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Tag Archives: Biden

Biden Plays Race Card Against Trump

Vice President Joe Biden has injected race into the presidential campaign — by linking Donald Trump, the popular GOP front-runner, with xenophobic and racist movements of the past.

The line of attack augers a broader war against Trump and his ideas about immigration, one waged by both Democrats and establishment Republicans that charges Trump is stirring latent intolerance within the GOP.

Speaking during a celebration at the vice president’s residence of Hispanic Heritage Month, Biden charged that Trump was a throwback to the Know Nothing Party, a sometimes violently anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant movement that flourished briefly in the 1850s.

“I want you to remember, notwithstanding the fact that one guy absolutely denigrated an entire group of people, appealing to the baser side of human nature, working on this notion of xenophobia in a way that hasn’t occurred in a long time, since the Know Nothing party at the end of the 19th century.”

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama talk in the Blue Room of the White House before hosting a reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, May 27, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Biden said Trump is offering a “sick message” on immigration, linking him to past racism in America by invoking the 1960s civil rights theme, “We Shall Overcome.”

“It’s about a sick message,” Biden said. “This message has been tried on America many times before. We always, always, always, always, always overcome.”

By invoking past bigotry to a Hispanic audience, Biden is implicitly casting as racist Trump’s wildly enthusiastic backers, who according to polls make up nearly a third of the Republican Party.

Suggestions of intolerance against those concerned about too much immigration from Mexico and Central America are not unique to Democrats. The Wall Street Journal editorial page regularly rings with the charge that nativism animates those who want to slow immigration.

Speaking in 2011 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, former President George W. Bush suggested xenophobia was driving views not just on immigration, but on trade and non-interventionism in foreign wars as well.

“What’s interesting about our country, if you study history, is that there are some ‘isms’ that occasionally pop up — pop up. One is isolationism and its evil twin protectionism and its evil triplet nativism,” Bush said.

“So if you study the ’20s, for example, there was — there was an American first policy that said who cares what happens in Europe?” he continued. “And there was an immigration policy that I think during this period argued we had too many Jews and too many Italians, therefore we should have no immigrants. And my point is that we’ve been through this kind of period of isolationism, protectionism and nativism. I’m a little concerned that we may be going through the same period.”

Biden’s remarks have the ring of an incipient presidential campaign, for which corralling Latino voters — both in the primaries and the general election — will be critical. And the attack indicates Biden is willing to take the nasty campaign President Obama ran against Mitt Romney in 2012 and double down on the vitriol.

Biden suggested Trump lacks decency.

“The American people are decent,” Biden said. “I don’t want anybody to be down right now about what’s going on in the Republican Party.”

Biden seemed to contrast Trump’s message with that of Pope Francis, who visits the United States next week.

Shortly after the GOP debate, “the most popular man in the world is about to come to the United States of America,” Biden said. “Why is he so popular? Because he says, ‘Whatever you do unto the least of my brethren you do unto me.’”

While denigrating millions of Republicans, Biden tried to also cast himself as benevolent, suggesting he wasn’t talking about most in the GOP and that Trump backers would change their views.

“This will pass,” Biden said. “The Trump and that stuff you’re hearing on the other team” isn’t about Democrat, Republican.

“Look, you’re talking about somebody who’s talking about a minority within a minority party within a minority,” Biden said.

Actually, the Republican Party is the majority party, in charge of both houses of Congress.

This post first appeared on the other website I edit, PoliZette.

Biden to Skip Netanyahu Speech

Vice President Joe Biden will not attend Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to Congress, Politico is reporting.

The stated reason is that Biden will be out of the country. Whether the White House arranged a trip to avoid having to send Biden is not clear. I wouldn’t put it beyond them. The White House claims planning has been underway for some time.

It’s not clear yet where he’s going.

White House Not Sure Biden Will Attend Netanyahu Speech

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today indicated it was uncertain whether Vice President Biden would attend next month’s speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress, saying, in effect, that it would depend on whether Biden can work it into his schedule.

“The vice president’s schedule for that week has not yet been set,” Earnest said near the beginning of the briefing. But Earnest later seemed to contradict himself, noting that other factors, such as whether Biden’s attendance could be perceived as affecting the upcoming Israeli election, will come into play.

The White House claims concern about affecting the election, which occurs two weeks after Netanyahu’s March 3, speech, is the reason why President Obama refuses to meet with Netanyahu while he is in the country.

Nevertheless, Earnest seemed to indicate Biden’s appearance was likely – though he didn’t specifically say so – noting that it is Biden’s “ceremonial role” as “president of the Senate” to attend speeches to Congress, and that he had only missed one, when he was out of the country.

But Earnest’s response seemed an attempt by the White House to mutedly express what is said to be its extraordinary anger at what Earnest said was a “breach of protocol” in which the Congress circumvented the White House and invited an foreign leader to address it, and the foreign leader accepted.

Earnest dodged a question about whether President Obama wants Biden to go, saying it was dependent on Biden’s schedule. And he refused to counsel lawmakers to attend, saying, “Individual members of Congress ought to decide for themselves” whether to go to the speech.

An article in Politico today indicated that Biden and many Democrats might not attend the speech.

“one of the factors” whether it would influence

White House Forced to Reassure on Biden

Well this was kind of refreshing.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today quite properly took quite seriously questions from ABC’s Jonathan Karl about Vice President Biden’s performance over the past couple of weeks.

Rather than shooting the messenger, which is normal White House protocol, Earnest tacitly acknowledged that Biden’s incessant gaffing of late was cause enough for alarm to issue a statement reassuring that Biden remains a key player on President Obama’s team.

Earnest thankfully avoided the usual “Joe’s a colorful guy” defense.

KARL: The vice president has apologized to the Emirates, he has apologized to the Turks, he may or may not apologize next to the Saudis. A few weeks ago he apologized to the ADL for using the term ‘shylock.’ He took heat for using the term ‘Orient’ to describe Asia. He praised Bob Packwood before a women’s group.

This is all in the past few weeks. What is the president’s response to his vice president going out and continually needing to apologize for things he’s said?

EARNEST: Well, I’ll say a couple things about that. The first is, I think the vice president is somebody who has enough character to admit when he’s made a mistake . . .

KARL: That’s a lot of mistakes in a short period of time –

EARNEST:  He did that both publicly when his office generated readouts of these calls, but he also he did it privately when he picked up the telephone to clarify and apologize for his comments over the weekend.

The fact of the matter is the vice president is somebody who continues to be a core member of the president’s national security team. He is somebody who has decades of experience in dealing with leaders around the globe, and the president is pleased to be able to rely on his advice as we confront the variety of challenges that are so critical to American national security.

Earnest wouldn’t say whether or not Biden had apologized to Obama.

Biden Jinxes U.S. Soccer Team

Vice President Biden showed up in Brazil to watch the United States play Ghana in the World Cup tournament, jinxing the U.S. team for the rest of the tournament. Despite the jinx, the United States eked out a 2-1 victory over Ghana in a game they would have won 7-0 had Biden not shown up.… Continue Reading

White House Gates Strategy: What’s the Big Fuss?

The White House today low-keyed its response to an incendiary book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, suggesting nobody in the White House particularly cared much about the 640-page tome. Gates made a series of damaging charges against the Obama administration, including that Vice President Biden was a serial… Continue Reading

Biden Welcomes Delaware Sandwich Shop to DC

Biden arrived at a Delaware-based sandwich chain’s new local outlet in Washington to pick up lunch for him and President Obama. Biden, who is famously cheap – check out his charitable giving – was short of cash. Of course, he refused the offer of a free sandwich from someone at the shop who clearly doesn’t… Continue Reading