Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participated in a "town hall" on NBC on Monday night, during which he denied suggestions that he is a socialist. Many, including incumbent President Donald J. Trump, have suggested that a vote for Biden is a vote for socialism.

Fox News and Associated Press accounts of the town hall appearance indicate that Biden went out of his way to appeal to more moderate voters by denying he is a socialist.

“I look like a socialist?” Biden asked the audience. “I’m the guy that ran against the socialist, remember? I got in trouble through the whole campaign, 20-some candidates – ‘Joe Biden was too centrist, too moderate, too straightforward.’ That was Joe Biden.”

True enough. I do not believe that Joe Biden is a socialist per se, but I do believe Biden has been willing to advance socialist positions and policies to widen his base by appealing to followers of socialists like Bernie Sanders. Biden would be controlled by the far left should he win the election.

Biden has cast a wide net and has done little to distance himself from the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and others who espouse socialism in order to attract their supporters. His selection of left-wing Sen. Kamala Harris indicates just how far left Biden is willing to shift to win the election.

Without question, Biden needs the left-wing of the party if he is to defeat Trump on November 3. He needs to hold those voters close while at the same time convince moderates that he resides with them in the middle. It's a tough balance. Should the "Bernie Bros" distrust Biden, they will stay home on election day, and that could be costly for the nominee.

The radical left does not view Biden as their guy, but as AOC told Just The News in a September 17 interview, they can work with him. "I think, overall, we can likely push Vice President Biden in a more progressive direction across policy issues," said Ocasio-Cortez.

Biden would be beholden to the far left if he wins, and that is worrisome. So in effect, a vote for Biden would be a vote for socialism.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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