Beto O’Rourke says America can do ‘far better’ than Joe Biden, becoming the latest 2020 candidate to go directly after the frontrunner

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally in Iowa.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally in Iowa.
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Jordan Gale/Reuters

  • 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke argued that Americans “can do better” than former Vice President Joe Biden during an MSNBC interview on Thursday.
  • The former Texas congressman argued that a Biden presidency would be a return to the past, and criticized the Delaware Democrat’s positions on the Iraq War, China, and abortion rights.
  • “I’m not exactly sure what [Biden] believes or what he should apologize for. I only know that this country should be able to do far better,” O’Rourke said.
  • This comes as a host of 2020 Democrats are condemning Biden’s promises to bring compromise and civility back to Washington and his vague or more conservative stances on key policy issues.
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2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke argued that Americans “can do better” than former Vice President Joe Biden during an MSNBC interview on Thursday.

The former Texas congressman argued that a Biden presidency would be a return to the past, and criticized the Delaware Democrat’s positions on the Iraq War, China, and abortion rights.

“You cannot go back to the end of the Obama administration and think that that’s good enough,” O’Rourke told the hosts of “Morning Joe.” “As much as a horror show as Trump has been … we had real problems before Donald Trump became president.”

O’Rourke went on, “You’ve got to ask yourself where Joe Biden is on the issues that are most important to you … I’m not exactly sure what he believes or what he should apologize for. I only know that this country should be able to do far better.”

Read more: Beto O’Rourke says he doesn’t regret passing on 2020 Senate run because he’s convinced another Democrat will win

O’Rourke’s attacks on Biden come shortly after a host of 2020 Democrats have condemned Biden’s promises to bring compromise and civility back to Washington and his vague or more conservative stances on key policy issues.

“Don’t listen to anybody in either party who says we can just go back to what we were doing,” said South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “We in the LGBT community know that when we hear phrases like ‘make America great again,’ that that American past was never quite as great as advertised.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders has repeatedly gone after Biden’s “middle ground” approach to policy and governance.

“I understand there are some well-intentioned Democrats and candidates who believe the best way forward is a middle-ground strategy that antagonizes no one, that stands up to nobody and that changes nothing,” Sanders said during a speech in Iowa. “In my view, that approach is not just bad public policy, but it is a failed political strategy that I fear would end up with the reelection of Donald Trump.”

And several 2020 Democrats targeted Biden last week for maintaining his stance against federal funding for abortion. Within days, Biden reversed his decades-long position.