With nearly two dozen declared and potential candidates for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, it has been interesting to watch the internecine battle on the left as each combatant in the political struggle, along with their supporters, launches slings and arrows at each other to try and gain the advantage.
An allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior was recently hurled at former Vice President Joe Biden by a Democrat politician in Nevada, and while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders expressed his belief in the veracity of the claim, he stopped short of suggesting that a single incident alone was enough to “disqualify” Biden from receiving the nomination.
Sanders believes Flores
Newsweek reported that Sanders appeared Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation and was asked immediately to address the allegations against Biden that had been raised by former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores.
She claimed that Biden had inappropriately smelled her hair and kissed her head during a campaign event in 2014 when she ran for the position of lieutenant governor.
Sanders endorsed Flores in an unsuccessful run for Congress in 2016, and Flores likewise endorsed Sanders in his similarly unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in the same election cycle.
Asked if he believed Flores’ allegations against Biden, Sanders replied, “I have no reason not to believe Lucy, and I think what this speaks to is the need to fundamentally change the culture of this country, and to create environments where women feel comfortable and feel safe and that’s something we’ve got to do.”
Single claim does not disqualify
Host Margaret Brennan read part of a statement released by Biden in response to the allegations. Biden said: “In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
Brennan noted that Flores believed her fellow Democrats weren’t taking the allegations that she says should disqualify Biden from receiving the nomination seriously.
She went on to ask Sanders if he agreed with Flores that Biden should now be considered ineligible for the party’s nomination.
“I think that’s a decision for the vice president to make. I’m not sure that one incident alone disqualifies anybody,” Sanders replied.
“But her point is absolutely right, that this is an issue not just of Democrats and Republicans, the entire country has got to take seriously. It is not acceptable that when a woman goes to work, or is in any kind of environment, that she feels anything less than comfortable and safe. And this is an issue the entire country has got to work on,” he added.
“Creepy Uncle Joe”
Bernie Sanders could have delivered a knockout blow to Biden’s yet-to-be-official campaign, but he refrained from doing so and attempted to straddle the fence and play both sides, expressing belief in Flores’ allegation while also glossing over any accountability for Biden, who is currently his chief rival in the polls.
However, millions of conservatives and independents have been watching “Creepy Uncle Joe” act inappropriately with women for many years, and while it is encouraging to see Democrats call out their own for things over which they would crucify Republicans, it is still disconcerting that it has taken this long for them to step up.