Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tried to cast the election between him and President Trump as a difference of blue-collar Americans and the wealthy, saying this campaign is “Scranton and Park Avenue.”
During a CNN town hall, a patient advocate at a nearby cancer treatment center told Biden he works at a cancer center making less than $15 an hour and asked for his plan on what he would do for health care workers.
Biden responded by saying that front line health care workers should be making more than $15 an hour and suggested he would “make sure that healthcare workers are paid and paid a decent wage,” without offering details. He told the questioner to go to his website to look up “what I talked about needing to be done with regard to healthcare workers.”
“We have to make sure that healthcare workers are paid and paid a decent wage, and 15 bucks an hour isn’t enough for a healthcare worker,” Biden responded. “And so again, I won’t take the time now, but Joe, if I can get your address. Let me get to you. Go to joebiden.com and you’ll see what I talked about needing to be done with regard to healthcare workers.”
He also pivoted from his response to how he would help healthcare workers to criticize Trump’s economic policy.
“The reason I’m running is because, look, the interesting thing for me is, I view this, I really do view this campaign as a campaign between Scranton and Park Avenue, and I really mean it,” Biden said. “All that Trump could see from Park Avenue is Wall Street. All he thinks about is the stock market and telling him, we’re going to do all right. Everybody who owns stock. How many of you all own stock — now, in my neighborhood in Scranton, not a whole lot of people own stock.”
Biden also accused Trump of waving the “white flag” with his response to the coronavirus, saying the president’s handling “close to criminal” since he was concerned about boost stocks and corporations over front-line workers and working families.
“It was all about making sure the stock market didn’t come down, that his wealthy friends didn’t lose any money,” Biden said. “He waved a white flag. He walked away, he didn’t do a damn thing. Think about it. Think about what he did not do. And it’s almost criminal.”
Throughout the hour and a half softball question town hall, Biden repeatedly painted Trump as an elite Manhattan mogul, detached and uninterested in the challenges facing everyday Americans. In another question segment regarding whether he had personally benefited from “White privilege,” Biden said he had but quickly pivoted away from race to talk about the privilege class looking down on those “not equivalent to them.”
“Maybe it’s my Scranton roots, I don’t know. But when you guys started talking about Biden, he’ll be the first person without an Ivy League degree. I said, ‘Who the hell makes you think I need an Ivy League degree to be president?'” Biden lashed out. “And guys like President Trump, who inherited everything and squandered what they inherited, are the people I’ve always had a problem with. Not the people who are busting their necks.”
Trump went to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
At the same time, Biden was partaking in CNN town hall, Trump held a rally in Wisconsin and said the type of town hall the former vice president is partaking was “the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”