The 2020 Democratic National Convention is still 11 months away, so the party’s campaign gurus and communications people need not yet panic about the fact that former Vice President Joe Biden is still the front runner in the nomination race. The worry must be seeping in, though.
Biden manages to say something stupid, offensive, or just flat-out untruthful every time he opens his mouth. If he is the best the Democrats can do for a presidential candidate, then the fat lady is already singing a lament for the party’s demise.
Just type Biden’s name into any online search engine, and one will find an extensive list of articles detailing the former senator’s many verbal gaffes – which range from puzzling flubs to outrageous distortions of reality. For comedic value, here are a few of Uncle Joe’s most recent and not-so-recent blunders:
At an Iowa town hall event, Biden told his audience that “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” Though he immediately tried to correct himself and later conceded that he “misspoke,” the man has a long history of making racially charged gaffes.
As Barack Obama’s running mate, Biden described the future president thusly: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Whites Over Blacks, Truth Over Facts
One cannot help but wonder if “Sleepy Joe” – as President Donald Trump is wont to refer to him – has a deep-rooted belief that blacks simply are not on the same level as whites. When a person has a habit of making off-the-cuff remarks that imply that non-whites are, in general, less able and less acceptable than whites, it is hard to ignore the possibility that the person making those remarks has some ingrained beliefs regarding the racial superiority of white people.
Another recent zinger occurred Aug. 8, again in Iowa, where Democratic candidates are battling it out for this important upcoming primary. “We choose science over fiction,” Biden told the crowd during a stump speech. “We choose truth over facts.”
This, of course, may not have been a gaffe at all. Leftists have crafted their own truth about the world, human society, and economics. Their “truth” has very little to do with facts, so perhaps the 2020 hopeful merely was stating what he and his political kinfolk actually believe.
Biden’s Big Charlottesville Lie
Biden’s favorite misrepresentation of actual events concerns the current president and the aftermath of the 2017 Charlottesville, VA, protests and counter-protests over the removal of a Confederate statue. There is no denying that many of the people who gathered could be described accurately as “white nationalists” and perhaps as “neo-Nazis.” Few honest observers would dispute this, and the most tragic event in Virginia was the killing of a young woman caused by a white nationalist who drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters.
Biden constantly claims that Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville dispute. On Aug. 8, Biden’s communications director, Bill Russo, even tweeted a transcript of the president’s remarks to journalists shortly after the event. In this transcript, Trump is quoted as telling the reporter: “[B]ut you also had some people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
The president did say those words. In Russo’s tweeted version of the transcript, the first part of Trump’s remark has been edited. In response to a reporter who said, “The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville,” Trump answered, “Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group.”
This is Russo’s version of what Trump said: “Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves - and you had some very bad people in that group.”
Russo tweeted a copy of the transcript that omitted Trump referencing the fact that the protesters had not identified themselves as neo-Nazis. Clearly, the Biden campaign wanted to create the impression that a group of men openly identifying themselves as neo-Nazis had shown up in Charlottesville and that the president was saying those men were “very fine people.”
Conveniently, Russo did not cite his source for this version of Trump’s remarks. He could not credibly do so, of course, because it was clearly altered for partisan purposes. Whether Russo himself created a doctored version of the original exchange between Trump and reporters at the Aug. 15, 2017, press conference is not clear. Perhaps Biden’s campaign simply borrowed an altered version of the exchange published on some left-wing blog.
Context is everything, of course. On the same day as the presser, Politico published a full transcript of Trump’s remarks. It should be noted that Politico is not a conservative publication and is not in the business of misrepresenting Trump’s words to protect him from criticism.
Although the intended subject of the press conference had been infrastructure, the president was forced to devote a large part of it fielding further questions about Charlottesville.
“[Y]ou had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”
Joel Pollak of Breitbart News confronted Biden in Iowa over his mischaracterizing of Trump’s Charlottesville comments. The latter became irate before scurrying away to avoid being challenged further. Pollak pointed out that the president had, in fact, told reporters that neo-Nazis should be condemned.
“He did not,” Biden answered. “Let’s get this straight. He said there were very fine people in both groups. They were chanting anti-Semitic slogans, carrying flags.”
Not every person who has protested the removal of Confederate statues is a neo-Nazi, as the left implies. The president acknowledged this fact while also clearly and unequivocally stating that neo-Nazis and white nationalists “should be condemned totally.” That Biden and his campaign continue to misrepresent these facts is shameful.
Is Biden’s Lead Now Just Embarrassing?
His verbal gaffes, his long history of changing his position on almost every major political issue, and his shady dealings with the Chinese and the Ukrainians make Biden’s presidential prospects seem laughable. Throw in his fondling of women and young girls, and one could be forgiven for thinking the guy is working secretly to get Trump re-elected.
The current state of the Democrats’ nomination campaign makes it seem the party is in a very uncomfortable position. Likely primary voters still heavily favor the former VP, but many in the party – as well as many on the more extreme left of its voting base – are not at all happy with the prospect of presidential candidate Biden.
In September 2016, Hillary Clinton vented her frustration with her own failing presidential bid. “[W]hy aren’t I 50 points ahead [of Trump], you might ask?” she whined. Of course, everybody but Hillary knew why she was not ahead: A lot of Americans cannot stand the sight of her, she ran a terrible campaign, and she openly insulted a large section of the voting public.
By now, some of the leading 2020 Democrat contenders must be asking themselves the same question: Why is Biden, a cross between Mr. Magoo and Homer Simpson, stumbling and lurching from one idiotic comment to the next, still crushing it in the polls?
At this point, it is just plain embarrassing for many Democrats that Biden is the leading contender. It is worth noting, though, that for all of his mind-numbing mistakes and tall tales worthy of Baron von Munchausen, Biden owes his lead to the fact that he is the only candidate not on the extreme left who has national name recognition. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) currently split the lion’s share of the progressive/socialist vote.
When only one of those three remains in the contest, he or she is likely to be polling well ahead of “Middle-Class but Extremely Wealthy” Joe. It is yet to be determined whether the radical wing or the slightly more rational wing of the Democratic Party will win out in the battle to choose the challenger to Trump. Biden already is slipping, and losing his grip on the primary polls’ top spot perhaps is inevitable. At that point, the sighs of relief coming the left might be as loud as thunder.