President Joe Biden raised eyebrows Friday when he described former Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, who was once accused of sexually assaulting a waitress with the late Ted Kennedy, as a person who is courteous to working-class people such as waiters.
It was a poor choice of words coming from a president who was repeatedly left the public befuddled with his odd, off-putting, and at times indecipherable remarks.
Invoking the folksy clichés that make up many of his speeches, Biden said that he measures a person’s character based on how they treat ordinary people during a speech Friday about democracy and human rights at the new Dodd Center for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.
According to Fox News, Biden said that Dodd, who served as a senator from Connecticut from 1981 to 2011, is not the kind of person of would “disrespect the waitress or a waiter” and that he had never seen Dodd, “figuratively speaking, walk by anybody.”
A 1990 GQ article describes Dodd and Kennedy, both drunk, assaulting a waitress at an upscale restaurant in Washington D.C., La Brassiere, in an 1985 incident that became known as the “waitress sandwich,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Kennedy grabbed the waitress and threw her on the table, causing tableware to scatter and smash, and then threw her on Dodd’s lap before Kennedy jumped on top of her and began “rubbing his genital area against hers,” GQ reported at the time.
The alleged assault was corroborated by the restaurant’s employees and its owner and left the waitress, Carla Gaviglio, “bruised, shaken and angry over what she considered a sexual assault,” according to GQ‘s report.
Aging president leaves Americans puzzled
The moment Friday echoed the time Biden, during the Democratic debates in 2019, described how he would prevent domestic violence against women.
“We have to change the culture, period. And keep punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it,” Biden said, accenting his point with a closed fist, as the New York Post reported.
During Friday’s speech, Biden also raised eyebrows when he started angrily shouting and banging on the podium about what he called an erosion of democracy around the world. “We have fewer democracies in the world today than we did 15 years ago,” Biden roared, according to the Examiner. “Fewer. Not more, fewer.”
President Biden: “We have fewer Democracies in the world today than we did 15 years ago. Fewer. Not more, fewer.” pic.twitter.com/Dicv7l1ARm
— The Hill (@thehill) October 16, 2021