Could Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s sexual assault accuser be speaking at the GOP convention next week?
In an appearance on Fox News on Thursday — the same day Biden gave his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention — Tara Reade said she would “absolutely” speak at the Republican convention, adding that she would be “more than happy to do so.”
“I think survivors need a voice, and I would be humbled and honored to help raise and lift that voice if that’s possible,” Reade said.
In the interview, the self-described “lifelong Dem” said sexual assault should be a “nonpartisan issue.”
“What I find really astounding has been the hypocrisy around the sexual assault and sexual harassment that I brought forth,” Reade said.
“When there were Republicans being accused of that, the media and the reaction from the Democratic Party was quite different and quite aggressive and quite hostile to the perpetrator, potential perpetrator, before it was even investigated,” she said. “In my case, the hostility was directed right towards me, and I was basically silenced and erased by using classism and so on.”
“I lost everything coming forward. I lost my work, housing, money, everything because I spoke out against one of the most powerful members of the Democratic Party,” Reade said.
She criticized the speaker lineup chosen by the Democratic National Committee for the convention — particularly former President Bill Clinton, who’s been credibly accused of sexual assault.
“I’m a sexual assault survivor, so to me, what the speaker lineup showed is kind of a thumb in all of our faces. It was … really disappointing,” Reade said.
“Rape culture in the United States is thriving under the Democratic Party,” she said. “I feel that they are not only enabling but they are allowing that behavior to continue just by virtue of who they lined up as speakers who have credible sexual assault and harassment allegations against them, and I feel like there’s an abandonment of the voices that were trying to be heard that really wanted systemic change about issues like sexual harassment in the workplace and sexual assault.”
She also said in the interview that the Democratic Party had “gaslighted” survivors of sexual assault by claiming to be their protectors.
“I’ve communicated with other people who are watching this who had very visceral reactions to what’s happening and how sexual assault survivors. … We’re being gaslighted, right, collectively,” Reade said.
“They’re pretending that they’re the upholders of the Me Too like a shield — but meanwhile, some of their main Democratic elites, some of the main powerful people involved with the party, are actually perpetrators themselves. And it’s this denial, collective denial and gaslighting of survivors, that is so concerning to me.
“And frankly, I think the Democratic National Committee is complicit because they’re not just ignoring it. They’re participating in it … and enabling those perpetrators.”
Reade had made similar comments to the New York Post last week.
“It is unconscionable that Bill Clinton is a main speaker, and this is coming from someone who voted for him. This is coming from a multigenerational Democrat,” she said.
“The Democratic National Committee has made it clear to survivors that they enable and they uphold institutionalized rape culture by allowing Bill Clinton to be a main speaker.”
One of Clinton’s sexual assault accusers, Juanita Broaddrick, also criticized the move.
“This leaves no doubt the Democrats are the party of rape apologists and enablers. There are no words to express my profound revulsion at their decision,” she told the Post.
If Clinton’s speech reminded viewers they were watching a four-day advertisement for the party of the “Me Too” movement where a former president accused of sexual assault (and now mired in more Jeffrey Epstein mud) was a prominent speaker, a spot at the Republican National Convention would spotlight this.
Reade’s allegation that she was forcibly pinned against a wall by Biden and penetrated with his fingers in 1993, when she was a staffer in his Senate office, has mostly vanished from the headlines. Democrats have stood behind Biden almost to a person, and media reports have painted Reade as “deceitful” and “manipulative” in interactions with landlords, among other things.
Apparently, neither entity believes all women.
However, her case has again resurfaced as she’s expressed willingness to appear at either party’s convention to talk about women’s issues, in particular coming forward on sexual assault allegations.
“We need to figure out a different way to have the conversation,” Reade said.
“It’s not so much about believing someone before it’s been investigated,” she said. “It’s more about how it’s approached. For instance, in my case, you shouldn’t have to lose everything to come forward. You should be able to tell your history of what happened without your life being destroyed and your family’s life being destroyed. We somehow need to revisit this.”
Will she be able to at the Republican National Convention?
Stranger things have happened, especially when you consider that Trump held a news conference featuring some of the women who had accused Clinton of inappropriate behavior before one of the presidential debates in 2016 and then managed to sit them in the audience. Whether the GOP will choose to focus on that this year is anyone’s guess.
What this does, however, is put Reade back into the conversation.
That’s something Biden’s campaign is going to loathe, no matter what happens at the RNC.
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