Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made an astonishing comment on court-packing this week that left even his allies in the press insulted.
According to Fox News, the former vice president said Thursday that Americans cannot know whether or not he would pack the Supreme Court until after Election Day, sparking criticism from reporters and President Donald Trump.
“Disrespectful to the process”
Biden has consistently refused to clarify whether he would expand the Supreme Court, but his latest attempt to address the issue was even more bizarre than usual. In what must be some kind of first, the Democrat said point-blank that he would not answer the question until after Election Day.
Seeming to take issue with the fact that reporters would publicize his answer, Biden framed the question as a partisan distraction from Trump’s push to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court.
“The moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that rather than focusing on what’s happening now,” Biden said, according to Fox. “This election has begun. There’s never been a court appointment once the election has begun.”
President Trump said soon after that Biden’s answer proves he will pack the court.
“I think what he said was so disrespectful to the process and to the people,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday. “But what that means, really, is that they’re going to do it, because obviously, that means 100% that’s what they’re going to do. They’re going to end the filibuster and they’re going to do things that you wouldn’t have thought.”
“It’s truly insulting”
In a very unusual turn of events, Biden is even getting criticism from the mainstream media, Fox notes. Reporters for liberal outlets took turns expressing their amazement at the audacity of Biden’s response, with many saying they had never before seen a presidential candidate outright refuse to address a key topic.
“Not sure I’ve ever seen a politician explicitly say I’m not telling you what I think about an important issue until after you vote for me,” Axios reporter Jonathan Swan said, according to Fox.
RealClearPolitics co-founder and president Tom Bevan meanwhile opined: “I have never seen a presidential candidate go with the ‘if I answer your question it will make news’ excuse. It’s truly insulting, and the media is letting him get away with it.”
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both pursued the issue, with both men bringing it up at their respective debates in recent weeks. Both times, Biden and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris dodged.
What are they so afraid of?