Former vice president Joe Biden launched his 2020 campaign for president Thursday morning with a dark and divisive video based on the Charlottesville lie.
In the video, Biden calls the August, 2017 “Unite the Right” rally a “defining moment in our nation,” where “klansmen and white supremacists and neo-nazis came out in the open, their crazed faces illuminated by torches, veins bulging and baring the fangs of racism, chanting the same anti-Semitic bile heard in the 1930’s.”
These villains, with their “crazed faces, bulging veins and fangs” were met by “a courageous group of Americans,” he continued, “and violent clashes ensued and a brave young woman lost her life.” Biden conveniently forgot to mention that violent members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter were among the group counter-protesting.
Biden then disdainfully referenced the oft-repeated lie that President Trump referred to the racist group as “very fine people.”
“And that’s when we heard the words of the president of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation,” Biden declared. “He said there were, quote, ‘very fine people on both sides.'”
As the camera moved in for a close-up of Biden’s face, he repeated incredulously,” VERY FINE PEOPLE?!” He added, “With those words, the president assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.”
The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy…everything that has made America — America –is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. #Joe2020 https://t.co/jzaQbyTEz3
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 25, 2019
Biden was of course referencing Trump’s widely misquoted press conference three days after Charlottesville, when he said there were “very fine people” on “both sides” of the Confederate monuments issue. The organized left at the time had been calling for the removal of Confederate monuments in pubic locations, and at times were even attempting to tear them down themselves.
Here is what Trump said: “Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.” In answer to another question Trump explicitly condemned the racist group: “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.”
Those who conclude that the president was somehow praising the very people he condemned, is purposefully misconstruing his words for political gain. It wouldn’t be the first time Biden has used a false racial narrative for political gain. While on the 2012 campaign trail in front of a largely African-American audience, he actually bellowed: “They’re gonna put ya’ll back in chaaaaains!”
Biden trotted out the easily debunked Charlotteville lie, for the very same reason the left repeats the lie that Trump mocked a disabled person during a rally — it plays pushes all the right buttons of Democrats who despise Trump and want to believe the very worst about him. Biden is trying to attract all of the lefty anti-Trump fence-sitters who might be more politically aligned to the more progressive candidates.
It may be smart politics, but it certainly is a shabby and dishonest way to launch a campaign.
President Trump welcomed “Sleepy Joe” Biden’s entrance in the 2020 race in a tweet Thursday morning:
— Patricia Leff (@patricia_leff) April 25, 2019
(Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)