DES MOINES, Iowa — When Joe Biden, a Democrat, ran for president in the 1988 president campaign, Tom and Christie Vilsack supported him. When Biden ran a second time in 2008, Tom Vilsack also ran. After Vilsack dropped out, Tom and Christie Vilsacks supported Hillary Clinton instead of Biden. For 2020, the Vilsacks are again supporting Biden during his third run for president.
They say it comes down to electability and they feel Biden has the best chance to beat President Donald Trump, a Republican, in the general election. “The decision always comes back to trust,” Christie Vilsack, Iowa’s former first lady, said Saturday morning as the couple publicly endorsed Biden during a campaign rally in Des Moines, “I want my neighbors, my friends, my colleagues and the next generation to respect our president even if they didn’t vote for him.”
Tom Vilsack, Iowa’s former governor and United States secretary of agriculture, said, experience matters. “We’ve tried a rookie in this position for the last three years,” Vilsack said, “And I would simply ask, ‘How’s it going? What do you think?’”
Biden has recently found himself in an unfamiliar position in the polls in Iowa. He began the 2020 presidential campaign as a fairly dominant leader in the statewide polls. But current polls show him trailing South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. And polls show Biden tied or trailing U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Biden pushed back at those who want a nominee to his political left to better capture progressive enthusiasm for change. But Biden told Iowa Media News that his policies could bring change. “If I were elected…and I’m able to do what I want to do on health care…on education…on climate change…on agriculture…on foreign policy,” Biden said, “You guys will be writing that he’s the most progressive administration in American history.”
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