Politics

Biden on His ‘Lynching’ Comment: Says He’s ‘Sorry’ and Should’ve Known Better

Former vice president is again in the position of having to apologize for statements

Image Credit: Screenshot, CNN/NYTimes

If his lackluster performance at recent debates wasn’t making Democrats nervous enough, now former Vice President Joe Biden must contend with, and drag other Dems into, a controversy fully of his own making.

President Donald Trump tweeted yesterday that the proposed Democrat impeachment move was a “lynching.”

He wrote in part, “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!”

Here’s the tweet itself:

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It’s a line that goes all the way back to the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, when the then-Supreme Court nominee referred to his terrible treatment at the hands of the Biden-run Senate Judiciary Committee as “a high-tech lynching.”

So Biden, of all people, should have known the line has a history.

Forgetting that, however (intentionally or not), Biden tried to score a point off Trump.

Here’s Biden’s tweet:

Chalk it up to bad staff work, either in leadership or the communications shop, but the tweet apparently went out without homework on some people’s part.

In this business, that is a deadly mistake.

It’s even more deadly because other Dem candidates such as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro pile on following Biden’s lead in criticizing the president’s use of the term.

Biden’s staff also overlooked that Dem House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has used the term “lynching” in the past.

Soon after Biden went for the hit, CNN — for once on its game in the journalism department — found this in deep storage, as this tweet makes clear:

This comeuppance then prompted Biden to issue this commentary on Twitter.

He admitted that “lynching” “wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that.”

And then he turned right around and ripped into Trump (what else is new?).

His climb down exposes not only him — but also all the other Dems involved as not ready for prime time. A simple Google search or a decent political memory about the Thomas line would have prevented the entire kerfuffle.

Biden tried to pivot the apology into an attack on Trump.

However, the weakness of the gambit drew more attention to the initial own goal.

This further raises the water-cooler gossip that Biden is not up to the job. He can’t seem to go a week without a gaffe or three — and in debates, he tends to stutter, confused, and often even has his facts wrong.

Dems know that Trump’s only problem in a debate with Biden would be not to roll over him too hard — and thus gain Biden sympathy for being a victim.

Would any of the other Democrat candidates fare better?

Related: ‘Joe Biden, What Are You Hiding?’

Yes — though not Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); she would come across as hard and screechy. Not Harris, either — too sanctimonious. And not Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — too “crazy uncle who lives in the attic,” in my view.

The guy at present who Trump could get a run from in a debate would be Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. He knows timing and delivery as witnessed by what he did to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) in the last debate — the fourth one (the fifth is coming up in November).

For those who missed it, when O’Rourke lectured him on his supposed timidity on gun control, the mayor shot back with, “I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal.”

He shoots — he scores.

Buttigieg could also use his military service in contrast to Trump in any question on national security.

But could he take a general election against the president? No.

So the Dems are faced with an old war horse who could possibly win some battleground states lost in 2016 — but who is a rhetorical nightmare, and most other candidates who would probably fail both in debates against Trump and in gaining the presidency.

Granted, it’s still early at this point.

But it’s not a great position to be in, even in October before an election year.

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David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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