While taking questions at the White House on Monday, President Biden was asked for his thoughts on the recent harassment of Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
Sinema was harassed by activists while teaching a class at Arizona State University and subsequently chased her into a bathroom and filmed her while inside.
Protesters followed Sen. Sinema into the bathroom at Arizona State University to confront her on Build Back Better and immigration pic.twitter.com/NDSmeu0h2M— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 3, 2021
Manchin, whose D.C. residence is a houseboat docked in Washington Channel, was accosted by activists on kayaks.
"I don't think they're appropriate tactics but it happens to everybody," Biden said of the targeted political harassment of sitting U.S. senators. "The only people it doesn't happen to are people who have Secret Service standing around them, it's part of the process," he added.
Joe Biden claims that Senator Sinema being followed into a bathroom by activists and harrased is "part of the process" of being in public office. pic.twitter.com/nBOzuiRyTx— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) October 4, 2021
While Biden didn't say whether that "process" is convincing holdouts in his party to cave and switch their positions or something else, his half-hearted attempt to say that the actions taken against Sinema and Machin were "inappropriate" only served as a wink and a nod that targeted harassment of Senators not going along with his agenda is unavoidable and apparently normal.
In a statement Monday morning, Sinema slammed those who targeted her. "Yesterday's behavior was not legitimate protest," she said in a statement. "It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom."
Statement Following Events at ASU on Sunday pic.twitter.com/4d3BF9P8CO— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) October 4, 2021
Biden's wink and nod to harassing activists, predictably, did not go over well.
Ok this is shameful. How in an age of “me too” do you “meh” a female official being followed into a bathroom and filmed for explicitly coercive purposes?? https://t.co/sfvSu5eIvZ— Rebeccah Heinrichs (@RLHeinrichs) October 4, 2021
No, Joe Biden, chasing a woman into a bathroom for not voting a certain way is not "part of the process."— Kassy Dillon (@KassyDillon) October 4, 2021
Back in Jan, Biden told staffers that he would “fire you on the spot” if you didn’t treat others with respect.— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) October 4, 2021
When asked about the tactics of activists harassing Sen. Sinema in bathroom he very softly criticized and downplayed as “part of the process.”pic.twitter.com/IroUgc4URZ
Being filmed in bathrooms is part of the process https://t.co/NXGoHdQL1Q— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) October 4, 2021