Bi­den says 2016 race was ‘dispir­it­ing’

Claims is­sues ig­nored

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY DAVE BOYER

Vice Pres­i­dent Joseph R. Bi­den said Thurs­day that Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump won the elec­tion by di­vert­ing the me­dia’s at­ten­tion from se­ri­ous is­sues to scan­dals and out­ra­geous rhetoric.

“When a guy talks about grab­bing a woman’s pri­vate parts, when a guy says some of the in­cred­i­bly out­ra­geous things that were said, it sucks up all the oxy­gen in the air,” Mr. Bi­den said in an ad­dress at the New York Uni­ver­sity School of Law. “There wasn’t much of a dis­cus­sion of is­sues, even in the de­bates.”

The vice pres­i­dent said the “coarse” cam­paign was “dispir­it­ing.”

“I find my­self em­bar­rassed by the na­ture and the way in which this cam­paign was con­ducted,” Mr. Bi­den said. “So much for the shin­ing city on a hill.”

Mr. Bi­den said Mr. Trump in­ten­tion­ally dis­tracted the me­dia from is­sues such as Hil­lary Clin­ton’s plan for free col­lege tu­ition.

“I guess it was P.T. Bar­num said there’s no such thing as bad pub­lic­ity,” Mr. Bi­den said. “And Trump says it. It turns out, he’s pretty damned smart in terms of be­ing able to fig­ure out how to deal with the press. You would have thought some of the things he said would be just, ipso facto, dis­qual­i­fy­ing for pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica. But such a neg­a­tive cam­paign seemed to take every­body’s eye off the ball.”

He said the me­dia wrote and broad­cast far more sto­ries about Mrs. Clin­ton’s pri­vate email server than about plans for tax re­form, or is­sues such as deal­ing with China.

“Other than ‘Make Amer­ica Great Again’ and ‘For­ward To­gether,’ what do you know about the last elec­tion?” Mr. Bi­den asked the au­di­ence. “Why wasn’t there more dis­cus­sion? Hil­lary Clin­ton, in my view, and I’m prej­u­diced, was the sin­gle most qual­i­fied can­di­date on the face of it to run for pres­i­dent of the United States we’ve had, pe­riod. But the press didn’t cover it.”

The vice pres­i­dent said Mr. Trump and con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans will find out how dif­fi­cult it is to gov­ern when they try to re­peal Oba­macare. Chuck­ling, he said the GOP al­ready is show­ing signs of trep­i­da­tion by dis­cussing a plan to re­peal phase out Oba­macare af­ter two or three years.

“If it’s that bad, just re­peal it. Have at it right now,” he said. “Re­peal it whole­sale. Watch county hospi­tals go un­der. Take 20 mil­lion peo­ple off of health care. Get the press cov­er­ing ‘My mother just died be­cause she lost her cov­er­age.’ All of a sud­den, in­sur­ance com­pa­nies go­ing back to charg­ing women more than men for the same cov­er­age. I wel­come the de­bate. I can hardly wait.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Vice Pres­i­dent Joseph R. Bi­den says Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump in­ten­tion­ally dis­tracted the me­dia from is­sues such as Hil­lary Clin­ton’s plan for free col­lege tu­ition, en­abling Mr. Trump to win the elec­tion.

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