2020 Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden has come out swinging a week before the second debate.

Biden’s numbers suffered a bit after the first debate, especially after Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) brought up his history working with segregationalists.

That will not happen the next time around as he vows to “hit back” against any attacks. It also helps that he will go into this debate with just as strong poll numbers as the first debate.

A New Joe Biden

Biden has not forgotten the attacks from Harris at the last debate. His rivalry with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) also received a boost this week after the senator described Biden as the “architect of mass incarceration” due to his support of a 1994 crime bill.

Biden will appear on the debate stage with Harris and Booker. From The Hill:

“You can’t be called the architect of mass incarceration and remain quiet,” a Biden ally said. “That’s cruel and personal. That goes against his entire career. You can’t let people say bullshit and not respond to it.”

“The gloves are off,” the ally added. “At this point, you have to punch back when someone attacks your record. People want to see him throw a punch. The president is certainly going to come at him hard, so why not start now?”

The arrival of Fighter Joe comes as a relief to Biden’s supporters and sets the stage for a potentially brutal showdown next week in Detroit, where Biden, Booker and Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) will share the same debate stage.

Biden fired back as he reminded people of his eight years in office with President Barack Obama.

“They did a significant background check on me for months with ten people – I doubt he would’ve picked me if these accusations about me being wrong on civil rights [were] correct,” Biden stressed.

Biden told donors in Detroit that he will not “be as polite this time.” He dropped hints that he may bring up the political histories of Harris and Booker. Biden is proud of his past, but said that Harris and Booker “got a past that’s not quite as good.”

From CBS News:

In a radio interview Thursday, he also raised questions about Harris’ motives at the first debate. “I thought we were friends,” Biden said. “I mean, I hope we still will be. You know, she asked me to go to her convention and be the guy from outside of California to nominate her at her convention for the Senate seat. I did.”

Biden, Harris, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker will be front-and-center at a debate next Wednesday.

Booker is raising doubts about Biden’s new plan to revamp federal sentencing laws and drug policy, since the former vice president backed tough-on-crime bills in the 1990s.

“For a guy who helped to be an architect of mass incarceration, this is an inadequate solution,” Booker said.

But Biden hit back, raising questions about Booker’s past record as mayor of Newark, New Jersey. “His police department was stopping and frisking people, mostly African American men,” Biden said. “If he wants to go back and talk about records, I’m happy to do that. But I’d rather talk about the future.”

Biden Still Leads in Polls

The polls show that Biden bounced back after the disastrous first debate. A Quinnipiac University Poll shows that Biden leads President Donald Trump in Ohio with 52% of the surveyed people preferring Biden while Trump received 42%. Trump leads or tied with the other Democratic candidates.

The CBS News Battleground Tracker Poll has Biden in the lead with 25%, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) only trails at 20%. Harris landed in third with 16% and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in fourth at 15%.

In this poll, Biden earned a lot of votes from respondents due to his electability and those “who would prefer that a candidate take a more polite and civil tone.”

While the Democratic candidates take time to attack each other, this poll showed people care more about “hearing how candidates would run against Mr. Trump.”

Despite the CBS News poll, Biden leads the field in the latest Fox News poll. He sits on top at 33% in the critical state with Sanders in second (15%), Warren in third (12%), and Harris in fourth (10%).

Those four candidates received a boost from June 2019.

A Monmouth University poll found Biden has a commanding lead in the critical state of South Carolina. He landed in first with 39% of the support while Harris got second at a distant 12%.

As much as Harris and Booker like to criticize Biden’s past on race issues, 51% of the blacks in South Carolina chose the former vice president. Harris once again came in second at 12%.


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