President Donald Trump delivered an Oval Office address on Wednesday to discuss the administration’s efforts in response to the new coronavirus pandemic, which prompted Democratic 2020 frontrunner former Vice President Joe Biden to hold a news conference of his own on Thursday to talk about how he’d handle the viral outbreak if he were elected as president.
It is what Biden did after that speech, however — send out a fundraising email to supporters — that seemed to enrage Republican strategist Karl Rove, who asked if the candidate had “no shame” and “no decency” to stoop to raising money off of a fear-inducing crisis, the Washington Examiner reported.
Rove calls out Biden over fundraising email
Rove, a former top aide for former President George W. Bush, exposed what Biden had done during an appearance Thursday night on Fox News with host Sean Hannity.
With his ever-present whiteboard and a print-out of Biden’s email, Rove said, “This is unbelievable, what Joe Biden did. Here is the front page of his emailer … sent out about 7:40 pm tonight.”
He read, “‘Here’s a speech I gave this afternoon. This is a long email, but I hope you will read it all the way through and forward this to family and friends.’ And then here’s the final page. The final page has a ‘Donate to Joe Biden’ button on it. He’s raising money off it!”
“Have these people no sense of decency?”
Rove lifted his whiteboard on which he had written out Biden’s fundraising pitch, and read, “‘This is not the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of the nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden by clicking the button below, donate to elect Joe Biden.'”
“The man is raising money off the coronavirus challenge facing our country,” Rove said of Biden.
“Does he have no shame? Is there no decency that says, you know what, there are some moments where we shouldn’t be taking things and using them for crass political purposes or to raise money. He was using it for prospecting!”
The Daily Caller reported that Rove also pointed out that Biden was not alone in doing so either, as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the primary fundraising arm for Senate Democrats, also sent out a fundraising email just about 30 minutes after Biden’s email had been sent.
“Have these people no sense of decency? Can we not step away from this for just a minute and not politicize everything that comes down the line? Or is everything going to now be used as an excuse for fundraising?” he asked. “Is this really where we’ve come as a country?”
Exploiting fear to gain money and power
To be sure, this is certainly not the first time — and likely won’t be the last, either — that a politician has exploited a crisis in order to raise money and gain power.
That said, Rove raised a valid point in noting how crass such prospecting emails truly are, and we share in his desire to not see everything in life, particularly a public health crisis, politicized by power-hungry partisans.