CBS This Morning co-host John Dickerson on Monday worried that Joe Biden would be too moderate in tone as a presidential candidate, describing the Democrat as a “let us reason together” politician. This, of course, is the same Democrat who had a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 12 and who savaged conservative Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork in 1987. Not exactly reaching across the aisle.
Talking to Biden 2020 cheerleader Chris Coons, Dickerson spoke almost reverentially of the former Vice President: “Joe Biden represents an older style way of thinking about the way government works in Washington. He's a creature of the Senate.”
The co-host added, “People in the Democratic Party believe whoever runs for president is going to have to run not as kind of a 'Let us reason together,' but as somebody who's going to bring it hard and tough to Republicans. And Joe Biden is not that kind of Democrat.”
Seeming to get misty eyed about the way things were, Dickerson decried, “What about working in Washington as it exists now? In a world where, you know, to get things through the Senate people would argue that there are not willing partners.”
Again, Biden was consistently a partisan Democrat. His 2006, 2007 and 2008 ACU scores were 4, 0, and 0. In January, Dickerson fondly recalled the “good relations” of the Obama years. So, Dickerson has a habit of nostalgic pining.
Yet, he still pushes other 2020 candidates left. On January 31, Dickerson grilled Pete Buttigieg about whether he has a “big idea” like Kamala Harris calling for the end of private insurance.
A transcript of the questions can be found below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Former Vice President Joe Biden leads a new Iowa poll of potential 2020 Democratic candidates. Sources tell CBS News he is preparing for a presidential run. One of the people he is talking to about his plans is Senator Chris Coons. In 2010, the Delaware Democrat won the seat Biden had vacated. Only on CBS This Morning, Senator Coons joins us at the table. Senator, good morning.
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Good morning.
GOLODRYGA: Last week, the Vice President was reportedly at 95 percent. I know you recently spoke with him. Is he moving closer to 100?
COONS: What's his message going to be?
GAYLE KING: Do you think he should run, Senator? There's one school of thought I've heard among Democrats that has time has passed. He's a little older. That maybe his time would be better spent rallying around someone he really believes in, since there are so many candidates. What do you say to that way of thinking?
KING: Does experience matter? Because we have a president who has no political experience.
COONS: It matters. And we’ve seen the consequences.
DICKERSON: I assume you're talking about Bernie Sanders when you talk about the other candidate who is older. The fact you won't mention a colleague’s name suggests Joe Biden is running and you’re already on Team Biden. Let me ask you this. Forget about age for a moment. Joe Biden represents an older style way of thinking about the way government works in Washington. He's a creature of the Senate. He talks about that Mike Mansfield story. Everybody has a story. Everybody in the Senate has a story, even your biggest enemy. The Senate is different now. People in the Democratic Party believe whoever runs for president is going to have to run not as kind of a "Let us reason together" but as somebody who's going to bring it hard and tough to Republicans, and Joe Biden is not that kind of Democrat.
DICKERSON: That's a political argument for getting votes. What about working in Washington as it exists now? in a world where, you know, to get things through the Senate people would argue that there are not willing partners. Republicans argue that you aren't willing to work with them and vice-versa. That seems locked in.