In 2015, Donald Trump opened his campaign by saying Mexican immigrants were “rapists” and “drug dealers.” Now, four years later, major Democratic political players are finally starting to agree that Trump is a white supremacist — except one.
At a stop at the Iowa State fair on Thursday, DailyMail.com asked Joe Biden why he wouldn’t called the president a white supremacist. Biden wasn’t pleased with the question! “Why are you so hooked on that?” he asked the DailyMail.com reporter. “You just want me to say the words so I sound like everybody else. I’m not everybody else. I’m Joe Biden. I’ve always been who I am. I’m staying that way.”
What is Joe Biden? A candidate who failed twice to get the presidential nomination and saw his image rehabbed for an entire generation by being the Number 2 to an extremely popular president? The senator who was so concerned about optics that he didn’t fulfill his duty to properly vet a candidate for the Supreme Court and failed to adequately apologize for it for decades? Who is this person that Joe Biden has always been?
Despite not knowing to which Joe Biden Biden is referring to, devoid of context, exasperatedly saying, “You just want me to say words!” is immensely relatable to this journalist. Unfortunately for Biden, words are all about context, and Trump’s words are about rallying support for xenophobic actions that keep white supremacy as the country’s governing force.
What’s weirder about this exchange with a DailyMail.com reporter is that Biden got pretty close to calling Trump a white supremacist earlier today! “I believe everything the president says and has done encourages white supremacists, and I’m not sure there’s much of a distinction. As a matter of fact, it may be even worse,” Biden told a gaggle of reporters.
I don’t understand the distinction between “being a white supremacist” and “encouraging white supremacists,” but Biden worked with Strom Thurmond for a number of years so he might have insider knowledge I’m not privy to.
Calling Trump a white supremacist after two mass shootings within 24 hours seems like a slam-dunk rhetorical move for Democratic presidential candidates. But saying the truth loudly — the president is a white supremacist — might interfere with the centrists’ plan for 2020.