Politics & Government

Biden praises disgraced senator in DNC speech

Vice President Joe Biden
Vice President Joe Biden AP

Vice President Joe Biden has had one of those weeks.

More than one thing he said this week has raised some eyebrows. Just Wednesday, he acknowledged that he used a “poor choice of words” for using the word “Shylock.” And garnered headlines for uttering the phrase “the Orient” for Asia.

Then came Friday.

Biden, who was reminiscing about lawmakers who used to work with both sides of the aisle, praised former Sen. Bob Packwood, who resigned following allegations of sexual assault. And this came on the same day Obama launched a new public awareness campaign at campuses across America to prevent sexual assaults.

“It was Republicans that were involved,” Biden said at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Washington. “Guys like (former Maryland Sen.) Mac Mathias and Packwood and so many others. It wasn't Democrats alone. Republicans were the sponsors of the raises of the minimum wage. I could go on and on. I'm not joking: This is not your father's Republican Party, or your mother's Republican Party.”

Packwood resigned in 1995 amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assaulting women after the Senate ethics committee voted to recommend his expulsion.

The Republican National Committee dubbed it “Joe Biden’s Gaffetastic Week.”

But at the White House briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended Biden.

“I think the vice president has a stronger record, probably than anybody else in Washington, D.C. when it comes to his decades of leadership on issues related to combating violence against women. So, I don't think the vice president certainly is in a position to have to explain that record to anybody.”

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