Once the runaway front runner for the Democrat presidential nomination, former vice president Joe Biden is watching his campaign slowly come apart as he tries to balance the need to win Trump supporters with his party’s increasingly radicalized base.
“A senior Joe Biden campaign staffer in charge of outreach to Latino, African-American and women’s groups has quit her post, telling two allies she was frustrated over her lack of input and with the presidential candidate’s immigration rhetoric,” POLITICO reports.
“Vanessa Cárdenas, the most senior Latina Biden staffer, had been serving as national coalitions director since the campaign formally announced its existence April 25. She resigned last week and has since changed her bio on Twitter to say she was ‘formerly with @joebiden,” reports POLITICO.
Biden, once a nominal supporter of border enforcement back when organized labor and other Democrat constituencies supported immigration restrictions, is having a hard time winning over a new Democrat Party that now openly compares law enforcement officers to Nazi war criminals.
Many immigration activists view Biden skeptically, citing statistics claiming the Obama administration shattered records for deportations.
The Biden campaign has been avoiding the immigration issue, even skipping Hispanic events to evade questions about whether Biden would oppose border enforcement.
They hoped hiring Cárdenas would shore up support with Hispanics. Polling data show that while Biden enjoys a wide lead over other Democrats with black voters, among Hispanics he struggles and is tied with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Left on his own, Biden has been fumbling the issue.
POLITICO reports that during a South Carolina event Biden got into a public argument with immigration activist Carlos Rojas, who asked Biden to end all deportations of illegal aliens if elected President.
“No. I will not stop all deportations. I will prioritize deportations, only people who have committed a felony or serious crime,” Biden reportedly snapped at Rojas.
When Rojas began to tell Biden, “Over those 8 years (of the Obama administration,) there were 3 million people that were deported and separated from their families…” Biden snapped back “You should vote for Trump.”
In August Biden enraged immigration activists by telling a Democrat event immigrants must “get in line” and that the United States should only “cherry-pick” immigrants with high-wage job skills.
“We’re only going to go as far left as we have to,” a top Latino supporter of Biden told POLITICO. “We’re looking at November 2020, but we know we have to deal with the primary. So it’s a tightrope for sure.”