We have been discussing how Democrats are struggling to defend former Vice President Joe Biden despite his refusal to open up his papers being held at the University of Delaware. The disconnect with how the same politicians addressed the allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh is glaring but few have adopted the categorical position of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday with Jake Tapper. Whitmer’s answer (like the poor image in the remote interview) was obscure but no less conflicted than the later interview given by DNC Chair Tom Perez. The key is that there is still no review of the Biden papers that has been completed yet MSNBC host Nicole Wallace has called the coverage a “smear campaign” against Biden.
Whitmer has publicly discussed her history as the victim of sexual assault. Tapper made reference to those prior statements in setting up an expected question on the allegations of Tara Reade against Biden. Whitmer is widely viewed on the shortlist of the candidates for Vice President.
Tapper asked a reasonable question as to the obvious contradiction of how Whitmer and others addressed allegations against Kavanaugh and Biden. Whitmer however said that she resented being asked the question as a survivor. She then said that, even though no search has been done on the Senate papers, she is completely satisfied that Biden is innocent because she knows Biden. She stated:
“I know joe Biden. And I’ve watched his defense. And there’s not a pattern that goes into this. And I think for these reasons, I’m very comfortable that Joe Biden is who he says he is. He’s — and you know what, that’s all I’m going to say about it. I really resent the fact that every time a case comes up, all of us survivors have to weigh in. It is reopening wounds and it is — you know take us at our word, ask us for our opinion and let’s move on.”
The whole exchange is below.
The question is whether Democratic leaders like Whitmer would have accepted before any investigation into Kavanaugh if a senator or governor said the he knew Kavanaugh and that was all that was needed to reject the allegation of Dr. Ford. More witnesses have come forward to support Reade than was the case of Dr. Ford. Yet, Whitmer will say nothing more on the subject.
The objection to Tapper raising that she has previously spoken as a survivor is odd since she has repeatedly done so in discussing such issues. However, she is also the governor of a major state and a possible Vice Presidential running mate to Biden. Declaring that you need no more information and have nothing more to say is obviously inadequate. Yet, the media largely ignored the categorical denial.
It was equally curious over on ABC This Week. ABC “This Week” host Martha Raddatz also did an excellent job in noting the conflict in treatment in the two cases. She also noted that Biden had weeks to prepare an answer but still claimed falsely that the National Archives would have such documents — a claim immediately denied by the Archives. Perez however declared that Biden was clearly innocent and no further investigation was needed. He declared that Biden “is an open book” but he then opposed opening the books at the University of Delaware. Like Whitmer, he sees no need to actually investigate. Perez would not even agree to the much ridiculed suggestion of the New York Times that the DNC perform the search at Delaware.
Once again, the most surprising aspects of these interviews is the utter lack of media scrutiny. It is doubtful that similar claims during the Kavanaugh hearings would have received the same passive response.
Here is the Tapper interview:
JAKE TAPPER, CNN: You said you believe Vice President Biden. I want to compare that to 2018 when you said you believed Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford after she accused now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assault.
Kavanaugh also, like Biden, categorically denied that accusation and Blasey-Ford, to be honest, she did not have the contemporaneous accounts of her view of what happened that Tara Reade does. You have spoken movingly about how you’re a survivor of assault yourself. Why do you believe Biden and not Kavanaugh? Are they not both entitled to the same presumption of innocence regardless of their political views?
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER: Jake, as a survivor, and as a feminist, I’ll say this. We need to give people an opportunity to tell their story. Then we have a duty to vet it. And just because you’re a survivor doesn’t mean that every claim is equal. It means we give them the ability to make their case. And the other side as well. And then to make a judgment that is informed. I have read a lot about this current allegation. I know joe biden. And I’ve watched his defense. And there’s not a pattern that goes into this. And I think for these reasons, I’m very comfortable that joe biden is who he says he is. He’s — and you know what, that’s all I’m going to say about it. I really resent the fact that every time a case comes up, all of us survivors have to weigh in. It is reopening wounds and it is — you know take us at our word, ask us for our opinion and let’s move on.
Just for the record, the reason I’m asking you is you’re the only democrat on the show today, not because you’re a survivor and not because you’re a woman.