Biden Says Trump Has No ‘Sense of Empathy’ for U.S. Middle Class

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden participates in a televised townhall on CNN dedicated to LGBTQ issues in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Democratic U.S. presidential contender Joe Biden attacked President Donald Trump’s economic policies on Wednesday, telling voters in the electoral battleground state of Pennsylvania that the middle class is “in trouble.”

“I don’t think Donald Trump is capable of understanding that – he doesn’t seem to have any sense of empathy at all,” Biden said before an audience of more than 200 people in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the Rust Belt town where he grew up.

Biden said Trump is squandering a strong economy left behind by former President Barack Obama, whom Biden served as vice president. Biden has focused his fire on the Republican president instead of the rivals in his own Democratic party.

“The middle class built this country,” Biden said, but “they’re in trouble” with many lacking healthcare or struggling to pay their bills.

Pennsylvania will be a key to the 2020 presidential election. Trump won the state in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Clinton by just 44,292 votes.

Trump is due to speak later on Wednesday at an oil-and-gas industry event in Pittsburgh. A spokeswoman for his campaign, Erin Perrine, said in a statement that Biden is out of touch with the American middle class.

“Under the Trump Administration workers are thriving, unemployment has hit record lows, wages are rising and all while taxes have been cut across the board – benefiting ALL Americans,” she said.

Biden turned his attention to the economy after spending much of the past several weeks attacking Trump for his decision to pull forces out of Syria and the president’s allegations, offered without evidence, about the foreign business dealings of Biden’s son Hunter.

Trump is running on a jobs-and-growth program, touting unemployment rates at multi-decade lows during the longest U.S. economic expansion on record. Yet many voters are angry over economic inequality and afraid of slowing growth and a potential recession as the benefits of a 2017 tax cut fade and tariffs on Chinese imports hurt American farmers and manufacturers.

Democratic candidates have unveiled a slew of economic proposals meant to invest in future generations and reverse wealth and income inequality. Biden has stopped short of supporting the most aggressive policies including universal income guarantees and imposing federal taxes on wealth, not just income.

“I’m honestly more conservative but I get good vibes from him,” said Dan Amon, 18, a student at the University of Scranton who attended the speech and is considering voting in the Democratic primary for Biden. “The other Democratic candidates – they’re a little too extreme to me.”

Biden has yet to release his own full economic plan. He has pledged to raise the U.S. minimum wage to $15 an hour from the current $7.25, and has released targeted spending proposals from higher education to healthcare.

He has criticized his opponents, including U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, for lack of specifics about the wealth tax they support or how they would pay for proposals such as a Medicare for All plan based on the government health insurance program for Americans 65 and older.

The former vice president has promised to pay for his own plans largely by raising taxes on high-income earners. Biden would, for instance, hike the marginal tax rate on the highest earners back to 39.6% from 37%, to which it was lowered under the Republicans’ 2017 tax bill.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by David Gregorio)


  1. and he does?
    Does he who is for the working person realize what is going to happen when the minimum wage goes from $7.25 to $15 an hour particularly to a small company? 40 hours goes to 30 hours and all the benefits a person now receives because they work full-time will disappear. There will be no high income earners because they will be bankrupt, or have left the country…..again. How will free anything be paid for?

  2. Joe never has had a job. He never had a business where he could create jobs.
    He is a life long politician, which, regardless of party, is an embarrassment.

    Having a handle on what makes a capitalist nation succeed requires hands on knowledge of how business works.

    Having only (or mainly) a political career is what is required for a socialist to see how the government can control the people.

    Thank God for the Constitution which protects us FROM the government.

  3. “I suppose it should come as no surprise that sarcasm confuses you as well.” Morte206

    Especially when you wield it so poorly.

  4. If there was ever a person equally as out of touch with the American people as Obama it’s Joe the Schmo Biden, never had a job and and never associated with anyone that has had one.

  5. Average American wage increase under Obama 1,000 and average increase under Trump 5,000 plus 2,000 less in taxes. Biden has no idea what he is talking about. It is Trump who is in touch with the average worker and the Washington globalists like Biden, Obama and Clinton who sent the jobs of these good people out of the country who are clueless to how voter feel.

  6. Ha ,,, Biden pulls another Lie out of his A-Hole. The DimWitDems are hell bent on destroying OUR Nation and the middle class. Wake Up people or watch in Horror as our nation crumbles !!

  7. Biden and Obama sure helped the middle class…what a joke. Two swampers that cared about themselves and a few of the chosen. Biden is just an old man now, likely has dementia. He’s never gonna be President.

