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Biden: 'I think I represent the party'

Biden: 'I think I represent the party'
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE struck back against criticism that he is out of step with an increasingly liberal party, saying he does not feel he is too moderate for the party’s base. 

“It’s not about moving left or right, I think I represent the party. I think my views are where the vast majority of the Democratic Party are,” he told reporters in Detroit.

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Biden was pummeled at Wednesday night’s primary debate by several other contenders who said his plans ranging from health care to criminal justice reform to climate change are not reflective of the demands of an ascendant progressive flank that demands bolder action. 

The former vice president defended his plans Thursday and suggested they could help make him more electable, pointing to the 2018 midterms in which several moderates in swing districts were able to flip control of the House.

“There’s a lot of really, really good people that got elected who are really pushing the envelope, and it’s good, it’s healthy to do that. But the idea that they represent what the party is today does not conform with who gets elected, does not conform with how we won in ’18,” he said.

Particular attention has been paid to Biden’s health care plan, which would provide American’s a public option to buy into and expand the Affordable Care Act, while allowing people to keep their private insurance if they so wish. 

Progressives have slammed the plans as insufficient, pointing to the “Medicare for All” platform touted by Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Sunrise Movement endorses Nina Turner in special election for Ohio House seat The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Israel-Hamas carnage worsens; Dems face SALT dilemma MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Helping students make informed decisions on college Student debt cancellation advocates encouraged by Biden, others remain skeptical MORE (D-Mass.) that would move the country toward a single-payer system and eliminate private insurance.

“No, it’s not more moderate,” Biden said of his plan. “Look, for my entire career in the Senate, I was listed never below one to 25 most liberal people in the United States Senate.”

“There’s nothing moderate what Barack did in ObamaCare. Nothing. No president had come close,” he added. “We tried to get a Medicare option added to it, we couldn’t get it done. I will get it done this time because the people have realized what it is about.”