Arizona voters should pay close attention to the upcoming debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris — Joe Biden’s running mate will inevitably reveal just how radical the Democrat agenda truly is.
Regrettably, the first debate between President Trump and Joe Biden did not offer Arizonans the clarity we need, largely because the Democrat presidential nominee steadfastly refused to say what he actually believes with respect to some of the most important policy challenges facing our country.
Despite his enthusiastic embrace of the far left since securing the nomination, Biden has been desperate to rebrand himself as a centrist in recent weeks, assuring millions of concerned voters that despite all appearances to the contrary, his administration would not actually seek to implement the democratic-socialist policies that he himself has endorsed.
Biden has gone out of his way to downplay the “Unity” manifesto that he devised in partnership with Senator Bernie Sanders this summer, and scoffs at the significance of appointing radical ideologues such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke to lead his policy task forces on issues such as climate change and gun control.
“The party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party,” he declared during the event, evidently hoping that the media characterization of him as a “moderate” would be enough to outweigh his own words and actions in the minds of voters.
Unfortunately, the debate moderator never asked Biden to explain his inconsistent stance on immigration, or to articulate his strategy for border security. And that, quite frankly, is a real shame, considering that the former vice president has drifted steadily to the left on this vital issue in recent years, abandoning positions he held for decades in order to conform with the new direction of the Democratic Party.
“Folks, I voted for a fence […] I voted for 700 miles of fence,” Biden admitted in 2006, when he was still serving in the Senate. At the time, Biden also underscored the importance of punishing U.S. employers for hiring illegal immigrants, arguing that any effort to secure the border won’t succeed if the federal government refuses to enforce the law.
Biden even acknowledged that weak immigration enforcement poses a direct threat to American communities, noting that physical barriers are a crucial tool in the fight against international drug smuggling.
“[L]et me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico …” he said.
Today, Biden has a dramatically different stance on immigration — his own policy platform is highly critical of President Trump’s border security initiatives and calls for a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. During one primary debate in this election cycle, he also notoriously raised his hand to indicate that he supports providing “free” taxpayer-funded healthcare to illegal aliens, only to walk back from that position by claiming that he had not properly understood the question.
Arizona voters who reside in communities that Biden once sought to protect have a right to know why the former vice president has abandoned them. Biden also needs to explain how far to the left he is willing to go on immigration and what — if anything — he is willing to do to stop the drug trafficking empire that exploits weak points in the border.
While there is no guarantee that the upcoming vice presidential debate will address the topic of border security, Arizonans can at least expect to hear a straight answer from Senator Harris about the Democrat Party’s position if she is asked to explain it, an inexperienced and undisciplined campaigner who has yet to master the art of obfuscating positions that represent a political liability. After all, this is the same lawmaker who compared the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the Ku Klux Klan during a 2018 Senate hearing, and publicly supported providing taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal aliens in unambiguous and unequivocal terms.
The debate between Sen. Harris and Mike Pence might just be our only chance to find out where the Democrat Party ticket really stands on issues like illegal immigration.
Jan Brewer is the former Governor of Arizona.