President Donald Trump received widespread criticism over anonymous claims that he used disparaging language in reference to U.S. service members and veterans — despite his vigorous denial of those allegations.
It is Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, however, who is now facing backlash over a video that reveals the denigrating language he used while addressing troops deployed overseas in 2016, as reported by Breitbart.
“I just want you to know that”
The Biden campaign has since responded to the brewing controversy, asserting that the then-vice president was clearly joking and had just expressed his deep appreciation for the service members’ sacrifices. Nevertheless, the clip has led to significant backlash — as well as claims of hypocrisy against those who lambasted the president for his alleged remarks.
The resurfaced video dates back to Biden’s visit, along with his wife, Jill, to U.S. troops deployed to a military base in the United Arab Emirates. He was addressing the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing stationed at the Al-Dhafra Air Base near Abu Dhabi when he made the now-controversial remarks.
“Notwithstanding what you may hear about me, I have incredibly good judgment,” he reportedly said. “One, I married Jill, and two, I appointed Johnson to the academy. I just want you to know that, so clap for that, you stupid bastards.”
Some laughter and applause can be heard from those gathered for his speech before he went on to insult them again.
“Man, you all are a dull bunch,” Biden said, according to Breitbart. “It must be slow here, man.” Take a look:
Newly resurfaced video shows Joe Biden calling servicemembers “stupid bastards” pic.twitter.com/yOrz5Ak7bY
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 25, 2020
“Laughing and smiling”
While the clip obviously looks bad for the former vice president, his campaign insisted that it has been taken out of context and in no way reflects disrespect toward the nation’s armed forces, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Vice President Biden was jokingly encouraging the audience to clap for an airwoman on the stage, and a number of service members can be seen laughing and smiling at the comment,” Andrew Bates, the campaign’s director of rapid response, said in a statement, as the Examiner reported.
Bates went on to note that just before the remarks seen in the clip, Biden “praised them for the incredible sacrifices [they] make for our country,” adding that he “thanked them for their patriotism and courage throughout, and closed his remarks by saying, ‘you’re the finest generation of warriors the world has ever seen, ever known’ — receiving an enthusiastic ovation.”
Even as he attacks Trump for supposed disrespect toward the troops, Biden’s defenders in the media will undoubtedly accept his campaign’s defense of those 2016 remarks at face value.