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OpinionBiden caves on the Hyde Amendment: what was the point of his candidacy?

20:35  07 june  2019
20:35  07 june  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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It seems Biden has now caved to all that progressive pressure. Which raises the question: What, exactly, is the point of his candidacy ? In short, his support of the Hyde Amendment was consistent with his long voting record and personal beliefs. That he hadn't abandoned his position

Less than 48 hours after his initial statement, Mr. Biden changed his mind. Opposition to the amendment is also visible in Congress. Conservatives continue to strongly support the Hyde Amendment as part of their own push to further restrict abortion laws now that President Trump has

Biden caves on the Hyde Amendment: what was the point of his candidacy?© Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images IOWA CITY, IOWA -- MAY 01: Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden speaks to guests during a campaign event at Big Grove Brewery and Taproom on May 1, 2019 in Iowa City, Iowa. Biden is on his first visit to the state since announcing that he was officially seeking the Democratic nomination for president. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Joe Biden, while still enjoying his frontrunner status, is facing some challenges during this nascent Democratic primary.

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Biden’s First Run for President Was a Calamity. Some Missteps Still Resonate. Joe Biden was riffing again — an R.F.K. anecdote, a word about “civil wrongs,” a meandering joke about the baseball commissioner — and aides knew enough to worry a little. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); “When I marched in the civil rights movement, I did not march with a 12-point program,” Mr. Biden thundered, testing his presidential message in February 1987 before a New Hampshire audience. “I marched with tens of thousands of others to change attitudes. And we changed attitudes.

Joe Biden reverses stance on Hyde abortion amendment . Biden ’s reversal came after rivals and women’s rights groups blasted him for affirming through his campaign aides that he still supported the Hyde Amendment . With the shift, Biden hopes to limit any damage from women’s groups and

[Update: Joe Biden denounces Hyde Amendment , reversing his position.] “The problem is , the Hyde Amendment affects poor women, women of In a statement, his campaign said: “ Biden misheard the woman on the ropeline and thought she was referring to the Mexico City rule, which prevents federal

They are unsurprising and often self-imposed.

There's his plagiarism past, brought up again when it was discovered he (or his campaign) had lifted several passages from think tanks and other organizations for his new climate change plan. There's his previous support for the now-controversial 1994 crime bill, which he's still defending, despite progressives' panning of the legislation, particularly because it contributed to the disproportionate incarceration of people of color.

And there's his campaign aides' awkward attempt to explain a 1987 gaffe resurrected by the New York Timeshis claim that he marched during the Civil Rights movement when he most certainly did not.

And now there is abortion.

He just announced – in a speech in Atlanta Thursday – that he no longer backs the Hyde Amendment, the 1976 measure that prohibits federal funding for abortion except in the case of rape, incest and endangering the life of the mother. This is his third position just this week.

Biden 'misheard' ACLU activist's question about Hyde Amendment: campaign

Biden 'misheard' ACLU activist's question about Hyde Amendment: campaign Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign said on Wednesday that the 2020 frontrunner "misheard" a question that effectively fed speculation that he flip-flopped on his support for the Hyde Amendment, a law blocking federal funding for abortion. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); According to his campaign, Biden thought the woman was asking about the Mexico City policy -- a ban, revived by President Trump's administration, on international aid for groups that either promote or provide abortions.

Biden later said he regretted his comments. So, what are Biden ’s odds? He entered the race as an instant front-runner and he’s already leading in early polls. The Hyde Amendment , named for former Representative Henry Hyde , a Republican from Illinois, was first passed in 1976 and is renewed every

Biden had been a longtime supporter of the Hyde Amendment She called Biden ’s campaign manager, urging that Biden reconsider his support of Hyde . It is also troubling that a major element of the Democratic Party is so intolerant of an opposing idea that it would doom a candidacy on that

Only a day earlier, when asked in a rope line if he'd repeal the Hyde Amendment, he said he would. But then his campaign quickly backtracked, saying he misheard the question and that he still supports the measure.

This naturally unleashed a flurry of responses from his Democratic challengers:

Cory Booker clapped back on NBC: "I think the Hyde Amendment is wrong."

Beto O'Rourke tweeted: "No matter your income or where you live, every woman should have access to health care including abortion."

