Biden declined to run in the 2016 race
He also criticized President Donald Trump
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday indirectly knocked Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign at a Thursday event, suggesting that the former secretary of state failed to talk to middle-class voters.
“What happened was that this was the first campaign that I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for – and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class,” Biden said during an appearance at the University of Pennsylvania. “You didn’t hear a single solitary sentence in the last campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making $60,000 bucks a year and a wife making $32,000 as a hostess in restaurant.”
He added: “And they are making $90,000 and they have two kids and they can’t make it and they are scared, they are frightened.”
Clinton did attempt to speak to working class voters on the campaign trail, including through multiple bus trips through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. But the overarching message of her campaign, especially at the end, was more often anti-Donald Trump than policy messaging toward these voters.
Trump ended up over-performing past Republican presidents with white, working class voters who were once reliable Democratic voters.
Biden appeared in Philadelphia for the launch of the new Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, one of the endeavors the former vice president is undertaking in his post-White House career.
In addition to his work at University of Pennsylvania, Biden will also launched the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, which will be located in Newark, Delaware.
The former vice president also reiterated his belief that Trump needs to “grow up.”
Biden first offered the tough words during a January interview on PBS NewsHour, but he revived them during the Thursday event’s question-and-answer period.
“If you could give President Trump one piece of advice what would it be?” the questioner asked.
After quickly saying “grow up” to a round of laughs, Biden gave a more lengthy answer about understanding the inner workings of an administration and what it takes to actually pass legislation.
“In fairness to President Trump, I never thought he was going to be President Trump,” Biden said.
But then, the famously blunt former vice president said: “Presumptuous of me to advise the President, I would literally stop tweeting and start focusing.”
Trump has famously used the social media platform to both reach out directly to his supporters and step on the message his White House is looking to convey. Biden is also not alone in his suggestion: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told reporters before that he would like it if Trump stopped tweeting.
“The words of a president matter. They have enormous, enormous, enormous, reverberating sounds around the world,” Biden said. “Every time a US president speaks and says something, leaders and people around the world try to dissect what he means because it matters so much to their security, threats they face, whatever it is.”