I had some harsh words for Team Biden yesterday morning for its namby-pamby reaction to Trump’s smears, so for the sake of fairness, here’s a much better (IMO) response from Biden himself at an Iowa news conference yesterday afternoon:
Former Vice President Joe Biden today said if he’s elected president, he will build on what he called “the squeaky clean…environment” of the Obama White House and have a policy for his family’s work that’s different than President Trump’s.
“No one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they’re a cabinet, will in fact have any a business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or to a foreign country,” Biden said.
Not sure how it will work to regulate family members’ working relationships with all foreign entities, but kudos to Biden for drawing a clear contrast with the corrupt and nepotistic Trumps, which is necessary for every Democrat. Team Biden also published a page on the campaign website this morning that says “Trump has presided over the most corrupt administration in modern history” and lists proposals on how to “restore faith in American government.” Good for them.
During the news conference in Iowa, Biden reiterated that there’s no proof his son did anything wrong and asked listeners to consider the source:
“Everybody knows he’s a liar — the president — I mean, for real,” Biden told Radio Iowa. “…I’m the reason he’s being impeached. He’s indicted himself by calling in foreign powers to try to impact the election.”
True enough. Biden also said Trump’s accusations haven’t had a negative impact on his campaign, which appears to be true so far, at least as measured by Biden’s polling numbers, which haven’t budged. But as we know, Trump’s M.O. is to slime opponents repeatedly, not to make himself look better, but to break down any distinctions at all. The jury is out on how effective that tactic could be long term.
Biden also said if he’s elected, he wouldn’t pardon Trump:
“It wouldn’t unite the country,” Biden said. “You’d say: ‘Wait a minute. I get a parking ticket and I’ve got to pay it. This happens to me and I’ve got to go to jail. This guy does all these things that put us jeopardy and he gets off? I think this is of a different nature. And I think President Ford, God love him he’s a good guy, I knew him pretty well, I think if he had to do it over again he wouldn’t have done it…because he didn’t get re-elected.”
Ford-Nixon is an apples-to-oranges comparison since they were both of the same party, and pardoning Nixon was part of the deal to make Ford VP, wasn’t it? But the first part of Biden’s remarks on the topic were spot-on — I think people really are sick of the rich and powerful skating while regular people who commit lesser offenses are nailed to the wall.
I think people are sick of the lack of accountability and rigged systems across the board. It’s always been true that there are two justice systems, etc., one for the rich and powerful, and one for you and me. But egregious examples of this inequality seem to be rampant in the Trump era, and it’s a trend the Trumps exemplify in every respect.
Examples include creeps like Jeffrey Epstein, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly, Les Moonves, Harvey Weinstein using their money and prestige to cover up abusive and/or criminal behavior. It’s undocumented immigrant veterans separated from their families and deported while sketchy “Einstein visa” recipient Melania Trump uses the “chain migration” her husband rants about to get citizenship for her parents.
It’s those idiot Hollywood parents rigging college admissions in favor of their already wildly privileged offspring. It’s poor people going to jail over unpaid parking fines while mega-donor wingnut Robert Mercer remains free to purchases politicians who make tax policy despite his company owing $7 billion in back taxes.
I don’t know that Joe Biden would have selected fighting government corruption as a central campaign theme had it not been thrust on him by Trump’s baseless accusations against his son. But since there’s a good chance he’ll be our standard bearer in 2020, I’m glad he’s putting a marker down on the issue now. I think it’s a winning issue for Democrats, regardless of nominee.