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Op-Ed: Biden’s Trump Imitation: The Highest Form of Flattery

This article originally appeared on Real Clear Politics on July 19, 2020.

Imitation, it’s said, is the greatest form of flattery. In that sense, Joe Biden’s transparent attempt to pilfer President Trump’s “Made in America” slogan in a recent speech in Pennsylvania demonstrates better than any poll just how effective and popular Trump’s “America First” policies are.

Of course, Biden missed the point of “America First” and ignored the impact of the president’s related tax cuts and regulatory reductions. Biden’s focus instead is to spend $700 billion on economic recovery while he taxes and regulates American businesses into stagnation—again. We shouldn’t be surprised. Biden has spent decades in the Washington swamp promoting bad trade deals, higher taxes, and more government regulation.

Plagiarism, whether literal or figurative, seems to be a hallmark of Biden’s presidential campaigns. In 1988, he was forced to give up his bid after he was found to have pilfered speeches from other prominent politicians in the U.S. and Great Britain. Apparently, Biden has forgotten about that humiliation. Just last summer, his campaign acknowledged that, in laying out the candidate’s education and climate plans, it had lifted language from other sources, at points word for word, without attribution.

Mimicking the president on trade might have been more believable if the Democrats had chosen a candidate with a consistent history—or any history—of protecting American workers and businesses from unfair foreign competition. Biden has supported the notion of “free trade,” but without the caveat that trade isn’t “free” unless it’s also “fair.”

This is particularly true with respect to Biden’s claim in his Pennsylvania speech that he would be “aggressive” on trade with China. That would be a first: For eight years, the Obama-Biden administration did nothing about America’s ballooning trade deficit with China.

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