There appears to be some confusion within the Biden campaign regarding its position on a nationwide mask mandate.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced this week that he does not support such a widespread order in remarks that came just days after his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), said the issue would be central to their platform, as reported by Breitbart.
“I am a constitutionalist”
Not only is he now backing away from that vow, some critics say he is trying to rewrite history in the process.
“I am a constitutionalist,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “You can’t do things the Constitution doesn’t allow you the power to do.”
Instead, he said he backed a platform that would “put pressure” on local authorities who do have that authority.
As a Brookings survey determined, Americans are less likely to abide by mask mandates than citizens of other countries, with 4 in 10 respondents saying that it is “their right as an American” to decide whether or not to wear one.
“He thinks it’s good politics”
With the nuanced take on the issue Biden expressed this week, he appears to have found common ground with President Donald Trump, who has long spoken out against the implementation of a nationwide order.
In response to the Democratic nominee’s position as expressed last month, the president offered a dismissive take.
“While Joe Biden would allow rioters and looters and criminals and millions of illegal aliens to roam free in our country, he wants the federal government to issue a sweeping new mandate to law-abiding citizens,” Trump said.
At the time, he said that Biden supported an executive order for “over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask for a minimum of three straight months, because … he thinks it’s good politics.”
Based on the notably less committal rhetoric he is using this week, it seems the Biden campaign has determined a mask mandate might not be as popular as they first assumed.