FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE via 2020 Biden for President
March 4, 2020
Building on the momentum coming out of Super Tuesday, former Michigan Senator Carl Levinreleased the following statement endorsing Joe Biden for President of the United States:
“Like many Democrats in Michigan and across the country, I have struggled with the question of which Democratic presidential candidate has the best chance of defeating Donald Trump this November. All the Democratic candidates would be superior to four more years of endless Trump lies and divisiveness and incivility. All would end Trump’s relentless injection of venom against those who disagree with him and his endless elevation of his personal interest and ego above the interests of the nation.
“I have concluded that Vice President Joe Biden has the best chance of defeating Donald Trump – and the best chance of winning Michigan’s electoral votes.
“First, Joe Biden has the best chance of attracting votes of a broad cross-section of voters in Michigan and across the country, including some moderate voters who might vote for Trump or might not vote at all, rather than voting for a self-described socialist such as Sen. Bernie Sanders whose ideology is unappealing to those voters.
“Second, a major issue for me is the health of our auto industry, which accounts directly or indirectly for one in 10 jobs in our country. Joe Biden has a demonstrated record of standing up for auto workers, while Bernie Sanders at a critical moment for the industry’s survival did not.
“When the future of that industry was in doubt in 2008 and 2009, and big parts of the industry were in danger of going under in a tail spinning economy, Joe Biden was in the trenches as a senator and as Vice President-elect, fighting for and voting – along with my brother Sandy and I – for the bill that would contain the $19 billion that the industry needed to survive. Twice in the Senate, Joe Biden took tough votes that provided the assistance. Both he and then-Sen. Obama voted on Oct. 1, 2008 – in the midst of their heated presidential campaign – for the Troubled Asset Relief Program that provided that assistance to the auto industry and to financial markets. They did so even though a Republican president had requested the aid. Bernie Sanders voted no.
“The second key vote providing funding to save our auto industry came on Jan. 15, 2009. Obama was now the President-elect and Biden was the Vice President-elect. It was only five days before their inauguration. President Bush had authorized $13.5 billion of TARP funds to help the auto industry survive. But the law creating TARP divided the rescue program in half and set up a Congressional vote on the second half of the aid – including $4 billion in crucial aid to the auto industry. Obama and Biden pushed hard for approval, despite continued controversy over the aid. Once again, they were there for auto workers when it mattered. Sanders voted to disapprove the funding.
“If Bernie Sanders is our nominee, I foresee Trump, despite his own inconsistencies on support for the auto industry, would make a powerful media pitch that if Sanders had his way on those two key votes, much of the domestic auto industry would have gone under.
“I worked with Joe Biden for 30 years. I know personally of the facts that I am recounting here because I was there in person on the floor of the Senate when he cast those tough votes. By the time of that second vote in January 2009, 17,000 Americans a day were losing their jobs and more than 9,000 homes were going into foreclosure every day in our country. Joe Biden was taking practical steps to stop those losses, while Bernie Sanders was taking an ideological position. Both are good men and have good hearts and care about working people. But it was Biden who fought for us and acted effectively at a critical moment to bring those job losses and foreclosures to an end and to provide immediate and practical support for our critical auto industry here in Michigan. Biden’s experience in foreign affairs will help restore America’s role as a coalition builder and as a moral force in the world. With those qualities and with his more broad-based appeal I believe he has the best chance of defeating Trump in Michigan and helping our state and nation to get back on track.”
Levin’s endorsement adds to the growing support that Joe Biden has already garnered in Michigan, including former Governor Jennifer Granholm who endorsed earlier today. In addition, the Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, State Representatives Joe Tate, Karen Whitsett, and Tenisha Yancey, and State Senator Marshall Bullock have also endorsed Biden. Nationally, Biden for President has previously announced more than 1,500 endorsements from national, state, and local leaders, including current and former U.S. senators and representatives, governors, state elected officials, community leaders, and national security professionals.