Interestingly, 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden pointed to the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape capturing Donald Trump engaging in locker room banter with host Billy Bush in highlighting what he saw as a critical mistake for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Speaking at a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday, the former vice president said that the Hillary Clinton campaign stooped to Trump’s level in the 2016 presidential race.
“I think the biggest mistake that was made, and everyone underestimated it the last time about President Trump, the place he’s most comfortable is in the gutter arguing,” Biden said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Recalling that “ABC World News” anchor Martha Raddatz was moderating the debate that came right after the “Access Hollywood” tape was put out, Biden told the crowd that he had advised the Clinton campaign to leave the issue alone.
“And I said, I really think what should be done is — that they’re going to turn to [Clinton] and say, ‘What’s your view?’ And I said I’d respectfully recommend she stand there and … say, ‘Everybody knows who Donald Trump is,” Biden said, “Let me tell you what I am going to do for the country,’ and not get into the debate, because it just drags it down.”
Given his history of gaffes and mistakes, whether his recollection is close to what actually happened or simply captures the “essence” of the truth is up for debate.
Citing a Harvard study released after the 2016 election, Biden spoke as if the release of the tape was a tactic designed to help Donald Trump.
“And they said, ‘How much are related to issues that we’re discussing?’ Four percent. F-O-U-R. I’m being deadly earnest. It was a tactic,” the former vice president said. “The tactic is talk about the one place that you’re always comfortable. It’s like the big lie.”
Brian Fallon, a senior aide on Clinton’s 2016 campaign, had a biting take on Biden’s assessment.
“Is he suggesting Hillary’s reaction to the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape should have been, ‘Oh, nevermind?’” Fallon told BuzzFeed. “That is a pretty ‘Mad Men’-era mentality.”
On Saturday, while speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention, Biden called the president “Donald Hump,” calling it a Freudian slip.
Joe Biden accidentally referred to "Donald Hump" in New Hampshire today and then told his audience it had been a "Freudian Slip" pic.twitter.com/y0hy9EAux4
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) September 7, 2019
Beckoning back to the 2016 presidential election, when Hillary Clinton experienced coughing fits, the Examiner also reported “sporadic coughs came between [Biden’s] remarks.”
One person who agrees with Biden about rehashing the tape is Billy Bush.
Bush is set to begin a new entertainment news show on Monday and he insisted during a Thursday interview that he would be done with the whole “Access Hollywood” tape controversy once his new show airs.
“Let me be totally straight. This week, have at it. Any question you want. As soon as I go on the air next Monday night, never again. That’s it,” Bush stated in a BUILD series interview. “I’m just going to politely say, ‘If that’s on your agenda, I’m not going to participate if it’s okay.’ But this week, of course.”
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