CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert grilled former vice president Joe Biden regarding the string of “gaffes” he has made while campaigning for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary nomination.
“Mr. Vice President, you want to talk about issues, but a lot of people want to talk about your gaffes,” said Colbert. “In the last few weeks, you’ve confused New Hampshire for Vermont, said Bobby Kennedy and MLK were assassinated in the late 70’s, [and] assured us, ‘I’m not going nuts’ — are you going nuts?”
The former vice president responded by doubling down on his previous comments on the subject, claiming that “those details” don’t matter as long as the point he was trying to make did matter. “Those details are irrelevant when the point I was making is absolutely accurate,” explained Biden during his interview with Colbert.
“Look, I think it’s fair to go after a political figure for anything — that comes with the territory,” said Biden, “but here’s the deal, any gaffe that I have made — and I’ve made gaffes, like every politician I know has — have been not about a substantive issue.”
“For example, they made a big deal about my saying that I pinned the medal on two people,” Biden continued, “I did, but anyway, I pinned the medal on two people, and the dates, etc.”
Colbert then interjected by delving into the details surrounding Biden’s example.
“Well, they said that the branch of the military was wrong, and the date was wrong, and the act he was rewarded for was wrong, and the medal was wrong, and what position you held at the time was [wrong],” said Colbert. “All of those were fact-checked for you, and you said that details don’t matter.”
“No, here’s the deal,” Biden said, “because I was not talking about me, I was praising what the valor of all these people out there that I’ve visited — over 20 visits in Afghanistan and Iraq — and I was pointing out the young man who I did pin the medal on — he didn’t want the medal because his buddy had been killed as he was being dragged out of a burning Humvee, and he said, ‘don’t pin that on me.’”
The former vice president went on to insist that his gaffes are unimportant when compared to the so-called gaffe of “lock[ing] kids up in cages at the border,” suggesting this as one of President Donald Trump’s gaffes, despite the fact that Biden was vice president while migrant children were being locked in so-called “cages” under the Obama administration.
“The fact that I said that I was vice president — well, one case, I was vice president-elect, the other case, I was a senator — I’m not sure that’s relevant,” said Biden of his gaffes, “but I don’t get wrong things like, you know — we should lock kids up in cages at the border.”
But what’s worse than “cages,” however, are reports of migrant children also being handed over to human traffickers during the Obama administration — while Biden was vice president — according to the New York Times. Between October 2013 and July 2015 alone, nearly 80,000 unaccompanied children from Central American countries were detained by U.S. authorities.
It remains unclear how many of the tens of thousands of children were handed over to human traffickers — including sex traffickers — during that span of nearly two years, as those cases are reportedly not tracked.
“Others were ransomed by the very smugglers to whom their families paid thousands of dollars to sneak them into the United States,” reported the New York Times in 2015, during Obama’s presidency and Biden’s vice presidency. “Some lost limbs during the journey or found themselves sold into sexual slavery.”