New York Times podcaster says Biden’s policies are ‘way, way, way to the left’ of the Obama administration
New York Times podcast host Ezra Klein argued Friday that President Biden’s policies are far to the left of anything former President Obama even tried to accomplish while in office.
Klein’s comments came during an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow where the two talked about the political landscape since she first launched “The Rachel Maddow Show” in 2008.
“One of the other things that is always striking to me about that period is that in ’08, Obama is very much to the left of Joe Biden on policy. Biden is still understood as kind of D.L.C. Democrat. He’s got these very incremental plans,” Klein said, describing Biden as a moderate then.
“By 2020, Biden’s platform way to the left of anything the Obama administration considered — way, way, way to the left,” he continued.
Klein pointed to the Biden administration’s recent pardon of all people convicted for simple possession of marijuana under federal law as an example of its progressive credentials.
Some Republicans, such as Pennsylvania Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz, expressed support for the policy. Oz said it is “not a wise move for the country” to prosecute people for smoking marijuana.
Maddow agreed with Klein, and added that she believes the American people have moved to the left on the issue of marijuana as well.
“[W]hat it means is not that the Democratic Party has moved left on this issue, but that the American people and the American culture has moved left. And so the Democratic Party is willing to meet that moment where it is. And the Republican Party has to decide if they’re going to ignore it, or if they, too, are going to go that direction,” she said.
Klein disagreed with Maddow’s assertion that the Democratic Party itself has not moved more far to the left. “I wrote it a bunch of times, that a large number of Obama’s policies looked like things Richard Nixon had pushed in the 1970s, right? There was a lot where you could just say Obama was a progressive moderate Republican. And then since then, I do think that has changed a bit. And I think the Democratic Party has moved left on a lot of policy,” he said.
“Democrats have moved more left on policy faster than I think I’ve seen them do before,” he continued.
Obama cautioned Democrats Saturday not to focus too much attention on former President Donald Trump and to instead focus on economic issues that affect voters’ everyday lives.
“That’s probably not something that in the minds of most voters overrides their basic interests. Can I pay the rent? What are gas prices? How am I dealing with childcare,” Obama said.
According to a recent CNN poll, 63% of Americans disapprove Biden’s handling of the economy.