Joe Biden had another awkward day on the campaign trail Friday when, among other stumbles, he asked his audience during his talk on healthcare to “Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, Barack Obama had been assassinated.”
It was at his town hall meeting in Hanover, New Hampshire, yesterday that the former vice president again brought up the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. For some reason, this time he decided to mention his former boss in the grim story.
“My two political heroes were Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy,” Biden said. “My senior semester, they were both shot and killed. Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee. What would have happened in America?”
Watch and listen …
Video by Fox News
News coverage relaying the sound byte was swift, but multiple campaign staffers were ready at their keyboards in damage control mode.
Biden adviser Simone Sanders replied to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser’s tweet claiming her candidate was framing those assassinations in terms “young folks” could understand, and charged that Viser was “chasing clicks.”
Matt – He was putting into perspective, for the young folks in the room, about how traumatic the assassinations of RFK and MLK were for the country. This tweet is chasing clicks. https://t.co/K7cY4NeWyM
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) August 24, 2019
Biden’s Rapid Response Director Andrew Bates, who seemed busy, quickly accused another liberal news outlet of “click-chasing” and said that “taking this out of context is malicious.”
.@CillizzaCNN, taking this out of context is malicious. He was putting into perspective, for young people, how traumatic the assassinations of RFK and MLK were for the country. The crowd didn’t even react because they understood his point. This click-chasing is sickening. https://t.co/EknMsckUxr
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) August 24, 2019
As for the context, it would seem to get only more head-scratchingly awkward if it was actually reported … “I think of where we are at the moment,” Biden said. “You know, none of you men are old — women are old enough, but a couple of you guys are old enough to remember. I graduated in 1968. Everybody before me was, drop out, go to Haight-Ashbury, don’t trust anybody over 30, everybody not getting involved. I’m serious — I know no woman will shake their head and acknowledge it, but you guys know what I’m talking about. Right?
“But then what happened? Dr. Ki— I only have two political heroes. I have one hero who was my dad, but I have two political heroes were Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. My senior semester they were both shot and killed. Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee. What would have happened in America?”
Still another far left media outlet, The Daily Beast, was taken to task for directly reporting the 2020 Dem front runner’s quote when Biden Communications Director Kate Bedingfield claimed, “Imagine if Obama had been assassinated” is a “sleazy headline.”
This is a sleazy headline. He was talking about the turmoil of the late 60s and asking young people to imagine what the MLK and RFK assassinations did to the country. People deserve responsibility from their news outlets. https://t.co/kMHhoQyoAu
— Kate Bedingfield (@KBeds) August 24, 2019
The way “Jaws” Biden is going, reeling off gaffe after gaffe in front of cameras, he may be needing a “bigger boat” full of political disaster rapid responders.
Still other misfires on Friday by Biden include a comment claiming “you had over 40 kids shot at Kent State on a beautiful lawn by the National Guard.” In fact, four students were killed and nine wounded on May 4, 1970 when ill-trained National Guardsmen fired on a Vietnam War protest.
Even when he was actually trying to stay on topic in talking about his health care plan, he couldn’t seem to get things quite right. He said that his plan won’t have “quality” and that it’s “only affordable.”
“If you’re not satisfied, you have another option, high-quality options. The public option will be made available. We’ll make sure it’s not quality, we’ll make sure it’s only affordable, quality that’s affordable,” Biden said.
Biden also mistakenly revealed that premiums would “increase” for the working class before backtracking. “And for folks in the working class … they will, in fact, will increase their premiums,” Biden said before quickly correcting himself, “excuse me, increase the generosity of the premium tax credit they now get.”
Joe Biden on his health care plan: “For folks in the working class … they will in fact will increase their premiums” pic.twitter.com/KTdSMMSA75
— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) August 23, 2019
Biden lobbed another awkward comment on Friday coming in a reference to his support for teachers: “I would be sleeping alone” if he didn’t support teachers. His wife Jill Biden is an educator.
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