Joe Biden skips out on Democrats’ weekend of campaigning in Iowa

June 10, 2019

Joe Biden skips out on Democrats’ weekend of campaigning in Iowa Matt Bargar / CCL

As a bevy of 2020 hopefuls flocked to a key battleground state over the weekend, one of the frontrunners was curiously missing.

While 19 other Democrats campaigned in Iowa on Saturday and Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden opted not to attend the festivities.

Biden skips town

As big names like Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg rallied at various events across Iowa on Saturday, Biden was missing in action.

The former VP also missed a Sunday event at which the candidates “address[ed] the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner in Cedar Rapids,” according to Breitbart. “The event, which is packed with 1,400 potential caucus-goers is considered one of Iowa’s preeminent political events.”

Former President Barack Obama’s No. 2 is scheduled to make an appearance in Iowa on Tuesday. However, whether he will be campaigning at the event remains unclear; his itinerary has not been released.

What’s going on, Joe?

Biden’s absence in Iowa over the weekend has prompted speculation from both sides of the political aisle. Some have theorized that the state holds unpleasant memories for Biden; he was considered a real contender to take the state during his 2008 presidential bid, but on election night, he couldn’t even get 1% of the vote.

He soon after dropped out of the race.

But perhaps Biden’s decision had more to do with recent events. After all, the weekend capped off what has truly been a terrible week for the former vice president.

The unpleasantness began when Biden reversed his support for the Hyde Amendment, which with some exceptions bars federal tax dollars from being used for abortion. Despite the fact that Biden has championed this rule throughout his four-decade political career, the former VP was forced to change his stance after Planned Parenthood and other leftist groups called him out.

“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code,” Biden said, though he said he makes “no apologies for [his] last position.”

This gaffe earned him criticism from both pro-lifers, who support the amendment, and pro-choicers, who say Biden’s opposition to it comes too late.

Losing ground

On top of this, the latest polling shows Biden losing ground. He’s down seven points from the last round in polling, which took place just after he entered the race in April.

Perhaps we’ll never know why Biden chose to take a vacation while his competition swept through Iowa. But given the state’s importance, Biden’s decision to skip out on the events leaves one question: Is he really serious about running for president?

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Robert Ayers

Robert Ayers is a writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University and a JD from the University of Connecticut.