The father of a fallen U.S. Army soldier found former Vice President Joe Biden’s comments toward his son’s widow so offensive, he suggested the presence of the Secret Service is likely the only thing that kept him from hitting the then-Obama administration official.
Mike Iubelt’s 20-year-old son, Army Pfc. Tyler Iubelt, was killed in November 2016 in a suicide bomb attack at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which they said was carried out by a suicide bomber inside the base,” CBS News reported at the time. “Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the insurgent group, said the attack had been planned for four months.”
The attack was carried out by a U.S. defense contractor working at the base.
According to CBS affiliate KFVS, Biden attended the dignified transfer of Iubelt’s remains at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Nov. 15.
Though the ceremony took place in the closing months of Barack Obama’s presidency, this was the first dignified transfer Biden had publicly attended.
Mike Iubelt recently told the Washington Examiner that Biden made some highly inappropriate remarks to his family at the Dover ceremony.
“It was a horrible conversation, it was a horrible experience,” Iubelt said.
“I left there feeling worse than I did before he walked through the doors.”
Biden angered both Iubelt and his son’s mother, Charlotte Loquasto, by allegedly complimenting Tyler’s widow about her looks.
“He told my daughter-in-law [Shelby Iubelt] … that she was too pretty for this to happen to her,” Mike Iubelt recalled.
“It’s probably a good thing that he was surrounded by Secret Service, probably for both of us, because I’d probably be locked up in jail right now.”
Biden also upset the family by expressing pessimism about the war in Afghanistan, just three days after Tyler died at Bagram in service to his nation.
“Well, unfortunately, they’re a 14th-century country, they don’t want us there, they’re never going to change,” Biden said, according to Loquasto.
“He’s second in line [to the presidency], he could potentially be our leader any day, and he doesn’t even know why we’re there,” she added.
A week after Tyler’s body arrived at Dover, the fallen soldier was flown to Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois.
His family and a large number of military personnel were on-hand when the casket arrived.
Tyler was laid to rest in his hometown of Du Quoin, Illinois on Nov. 23, 2016.
Biden, of course, has a reputation for his many and varied gaffes, but it is surprising that the lifelong politician could be so insensitive to the impact his remarks would have on a family facing the shock and grief of losing someone they loved so early in his life.
It’s even more surprising given that Biden himself has faced similar tragedy when his first wife and 1-year-old daughter were killed in an automobile accident in the early 1970s, just weeks before the Democrat was sworn into the U.S. Senate.
More recently, Biden’s son Beau, who survived the accident that took his mother’s life, died of brain cancer in May 2015. He was 46 years old.
Meghan McCain has related multiple times how comforting Biden was to her through the illness and death last year of her father, Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, so apparently the former vice president has the ability to empathize, which makes his conduct with Tyler Iubelt’s family all the more puzzling.
If Biden cannot find it within himself to honor and to say the appropriate things to a Gold Star family at their moment of maximum grief and loss, why should he be entrusted with the position of commander in chief?
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