In its quest to find moderates or even “centrists” among the Democratic field of presidential candidates to pit against the avowed leftists, The New York Times must ignore several of the candidates’ actual voting records and public policy stands. The Times has found no less than four of the Democratic candidates to be not just “moderate” (some room for debate there) but “centrist.”
The paper has termed former Sen. Joe Biden (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 12.67 out of a possible 100), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (lifetime ACU rating: 4.67), former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg as moderates or centrists. (The leftism of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is undeniable, and The New York Times has embraced those labels.)
The labeling really stuck out during coverage of the New Hampshire primary. A front-page story Thursday featured Klobuchar as “a fiscally moderate Democrat” with a “distinct and deliberate appeal to the centrist spirit.”
After the New Hampshire primary results, the paper was filled with “moderate” and “centrist” labels, like this from Wednesday morning: “Mr. Buttigieg split the centrist vote with Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who surged in New Hampshire....”
It started early, with a pre-campaign Bloomberg called "centrist" despite his support for abortion and gun-control and his war against soda. A January 2019 headline: “Bloomberg Rebukes Trump While Deflecting Criticism of His Own Centrist Views.”
Here were some other examples:
- From December 11, 2019: “...Mr. Buttigieg, who is running to the center....”
- A front-page December 15, 2019 story: “Mr. Bloomberg, a 77-year-old centrist billionaire....”
- December 24, 2019: "....a greater willingness to have Ms. Warren criticize her Democratic rivals, particularly more centrist opponents such as former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and the race’s front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr."
- January 1, 2020: Pete Buttigieg had “crystalized a hard pivot to the party’s ideological center.”
- January 15: “Waleed Shahid of the progressive group Justice Democrats said he was ‘saddened’ by the conflict and viewed it as a distraction from the goal of overtaking the centrist front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.”
- January 27: “Patricia Halfen Wexler...said Bloomberg’s centrism made him well-suited to court Hispanic voters.”
- January 30: “...if Ms. Klobuchar, for instance, doesn’t reach 15 percent, Mr. Biden would seem to have a good chance to pick up caucusgoers looking for another centrist to support.”
- February 3: “If ....it was also a reminder of Mr. Bloomberg’s looming presence in the race and the possibility that he could wind up as a last-man-standing option for centrist Democrats....”
As Brent Bozell and Tim Graham wrote, none of the Democratic candidates are actually centrist:
They are uniformly, radically in favor of abortion on demand, with taxpayer funding. They are all in favor of the “Equality Act,” which would crush religious liberty in an effort to end “discrimination” against the “LGBTQ community.” They all want to ease up dramatically on enforcing the borders and provide illegal immigrants with taxpayer-funded health care.....