Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrat candidate for president, has made a habit of humiliating himself on video and he continues to do it.
On Saturday, the candidate was on the campaign trail when a reporter asked him his position on court packing. A question he has avoided for weeks. And he gave an answer that was a slap in the face to every voter, The New York Post reported.
“This is the number one thing that I’ve been asked about from viewers in the last couple of days,” began KTNV reporter Ross DiMattei said.
This is historic. A presidential candidate saying that the voters do not deserve to know what their position is on The Supreme Court. https://t.co/4yt7sy5cTH
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) October 10, 2020
“Well, you’ve been asked by the viewers who are probably Republicans,” Biden said to the reporter.
“Don’t the voters deserve to know where you stand on …” DiMattei said before Biden cut him off.
“No, they don’t deserve,” Biden said in his typical ornery fashion. “I’m not going to play his game.”
What game is that? The game of telling the voters where you stand on the issues prior to them voting for you?
Biden said that his stance on court packing is not an issue, but that President Donald Trump wants to make it an issue “to take the eye off the ball — change the subject.”
“He’d love [packing] to be the discussion,” he said.
And the candidate’s court packing non answer came a day after his vice-presidential candidate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, avoided the same question.
“People are voting right now, they would like to know if you and Joe Biden are going to pack the Supreme Court if you don’t get your way in this nomination,” Vice President Mike Pence said at their debate in Salt Lake City.
Harris did not answer the question, choosing to make an erroneous comparison to former President Abraham Lincoln.
“In 1864, one of the, I think political heroes, certainly the President, I assume of you also, Mr. Vice President, is Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was up for reelection and it was 27 days before the election. And a seat became open on the United States Supreme Court. Abraham Lincoln’s party was in charge, not only of the White House, but the Senate. But Honest Abe said it’s not the right thing to do. The American people deserve to make the decision about who will be the next president of the United States. And then that person can select who will serve for a lifetime on the highest court of our land,” she said.
“Honest Abe said it’s not the right thing to do,” she said, of Lincoln not filling a Supreme Court vacancy less than a month before the 1864 election. “The American people deserve to make the decision about who will be the next president of the United States, and then that person can select who will serve for a lifetime on the highest court of our land. And so Joe and I are very clear. The American people are voting right now, and it should be their decision about who will serve on this most important body for a lifetime.”
The thing is, as FactCheck.org said, no one knows why President Lincoln did not nominate someone for the vacancy.
“Lincoln never actually explained the delay in his own words, so we don’t know his motivation,” ,Lincoln Historian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Christian McWhirter, said.
“History is, of course, all about interpretation, so historians have mostly relied on context to draw conclusions. The 1864 election is certainly important context, as is the fact that the Senate was out of session until December 5. Things like that can provide clues for what Lincoln might have been thinking, but ultimately we can never know exactly.”
Congress, as McWhirter noted, was not in session when the vacancy arose — which means the Senate couldn’t have confirmed Lincoln’s selection until after the election, anyway. The Senate ultimately confirmed Chase a day after returning (and the same day Lincoln formally nominated him) on Dec. 6.
Historian Michael Burlingame in his book, “Abraham Lincoln: A Life,” wrote that “upon hearing the news” of Taney’s death “Lincoln said he would not nominate a replacement for Taney right away but would remain ‘shut pan’ for a while. Preoccupied with the election and his annual message, he postponed consideration of the matter until Congress met in December. In the meantime, he said that ‘he was waiting to receive expressions of public opinion from the Country.’” Burlingame, however, describes “such expressions” as letters about who to choose — not the results of the election.