On Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden officially announced his intention to seek his party’s nomination to take on Trump in 2020. The announcement was made in an early morning video where Biden framed the upcoming election as a “battle for the soul of America.”
Biden’s bid was presumed for months and some people had already begun digging through his closet and the Washington Examiner even reports: “Race, gay rights and women’s rights are among his vulnerabilities.”
The Washington Free Beacon reportedly dug up a report that shows Biden argued against allowing homosexual people to work in the federal government, calling them “security risks”:
Former vice president Joe Biden once told a group of constituents in Delaware he viewed homosexuals working for the federal government as “security risks,” according to an archived local news report dug up by the Washington Free Beacon.
Biden has positioned himself as an advocate for gay rights since leaving the White House. Last year, his foundation launched the “As You Are” program to promote acceptance of members of the LGBTQ community and fight against their discrimination.
In his first year as a U.S. senator, however, Biden appeared unwilling to accept members of the gay community as federal employees.
According to the report, Biden’s comments were covered by the Morning News, a “Wilmington, Delaware-based paper no longer in circulation.”
“My gut reaction is that they (homosexuals) are security risks,” Biden reportedly said at the time to a gay rights activist, “but I must admit I haven’t given this much thought … I’ll be darned.”
Here’s more information, from the Free Beacon:
Rick Valelly, a Swarthmore University professor currently writing a book on the history of government employment discrimination against gays and lesbians, says Biden’s view of homosexuals as “security threats” came from a period decades earlier now known as the Lavender Scare, where thousands of gay government workers were fired because of their sexual orientation being deemed a security risk.
“It was a view that dated back to the late 1940s,” Valelly explained. “The idea was that high-status gay men would be so afraid of being outed that they’d be susceptible to blackmail.”
“It was a view that activists fighting for civil rights were trying to vaporize, because there was never an instance of homosexual blackmail,” he said.
In July 1950, Democratic senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina led a confidential Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on “the homosexuals and what effect they have upon the Government as a security risk,” archived hearing records show. Three years later, President Dwight Eisenhower issued an executive order that included “sexual perversion” as a security risk and reason for termination from federal employment.
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden opposed desegregating schools in the 1970s and sponsored legislation which would have stopped busing black students to desegregated schools.
“I think the concept of busing … that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride,” Biden said in 1975 via the Washington Examiner. The then-senator went on to describe desegregation efforts as “a rejection of the entire black awareness concept, where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied; and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality.”
The Washington Examiner reports Biden could receive criticism for his handling of the Anita Hill testimony and his questioning of her:
At one point, Biden asked Hill, “What was the most embarrassing of all the incidences that you have alleged?” He also asked her recount where each of the alleged instances occurred, setting a skeptical tone for the hearing.
Hill said in a 2014 interview that Biden did “a disservice to me, a disservice more importantly, to the public,” in part by neglecting to call on experts to explain sexual harassment.
…or for comments Biden made about Indian-Americans working at 7-Elevens or Dunkin Donuts:
In June 2006, when Biden was still considering his 2008 presidential bid, he faced criticism for comments about Indian Americans.
“I’ve had a great relationship. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking,” Biden said while shaking an Indian-American man’s hand at event captured by the C-SPAN series “Road to the White House.”
…or for trying to imitate an Indian accent during a 2012 speech in New Hampshire.
Biden could also face heat for a comment he made about his own running mate in 2008, when he called Barack Obama an “African American who is articulate.” And:
“You got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man,” Biden told the New York Observer in January 2007.
Biden said he regretted any offense the quote caused. Obama responded by saying that he was not offended by Biden’s comments, but called them “historically inaccurate.”