  8. Since IRJ refuses to post my comments, claiming they are SPAM???? I’m outta here, f*ktards are slowly turning into liberal nitwits!!!

  9. “In response to this post I expect you will be singing HRC’s praises next.” Morte206

    Why? I am confused.

    I have never supported HRC, except as an excuse to not elect a derranged wannabe king, so why would I now support someone who was so flawed that she FAILED to stop him? Especially when we have a second chance to elect a nominee who will give us real change for the better.

    1. I suppose it should come as no surprise that sarcasm confuses you as well.

  10. Tell the middle class that Biden. Tell the low wage earners that have benefited the most from the Trump economy in wage growth that Biden. Every time one of the dems open their mouths lies pour out.

  11. Wait, Trump doesn’t understand the middle class. How about Biden, whose son makes $50,000 a month. Biden has been in government too long. He has lost touch with the middle class. Trump has done a lot for the middle class so far. Obama (and Biden) did not do much for the middle class and I certainly don’t expect Biden to do much either. He’s a follower, not a leader. He’s not a businessman and I haven’t heard anything out of his mouth that is original.

  12. No you Democrats don’t you want us to support this country and illegals

  13. Bozo Joe is a man without a brain which makes him a perfect candidate for the ? party.

  14. Yet Joe has publicly endorsed providing for illegals at the expense of taxpaying citizens in the “middle” class. (many of whom have moved up, thanks to the Republican tax cuts. q.v. the economy, the OMB, the WaPo, and RealClearPolitics.

    You can’t have it both ways Quid Pro Joe. You can either raise taxes, pay for those who do not deserve it, or you can support the middle class.

    Tell us again how tweaking Obozocare will help middle-class small business owners.

  15. Confusion (which says it all) and BS,

    The electoral college was PURPOSELY designed to ensure that a few states did not dominate the entire country while ensuring ALL had a voice.

    You mention a “few candidates” but fail to name a single one. This is suspicious and typical of you and called BS.

    Please explain how these fictional candidates would get elected AND how they would persuade states to surrender their participation via the electoral college.

    The mechanics of modifying the Constitution are nigh impossible considering the current polarization. Especially when “no shred of evidence” idiots like you make wishful BS statements.

  16. GC: Thanks for your obvious disdain which assumes I do not in fact vote for those I consider un-corrupted and willing to reform the electoral college system. Though you should know that I do support the electoral college (sans superdelegates) system as a whole.

    Sadly those are few and far between and more often than not I go with the “lesser of two evils” standard. A standard I am not the only one to apply btw, which frankly is how we ended up with our current POTUS.

    In response to this post I expect you will be singing HRC’s praises next.

    1. I think you’re being to diplomatic, but it’s your call.

  17. Sleepy Joe 30330 states there was a strong economy left by Obama. Really? I must have missed that one. We were teetering on a recession and Obama’s healthcare “idea” was the problem why so many middle class Americans were struggling to pay their bills. Obama, Biden and the Democrats pretty much destroyed this country and along with Hillary Clinton we were involved in way too many problems around the world. Remember the “red line”?

  18. The moron really means that leftists hate the middle class and wants to impoverish them to make them dependent on the government.

    1. Come on Glenn. You seem confused as to who just gave the wealthiest Americans ever a $2 TRILLION tax break. Why? They have more money than they could ever use or spend and didn’t need a tax break. They weren’t struggling. A number of them spoke up publicly and even said that they didn’t need a tax break.

      In what way is doing that supporting the poor or middle class people? How?

  19. It’s doubtful any national level político in office for more than three terms cares about the middle class. By their third term they’ve ensured that they are solidly upperclass and anyone who isn’t can eat their dust.

    1. If that is what you really think, then elect better politicians who ARE willing to change the electoral system. There are a few.

  20. I really don’t care what Joe Biden thinks – about anything . .

  21. “I don’t think Donald Trump is capable of understanding …”

    That’s the problem Joe, you and your ilk don’t think.

    If you can think, what do you think the folks at Walmart think of having their hours cut because of the $15 per hour minimum wage? Dum-a$$.

    1. . . . and what about the teenage, entry level employee who’s here today and gone tomorrow because his employer has to cut expenses to have the money to pay $15/hr to people who may not even qualify for that rate?

  22. Funny, neither does Biden, Warren AOC, Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff, etc. they don’t give a crap about the middle class. It, hell, let their paychecks stop and they will be the first ones to raise hell.

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