Kamala Harris weighed in. "No woman's access to reproductive health care should be based on how much money she has. We must repeal the Hyde Amendment," she tweeted.

Others have been, er, less measured. As one abortion columnist hyperventilated in the Washington Post: "Biden's position on this issue should disqualify him from contention for the nomination."

It seems Biden has now caved to all that progressive pressure.

Matt Schlapp: Joe Biden caved to ‘exceedingly radical’ Dems on Hyde Amendment

Matt Schlapp: Joe Biden caved to ‘exceedingly radical’ Dems on Hyde Amendment Joe Biden's reversal this week on the Hyde Amendment regarding abortion was a surrender to the “exceedingly radical” wing of the Democratic Party, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp argued Friday on Fox News' "Hannity." require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Biden said Thursday he could “no longer support" the amendment, which he had backed as recently as Wednesday, saying it makes a woman's right to an abortion "dependent on someone's ZIP code.

Joe Biden on Thursday night announced that he was abandoning his support for the Hyde Amendment , which bars federal funding for abortions. Reflecting the late decision to address the issue on Thursday night, Biden did not read his remarks from the Teleprompter set on the podium

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he now wants to throw out the Hyde Amendment , dropping his long-held support for the measure that blocks federal funds from being used for most abortions amid criticism from his 2020 Democratic rivals.

Which raises the question: What, exactly, is the point of his candidacy?

The fact is, Biden was right to back the Hyde Amendment on both the principle and the politics.

For starters, as many progressives are surprised to just now discover, Biden has long been a moderate on abortion, even bordering on conservative at times. That includes his past objections to Medicaid funding of abortions.

As NBC recently reported, his personal opposition to abortion might be news to many, but it isn't a secret. Biden is a Roman Catholic who has openly discussed his evolving views over decades.

Among the "surprises" uncovered:

In a 1994 letter to voters he bragged that he'd "on no fewer than 50 occasions" voted against federal funding of abortions.

He told the Catholic Diocese Newspaper that "abortion is wrong from the moment of conception."

He even once voted for an amendment to allow states to overturn Roe, a measure that didn't pass and that he considered "the single most difficult vote I've cast as a Senator."

But he's also moderated over time, saying he now supports Roe v. Wade as the law of the land and would not impose his religious views on women. While running with Barack Obama in 2008, he earned endorsements from NARAL and Planned Parenthood.

Analysis: Democrats on the defensive as abortion foes ask if party tolerates their views

Analysis: Democrats on the defensive as abortion foes ask if party tolerates their views “It’s not the same party anymore,” said former congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who battled for some abortion restrictions in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

In short, his support of the Hyde Amendment was consistent with his long voting record and personal beliefs. That he hadn't abandoned his position made him principled – something we voters could use more of.

It was also politically prudent.

According to a 2016 poll for Politico by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, only 36% of likely voters want to overturn Hyde.

Unless attitudes have significantly shifted since then -- and new polling is needed -- Biden's position was right in line with a majority of Americans.

The truth is, most Americans are not extremists on abortion, despite the extreme new laws in states like Georgia and Alabama.

According to Gallup, only 29% of Americans think abortion should be legal in all circumstances, and only 18% believe it should be illegal in all circumstances.

The Democrats' sudden revulsion over the Hyde Amendment is just that: sudden. The amendment survived three Democratic Presidents -- Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. All at one point enjoyed majorities in Congress. None made any serious attempt to repeal it.

Biden's reasonable approach to the issue was smart. Whereas the rest of the Democratic candidates will find themselves way outside the norm for the general election, Biden was positioned to reach moderates and independents as well as most Democrats.

In his 2007 book, "Promises to Keep," Biden described his position on abortion as "middle of the road."

Wasn't that the point of his candidacy? To occupy a moderate lane that far-left progressives had abandoned over the past few years? To capture the forgotten Democrats in the middle of the country, the voters the party had left behind for the coastal elites?

With his abandonment of the moderate view on abortion, he's ceding not only fertile voting territory but the thing that set him apart from a field of far-left progressives who don't represent a majority of Americans. What's the point in that?

This op-ed was updated from an earlier version on the news of Joe Biden's reversal of his position on the Hyde Amendment.

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