In an especially combative interview Friday with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Joe Biden was hoping to rebound from his dismal debate performance. Instead, he kept making it worse.
Most notably, the former vice president stumbled trying to explain his positions on mandatory school busing from more than 40 years ago. As Cuomo even reminded him in the interview, Biden was so bad that at one point in the debate, he voluntarily pointed out he was out of time so he wouldn’t have to keep talking.
Biden still didn’t have a good answer. He repeatedly used arcane legal terms and made awkward and defensive statements to establish his racial bona fides such as, “My state is the eighth-largest black population in the country as a percent of population.”
Coming up with a response shouldn’t be hard for Biden. Busing in the name of integration isn’t a popular policy, even among African Americans. Kamala Harris, who berated Biden over busing and managed to score a bump in the polls as a result, has herself flip-flopped on the issue. On June 27, her campaign said she supported busing. On July 4th, the campaign was backing away from endorsing busing, saying, “Surely, we can all agree that 2019 is not 1975.” But Biden never bothered challenging her hypocrisy.
Then when Cuomo shifted the topic to Russian election meddling in Europe and America, Biden bizarrely asserted that the Obama administration never let that happen. “You think that would happen on my watch, on Barack’s watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise you it wouldn’t have. And it didn’t,” he said.
And throughout it all, Biden was angry. Whenever Cuomo pushed him, he repeatedly exclaimed, “Come on, man!” to the point he sounded like a sportscaster with Tourette’s syndrome. Biden was so visibly frustrated he even managed to create furrows in his heavily Botoxed brow so deep he could plant corn in there and collect ethanol subsidies on his next campaign stop in Iowa.
The interview was ended only when an aide stepped in to stop it. It was a mercy killing, and a sure sign that those on the campaign felt that 76-year-old was out of control.
There’s an old adage in politics: If you’re explaining, you’re losing. And ever since last week’s Democratic debate, Biden has been tripping over himself to explain his lackluster performance and generally acting like, well, a loser.
Mark Hemingway is a writer for RealClearInvestigations.
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