guy” who “thinks he’s running against someone else,” declaring “he’s running against Joe Biden. I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them.”
Trump’s claim that Biden and Sanders share the same view on health care was swiftly fact checked by CNN’s Daniel Dale, who tweeted Trump is “just lying when he says Biden would get rid of private health insurance for 180 million.”
“Biden has vocally rejected a Sanders-style ‘Medicare for All’ that’d eliminate most private plans,” Dale noted, while conceding there are “legitimate questions” about the availability of private plans under a public option.
“I hope that progressives are listening when #JoeBiden says he defeated the ideas advanced by Bernie Sanders,” tweeted Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins, a labor unionist and self-identified socialist.