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In the latest episode that should have voters questioning his intellectual and mental fitness for the presidency, Joe Biden snapped at an Iowa voter who questioned him about the help he gave his son Hunter in getting a job at a Ukranian company while the elder Biden served as vice president.
What Happened to Joe on the Campaign Trail
The voter began by telling Biden that he had several problems with him including the fact that Biden sold access to the presidency and sent his son over to work in Ukraine in a lucrative job. Biden responded, not by addressing the facts, but by saying to the voter "You're a damn liar, man." For Biden, this is a troubling response. Issues about his son Hunter and Ukraine have been raised for years but Biden does not yet have a substantive factual rebuttal of the charges. Instead, Biden attempts to distract by using volume and accusations of his own without refuting the charges. Perhaps this is because Biden does not have any answers to the legitimate questions that have been raised that certainly create a questionable appearance in the eyes of voters.
What is remarkable is that the man who has centered his campaign on President Trump's behavior is now calling voters "fat" and taking shots at their age. Biden's lack of civility towards a retired voter undercuts the central premise of his campaign. To muddy the clear videotape evidence, the Biden campaign has attempted to explain that Biden said "Look, facts" as opposed to a cruel insult on a voter's weight. However, still unexplained is the 77-year old Biden's insult to an 83-year old voter about their age. For a candidate who does not draw the support of many young Democrats, Biden would be hard-pressed to explain why he is making cracks about.
Notwithstanding his attempts to deny what he said, the videotape clearly demonstrates Biden saying "Look, fat" to the retired voter. This is an example of Biden's incivility and hypocrisy as he has accused President Trump of some of the same behavior. The fact that Biden resorts to name-calling when he is substantively pressed on legitimate ethical and legal issues is perhaps a sign that he cannot give a substantive defense of exactly what happened in Ukraine.
Biden Has not Answered the Ukraine Questions Yet
Should he be the Democrat's nominee for president, Biden will likely face sustained questions for almost a year as to exactly what happened in Ukraine and how his son could profit off of his father's position while Biden served as the vice president. An 83-year old voter's questioning, while certainly legitimate, pales in comparison that Biden will face from President Trump and his re-election campaign.
Biden's level of defensiveness and misplaced aggression towards the voter are signs that he clearly has something to hide and is trying to distract from his son's legal issues with bravado and bluster. The vice president apparently believes that serious ethical concerns can be overcome by challenging people to pushup contests. In fact, this is a natural response that Biden has been using for years to deflect when he is being challenged. Years ago, he challenged another person who was questioning his academic record to an IQ contest, skirting the issue of the fact that he was not the brightest student out there. The question is whether this will work in a grueling general election campaign. Given that Biden is far from putting these questions to rest, early indications are that it is not working.
Perhaps the Senate Republicans' plan of subpoenaing Biden to testify at a Senate impeachment trial will force Biden to answer these questions under oath so the American public can finally know what happened in Ukraine and why President Trump was concerned about corruption in the country as it related to a vice president of the United States. In the meantime, challenging elderly voters to pushup contests will not distract from the troubling issues that have been raised thus far.
Time Is Running Out for Biden
With only two months to go until voters in Iowa cast the first votes in the 2020 election, Biden is running out of time to put these issues to rest. However, his defensive and over-the-top reaction should be read as a sign that perhaps Biden cannot put these issues to rest and they will continue to dog him so long as he is seeking the presidency.
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