Presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden finally addressed Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault against him on Friday’s edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The former vice president denied the allegations, but also refused to unseal the records from his tenure in the Senate, during which Reade’s alleged assault occurred.
Biden’s rhetoric on the issue has evolved from “believe all women” who come forward with allegations, to writing off Reade’s claims as false without giving his former aide a real chance to tell her story. President Trump’s re-election campaign exposed this blatant double standard in a new digital ad:
As the ad points out, Biden teamed up with Hillary Clinton and touted her endorsement just as Reade’s case was bolstered by new evidence; having Clinton on the campaign trail should not reassure any skeptics that Biden is taking Reade’s claims seriously, given Clinton’s history of protecting abusive men and intimidating women who come forward. During his tenure as vice president, Biden worked to combat sexual assault nationwide and advocated for a lower burden of proof in these cases, as the Trump campaign notes:
"The only thing Joe Biden did today was dig himself a deeper hole. He once again demonstrated that he believes he should be held to a different standard than he has set for others. During Justice Kavanaugh’s hearings, Biden made clear that all women should be believed when they come forward with allegations of sexual assault. Biden’s own work during the Obama Administration lowered standards for such accusations on college campuses as to effectively institute a presumption of guilt. In a dramatic shift, Biden now says ‘believe women’ doesn’t actually mean ‘believe women,’" Trump 2020 Principal Deputy Communications Director Erin Perrine said.
The Trump campaign's ad also exposes the hypocrisy of Democratic senators who would have stopped at nothing to derail the confirmation of then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, on account of misconduct claims with much less substantiation and zero corroboration. The same senators who demanded that Kavanaugh withdraw his nomination, before even testifying, and that Dr. Ford be believed on face value have chosen to either stand by Biden or remain silent in the face of Reade's claims.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) also criticized Biden’s answer to Reade’s claims. The former vice president’s entire collection of records from his time in the upper chamber, which totals 36 years, is under lock and key at the University of Delaware and restricted from public access. Despite claiming innocence of Reade’s graphic allegations, Biden refuses to release the records, which may contain information pertaining to these allegations. The RNC calls this a “cover-up:”
The most transparent thing Joe Biden did this morning?— GOP (@GOP) May 1, 2020
Admit that he is hiding documents so they can't be used against him.https://t.co/QpY7P1FSsu
Biden:— Richard Walters (@rww_gop) May 1, 2020
“I’m an open book, there’s nothing to hide, nothing at all...[the papers at University of Delaware] weren’t supposed to be sealed.”
“The idea [the papers] would be made public while I was running for public office, they could really be taken out of context...”
Biden expressed concern that the records related to his Senate tenure could be misconstrued:
Biden defends sealing his senatorial records at University of Delaware. Material in them 'could be taken out of context,' Biden tells MSNBC, and could be 'fodder in a campaign.'— Byron York (@ByronYork) May 1, 2020
Biden's senatorial records can be taken out of context, but jokes in Kavanaugh's yearbook were vitally important. https://t.co/LnQ3gKvlvV— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) May 1, 2020
Biden’s generic denial of Reade’s claims, while the Democratic Party writes her off before truly knowing the whole story, should not be sufficient for someone seeking the highest office in the land, especially when representing a party that claims to respect and believe women. Indeed, if he did not commit the crimes as Reade claims he did, why will Biden not unseal the senatorial records?
Joe Biden’s interview only raised more questions about why he refuses to release his Senate records at the University of Delaware.— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) May 1, 2020
His answers were nonsensical.
What is he hiding?pic.twitter.com/7OpCqFwBjs
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