WASHINGTON -- Joe Biden will call for a moderate approach toward reviving the U.S. economy if elected president that includes spurring manufacturing and encouraging innovation, shelving for now the more ambitious proposals pushed by progressive Democrats, people familiar with his plans said.
The Democratic nominee plans to deliver an economic speech on Thursday near his childhood hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, framing his argument for the rest of the campaign.
The outline of the plan covers three areas: A push to buy American and incentivizing American jobs, clean energy and the "caring" economy such as child and elder care workers and domestic workers, a person familiar with the plan said.
He will follow Thursday's speech with detailed policy proposals leading up to the Democratic National Convention, which begins Aug. 17. Other Democrats were being briefed Wednesday on Biden's plans.
"Biden wants to get to the same place that many to his left want to get to but he firmly believes that it will take an incremental path to get there and that you can't leapfrog the political reality that he has come to know in many decades in politics," said Jared Bernstein, who is advising the campaign after serving as Biden's chief economic adviser in the vice president's office.
Biden's proposals will hit some of the areas that are often discussed by both the right and left, including efforts to spur manufacturing and to encourage innovation.
"So his destination on many key issues, particularly on the economy and health care, is very similar to the further left but his path to get there is going to be more incremental," he said.
Each individual idea may seem small but "the beauty of these plans is in the totality" of everything that Biden will be proposing on the economy in the coming weeks, Bernstein said.
With an economy in recession due to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden has decided to home in on the economy, still the one area where a slim majority of voters prefer President Donald Trump's approach. That is the only policy area in which Trump leads Biden in public opinion polls four months before the election.
Biden's plans draw some from his Democratic primary opponents' ideas, including a version of Elizabeth Warren's proposal to use the federal procurement process to buy American-made clean energy for government use and export, two people briefed on Biden's proposals said.