Joe Biden better bluff better than this.
Faced with some clearly uncomfortable questions during an interview Monday on CBS’ “This Morning,” the former vice president first tried bravado, then insinuation.
Then he tried fake outrage.
But if he thinks that’s going to sway American voters, or even the Democratic primary electorate, he’s going to have to think again.
Calling the president’s personal lawyer a “thug” isn’t going to get Biden into the Oval Office, either.
The situation arose when Biden was asked about information Trump attorney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani might have turned up about his son Hunter’s activities in Ukraine while Biden was vice president.
Not even the blindest Democratic partisan would have been fooled by Biden’s stage laughter.
After first pretending disbelief that Giuliani’s name could even have been brought into the conversation, Biden went off onto one of his now-familiar, and easily discountable, attacks on President Donald Trump.
“I expect Trump to do the same exact thing he’s been doing,” he said. “Why’s he been attacking me from the beginning? Why did he risk — and he should have been impeached — why did he risk getting convicted by going to a foreign leader to say, ‘You don’t have to give me anything on Biden, there’s nothing to get, just tell me that you’re going to investigate him so I can hurt him’? Have you ever seen a sitting president as concerned about a single nominee and trying to stop a nominee?”
Coming from a man who served in the Obama White House, that’s almost funny.
Have we ever seen a sitting president so concerned about a single nominee? How about the FBI getting involved in investigating a political campaign — the way the federal agency did during Barack Obama’s presidency in 2016? Some might think that qualifies as a certain level of animus in a White House regarding a political opponent.
Biden’s answer when he was asked if he considered his son Hunter “fair game” in a political season was just as disingenuous — and just as hard to believe.
“I don’t think our sons are fair game at all,” Biden responded. “No one has said he’s done anything wrong except the thug Rudy Giuliani. Come on. Rudy Giuliani, a character witness?”
First of all, Rudy Giuliani is a man who’s been on the public stage for decades. While he might not be universally popular (his short-lived shot at the presidency in 2008 proved that), most Americans likely consider him a known quantity.
Men who become New York mayors and federal prosecutors are rarely shrinking violets, and Giuliani is certainly a man whose tough-talking ways are tough to ignore, but calling him a “thug” is beyond the bounds even for an increasingly desperate Biden.
The former vice president not only came in fourth in the Iowa caucuses but — with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar — is well behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg in New Hampshire polls, according to RealClearPolitics.
And if Biden really thought Giuliani was the only person in America who thinks Hunter Biden has done something wrong — say, by accepting a $50,000-a-month sinecure from a foreign energy company based solely on his father’s political position — the former vice president would be sadly, stupidly mistaken.
“From Rudy Giuliani! From Rudy Giuliani! From Rudy Giuliani!…
I don’t think our sons are fair game at all.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 10, 2020
Joe Biden your son made millions. That’s millions of $$$. From a country that was full of corruption. When you where Vice President. Justice Department follow the money paper trail!
— Spygate (@Deplorableiiii) February 10, 2020
By “no one” he means “everyone”.
— Johannes di Silentio (@DiSilentio) February 10, 2020
Biden’s sudden insistence that presidential offspring should be off-limits to political attacks might well be related to information Giuliani has turned up in Ukraine – information Attorney General William Barr is open to reviewing, according to USA Today.
But the former vice president has a bigger problem.
He doesn’t seriously believe that Rudy Giuliani is the only person who thinks Hunter Biden has done something wrong.
In fact, he would probably be hard put to find anyone in the United States who followed politics who didn’t at least suspect that a man with the kind of troubled past Hunter has just might not be worth more than half-million dollars a year to a Ukraine energy company if his presence didn’t hold at least the potential for favorable treatment from a certain close relative high in the Obama administration.
Biden might be gaffe-prone, getting old and under pressure from the rigors of a presidential campaign he never should have started and is almost certain to end in humiliation, but he’s not stupid.
He knows what happened with his son in Ukraine was wrong. He knows millions of Americans know it. And he probably knows the truth is going to come out sooner or later.
What he really needs now is to learn to bluff a lot better than he did on Monday.
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