Democrats Face ‘Equally Urgent’ Issue Besides Biden: Party Consultant Warns

Democratic strategist and attorney Julian Epstein warned on Saturday in an opinion article about an “equally urgent” issue that Democrats should look at besides President Joe Biden amid this year’s presidential election.

Last month, Biden and former President Donald Trump participated in the first presidential debate of this year’s election cycle, which was hosted by CNN in Georgia. As the two sparred over key issues during the debate, both faced high stakes, with polls suggesting many voters are unhappy with their choices ahead of the election.

In addition, Biden, 81, and Trump, 78, have faced concerns about their age. However, Biden failed to quell those concerns during the debate after he appeared to lose his train of thought at times and stumbled in his responses. The president’s debate performance has led some members of the Democratic Party to consider replacing him as its nominee. However, there is no indication of who would be proposed as a candidate and Biden’s campaign has vowed to not step down.

In an opinion column published by the New York Post on Saturday, titled “Replacing Biden is only a start—Democrats must also change their policies,” Epstein, who previously served as Democratic chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, discussed that a “self-examination” of the party’s policies is “equally urgent” as concerns over Biden’s ability to serve a second term continue.

“Equally urgent is an examination of the cultural rot that deluded party officials into believing they could pull the wool over the voters’ eyes about Biden if they—and their allies in newsrooms—just repeated it often enough. Let’s start with the policy problem first,” Epstein wrote.

He continued: “In recent years, the Democratic Party has moved to the far left, ceding much of its policymaking to the intersectional cultural warriors who mostly understand complex economic and social issues through the lens of oppressor/oppressed theology. Even before the debate debacle, the Biden-Harris team was losing its bid for reelection largely because of the unpopularity of increasingly hard leftist positions on nearly every major issue other than abortion.”

Newsweek has reached out to Biden’s campaign and the DNC via email for comment.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden is seen at the White House on July 1 in Washington, D.C. Democratic strategist and attorney Julian Epstein warned on Saturday in an opinion article about an “equally urgent” issue that Democrats…

Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

A few of the key issues that have been consistent talking points amid this year’s election include: abortion, immigration, and foreign aid.

During the debate, Trump knocked Biden over his handling of several foreign policy issues, including ongoing conflicts in Ukraine with its war with Russia and Israel in its war with Hamas.

The Israel-Hamas war has dominated the 2024 election cycle, as Biden and Trump have sought to portray themselves as the strongest candidate to address the conflict.

The war has divided Americans following Hamas’ October 7, 2023, attack on Israel, which saw the Palestinian militant group kill 1,200 people and take about 250 others hostage. Israel has since launched an offensive in Gaza that has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, the Associated Press reports, citing the Gaza Ministry of Health. Some Americans have expressed concerns that Israel has gone too far in its offensive.

In addition, immigration has been a key issue, with Republicans blaming a rise in migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on the Biden administration’s border policy, accusing the president of not taking it seriously. Biden, however, has touted steps to strengthen the border, such as more funding for Border Patrol. Trump faced scrutiny of his handling of immigration as president, with critics arguing some of his policies were inhumane.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 by U.S. Supreme Court, abortion rights have been back in the national spotlight. Biden has cast himself as a strong supporter of abortion rights, while Trump has said the issue should be left to the states. During the debate, Trump stood by his positioning on abortion, despite the issue becoming a sticking point for Republicans. As president, Trump largely embraced an anti-abortion agenda and has offered mixed signals about whether he would support a federal abortion policy. Meanwhile, Biden pledged to veto any national abortion ban as Democrats have seen success in recent elections running on abortion.

On Friday, Biden stood against calls to step down as the Democratic Party’s nominee before November in a sit-down interview with ABC News.

“I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work,” Biden told supporters on Friday. “I’m staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump.”

This is not the first time Epstein has pointed toward the Democratic Party “moving to the far left” with its policies. In a Fox News interview last month, he said that the Democratic Party has two problems, one of which is that it needs to “move to the political center.”

“The second problem…is that the party has been captured by a very ideologically extreme left that is completely intolerant of this set, it is that intolerance that has led to the groupthink that allows gaslighting by Democratic Party officials and the mainstream media that Biden is up for the job. It’s the same gaslighting where the party does not recognize that it has moved way to the left in issues…The party not only needs a new candidate in my opinion, but it needs to move to the political center,” Epstein said.