Joe Biden Takes on Trump, Russia and the GOP: 'Stand up and Say, Enough Man!'

Joe Biden Takes on Trump, Russia and the GOP: ‘Stand up and Say, Enough Man!’

Former VP Says Trump is Wrong ‘Most of the Time’

Former Vice President Joe Biden gave an interview in front of a live audience on NPR’s Fresh Air program Thursday and the contrast between the former second-in-command and the current White House leadership couldn’t be starker. While the sitting Vice President is lawyering up and his boss in the midst of a complete Twitter meltdown, Biden’s measured calm and sincerity were welcome departures from the chaos that defined the first five months of the Trump administration. It was enough to make the average American wonder just what could have been.

Unlike President Trump — who feels the constant need to relitigate the election and criticize his predecessor and campaign opponent — Biden was respectful of the man who now sits in the Oval Office, saying:

I give you my word as a Biden, I’ve been rooting for his success. It’s desperately in all of our interest to do that, and if you’ve noticed, Barack and I have not gone after him personally, we’ve not gotten into that mosh pit. We have taken issue with him when we think he’s wrong, which is — to be very blunt about it — most of the time.

But here’s the thing: He is not ideological in my view. Barack and I talked about it, and the hope was that he would be able to find some common ground, he would reach out, but it seems as though his leadership style has gotten in the way of what, intellectually, I don’t think he has a problem with.

Biden: Modern Republican Party is ‘No Profile in Courage’

Biden reflected during the interview about the refusal of Senate Republicans to give Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland as much as a hearing. Offering no ad-hominem attacks or cheap talking points, the native son of Scranton said:

The Supreme Court decision on campaign contributions was the most damaging thing that’s occurred in my career, institutionally. Because for example, when Garland was nominated by Barack, everybody talked about Garland. You know, you reported extensively. All those Republicans said ‘this is the guy’.  Barack went on his way to do what should be done as a student of that. He’d gone out and found someone who gained the respect of Republicans.     

So I called fourteen of my colleagues — Republicans.  Every single one of them acknowledged to me they were wrong. Every single one said ‘Joe, I know this is the right thing to do. But Joe, if I change, if I do such-and-such, the Koch brothers will come in with five million dollars for my campaign or I’ll end up with a primary opponent to the right in my party. 

That’s no profile in courage…

Highlight of Interview: ‘Enough Man’

The highlight of the interview was arguably the uniquely-Biden response to a query about the ongoing Russian investigation. He spoke eloquently but minced no words, openly questioning how the Republicans have tolerated this much interference already:

I find it hard to believe how the Republican Party cannot be apoplectic about the impact of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, in particular, and Russia generally in trying to fundamentally alter our democratic processes.

It’s real and it’s not going to stop. Mark my words. It is not going to stop until we respond as swiftly and as directly as Barack did, when it became clear to 17 agencies what was being done and so it just really baffles me. I just wonder when they’ll gain the willingness to stand up and say, “Enough, man.”

The entire thirty-eight-minute interview is well worth the time to listen. It’s available on both desktop and podcast platforms. In less than an hour, you can fondly remember what it was like to have true leadership in the White House. Likewise, you can hope that Joe Biden’s words of experience and wisdom will resonate with the next generation of American political leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App

Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App