At a campaign rally on Monday, US President Donald Trump claimed his rivals on the Democratic ticket would turn the US into “another Venezuela” if he is defeated in the November election.
At a campaign stop in Wisconsin on Monday, Trump drew comparisons between his centrist Democratic rivals, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
“It’s the most dangerous election we’ve ever had,” Trump said. “It’ll be another Venezuela. I used to say that lightly, I now say it very strongly … this will be a large-scale, very large-scale Venezuela if they win. We’re going to win.” He later added “The only way we lose this election is if the election is rigged.”
Trump’s presidency has been characterized by a hostility to socialist countries like Cuba and China and countries with strong socialist movements like Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Venezuela, as well as to the rising socialist movement in the United States, which has both social-democratic and revolutionary elements. Trump famously declared in his 2019 State of the Union Address that “America will never be a socialist country” as he pledged his opposition not just to Medicare-for-All, but the Affordable Care Act as well.
“Biden is a Trojan horse for socialism,” Trump also said at the Wisconsin rally.
Biden’s newly minted vice presidential running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, had previously adopted parts of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ social-democratic platform, such as Medicare-for-All, while a presidential candidate in her own right. Harris dropped out of the race last December.
However, Biden has also distanced himself from socialism, criticizing Sanders’ platform during the primary debates.
“Bernie is a Democrat,” Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in January. “Bernie calls himself a Democratic Socialist. We have different views on a whole lot of things.”
During the 2016 race, Biden told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that “We need – not just in my country, but in other countries – a more progressive tax code. Not confiscatory policy, not socialism, a tax code. Everybody pays proportionally a fair share. This is not meant to penalize everybody.”
However, in a bid to sew together the Democratic Party’s left and right wings after Sanders’ own departure from the race, a “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force” published in early July recommendations for a united platform ticket. However, most of the Sanders campaign’s more radical proposals, such as “Medicare for All,” a “Green New Deal” overhauling environmental policy, and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), were dropped from those recommendations, which were submitted to the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee ahead of the coming convention.