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Biden lays economic plan in 1st speech as 2020 candidate


IANS Washington
Former US Vice President Joe Biden used his first address as a 2020 Democrat presidential candidate to sketch out his economic plans, vowing to rebuild the countrys middle class in a state that helped hand President Donald Trump the White House three years ago.
Appearing in a Teamsters hall in Pittsburgh on Monday, Biden scorned corporate greed, pledged to revive unions and said the minimum wage should be lifted to $15 an hour nationwide, The New York Times reported.
"Everybody knows it... The middle class is hurting," Biden said. "The stock market is roaring, but you do not feel it. There was a $2 trillion tax cut last year, but did you feel it? Did you get anything from it? Of course not. It all went to folks at the top."
He also centred his message squarely in his birth-state, telling a few hundred supporters who greeted him with "We Want Joe" chants that Pennsylvania is key to Democrats' chances of reclaiming the White House.
"If I'm going to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it's going to happen here," said Biden, noting that his party has "had a little bit of trouble" in the state -- a reference to Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss in Pennsylvania.
Biden is making his third bid for the presidency.
Taking on the President directly, Biden said: "Donald Trump is the only president who has decided not to represent the whole country.
"The President has his base. We need a President who works for all Americans."
Western Pennsylvania was once filled with reliably Democratic voters, many of them union members, but the state tipped to Trump three years ago in part because many working-class white voters in this region abandoned their ancestral party.
No Democratic nominee has won the White House without carrying Pennsylvania since 1948, and the promise of Biden's candidacy is that his appeal with this bloc of the electorate could swing the state, along with other Midwest battlegrounds, back from the Republicans.
Meanwhile, Trump slammed the Vice President in a tweet on Monday, saying he was elected because of the failures of President Barack Obama and Biden.
"They didn't do the job and now you have Trump, who is getting it done - big time."

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First Published: Apr 30 2019 | 12:44 PM IST

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