Are you clearing $50,000 a month in terms of salary? Probably not. However, according to Joe Biden, that’s not even “real money” — at least, not if it’s being made by his kids.
In one of the great moments of tone-deafness so far during the 2020 campaign, Biden told an audience in Iowa that if one of his children were a member of the GOP, they’d be rich.
According to CNN’s Sarah Mucha, Biden hit the usual notes during the appearance in the town of Makoqueta.
He said that Trump likes strongmen (“Our word has always been our bond. We stand up to dictators, we don’t hug them. We keep our word”) and that other frontrunners to the left of him have a lot of ideas that aren’t actually based in reality (“It takes a lot more than plans. We’re electing more than a planner,” he told the audience, adding that America needs “someone to get the legislation passed”).
We’ve heard both of them before, one of them is true and neither is going to hurt
.@JoeBiden on America’s place in the world: “Our word has always been our bond. We stand up to dictators, we don’t hug them. We keep our word.”
— Sarah Mucha (@sarahmucha) October 30, 2019
He then told the audience that his daughter was a social worker — certainly not the highest-paying profession in the world, I’ll grant you.
I won’t grant him what he said next: “I tell you what, I wish I had raised one Republican, they’d make some real money.”
Mentioning that his daughter is a social worker, @JoeBiden pauses and jokes, “I tell you what, I wish I had raised one Republican, they’d make some real money,” as the audience laughs.
— Sarah Mucha (@sarahmucha) October 30, 2019
Ho, ho, ho. Yes, but was the audience laughing with him or at him?
So, either Hunter Biden is a Republican (that would certainly rid his father’s campaign of some unwanted baggage, wouldn’t it?) or Uncle Joe simply forgot about his problems regarding his second child and the fact that he almost certainly profited off of his family’s name — including to the tune of up to $50,000 a month by serving on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
It’s also unclear what Biden is insinuating here.
Is it that Republicans are exclusively rich? Have fun explaining that one to Republicans in Iowa or anywhere else in America who live modest, middle-class lives — often, yes, as social workers. Please, let’s hear about how GOP voters have all the money when your kid was earning that kind of salary on the board of a Ukrainian gas company when he had no experience in the natural gas sector and nothing to recommend himself for the job other than his last name.
Or is it that the children of Republican legislators are the ones getting rich? Again, this is tin-eared when you consider Hunter Biden. There may be a long, proud tradition of politicians’ relatives cashing in, but even by that yardstick, Hunter’s many adventures in nepotism are a pretty impressive display of venality.
Illegal? No, not yet anyway. Unethical? Yes in italics — and if the Democrats don’t acknowledge it and Biden ends up as their nominee, this won’t end well for them.
Ironically, Biden said this in Iowa, a part of the country where one might reasonably find David Brooks’ Flyover Man. While the Democrats have hoped to retake the Hawkeye State in 2020, this isn’t the part of the country that they glean most of their votes from. Those would be urban areas with rich voters poised to give plenty of money via ActBlue.
As for Iowans, they might be a little peeved that Biden — who isn’t poor and doesn’t have kids who are, either — is complaining that his progeny would have made some real money if they were only Republicans.
Yes, I get it. Biden is gaffe-prone in the extreme, something we’ve forgotten in the past month or so as the focus has shifted to impeachment and Ukraine. That means when it comes to the former vice president, we’re more concerned with his son and the potential conflicts of interest that he’s created than lines like telling parents “make sure you have the record player on at night” so that their kids would learn or saying that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
That said, Biden’s tone-deafness on his son in Iowa manages to combine both the candidate’s gaffe-happy nature and Burisma in one neat package.
Rest assured that if opposition researchers are putting together a greatest hits reel of his solecisms, this one is going to make the list.
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