As the 2020 elections keep getting closer, former Vice President turned Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden continues to attract scrutiny. Now, he’s facing heat for pretty straightforwardly suggesting that Irish people are stupid while at a campaign stop in Iowa, where he’s embarked on the “No Malarkey” tour, which sports a rather dated title — to say the least. Throughout the 20th Century, Irish immigrants to the United States were targets of often violent racism. Biden’s revival of that racially charged rhetoric comes shortly after he engaged in a heated argument with an Iowa rally attendee who brought up the baseless allegations of Biden corruption that Trump has peddled in a scheme driving the current impeachment inquiry.
Over the weekend, reporter John Mulholland shared on Twitter:
‘Joe Biden at a forum for Democratic candidates in Iowa “I may be Irish, but I’m not stupid.” Wonder what Irish people (like me) would make of that.’
Biden has long attracted criticism for his publicly brash and often off-kilter demeanor. For example, during a Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, he said that parents concerned about their children’s education should make sure to keep a record player going around their kids. As should go without saying, most people no longer use record players, let alone as primary media sources for their kids.
Despite his behavior, Biden has held onto a spot among the leading Democratic presidential candidates. Besides the former second-in-command to Barack Obama, that group includes Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who Rolling Stone notes have “put forward sweeping visions for how they would counteract three decades of failed trickle-down economics and disastrous foreign wars” and “support a re-imagining of American government, calling for Medicare for all, an end to student debt, and universal childcare — paid for with new taxes on the very wealthiest Americans.” Meanwhile, other prominent candidates like South Bend, Indiana’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg have refused to even allow journalists into their private soirees with big money donors. At present, Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg are the only candidates with double digit levels of support, and candidates like California Senator Kamala Harris already dropped out.
Biden has jumped right into directly confronting Trump in his campaign messaging. Recently, his team turned coverage of world leaders mocking Trump at a NATO summit into a widely circulated, viral ad. More recently, Biden’s team insisted alongside another new ad:
‘Donald Trump is erratic, unstable, and dangerously incompetent. Every day that he directs our national security is a dangerous day for the United States.’
Donald Trump is erratic, unstable, and dangerously incompetent. Every day that he directs our national security is a dangerous day for the United States. pic.twitter.com/aGUxe4ItmQ
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 9, 2019
Trump has responded through means like calling Joe “sleepy” — and displaying only the slightest discomfort with a foreign dictator insisting he should be executed. In response to news from North Korea, Trump tweeted:
‘Mr. Chairman, Joe Biden may be Sleepy and Very Slow, but he is not a “rabid dog.” He is actually somewhat better than that, but I am the only one who can get you where you have to be. You should act quickly, get the deal done. See you soon!’
Meanwhile, the election only gets closer.