Joe Biden — the popular, LGBTQ-friendly former vice president and possible 2020 presidential contender — is getting some heat for calling the current vice president, well-known homophobe Mike Pence, “a decent guy.”
Biden made the remark while appearing today with former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at Hagel’s Forum for Global Leadership at the University of Nebraska’s Omaha campus.
He was discussing Pence’s appearance earlier this month at the Munich Security Conference of European leaders, which was not well-received and showed how Donald Trump had alienated allies around the world, said Biden, who was also at the conference. “A guy who’s a decent guy, our vice president … stood before this group of allies and leaders and said, ‘I’m here on behalf of President Trump,’ and there was dead silence,” Biden recalled.
After Wall Street Journal reporter Reid J. Epstein tweeted about Biden’s comment, social media lit up with messages denouncing Pence. Several referred to Pence’s anti-LGBTQ record as a congressman, Indiana governor, and vice president, including his reported endorsement of conversion therapy, something he denies.
Pence, whose wife, Karen, teaches at a Christian school that discriminates against LGBTQ people, also made news this week when a homophobic article written by his new chief of staff, Marc Short, surfaced. Short, who wrote the piece in college in 1992, said it no longer reflects his views, but the vice president has not commented.
Biden backpedaled a bit in response to a tweet from actress and activist Cynthia Nixon. But some thought the remark would hurt Biden’s 2020 chances.
In Omaha, Joe Biden calls Mike Pence "a decent guy, our vice president."
— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) February 28, 2019
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) February 28, 2019
You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on the world stage.
But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 28, 2019
Joe Biden refers to Mike Pence as "a decent guy," and every single decent American just threw up in their mouth a little.
— Egalitarian #Harris2020 (@oregonvirginia) March 1, 2019
Mike Pence believes in gay conversion therapy and allowed an HIV outbreak to happen in Indiana. No, Joe Biden, Pence is not a decent guy. He’s scum. https://t.co/QAHQQ6Nurp
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 28, 2019
Nice to see Joe Biden reach across the aise to join hands with Mike Pence so that together they can electrocute a gay teenager. https://t.co/nYOboxKJIF
— Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) February 28, 2019
Well he got half of it right. Come on, Joe...
— Dana Goldberg (@DGComedy) March 1, 2019
Nothing better exemplifies why Joe Biden has zero chance of winning the Democratic Primary.
— Ryan Witt (@ryanwitt) February 28, 2019
WTF? That lying Yes Man is right down there with Trump.
Gives my Hoosier family a bad name.
— Ben S. Nethercot (@ScifresNet) February 28, 2019
I live in Indiana, which I now call the “Pence-etentiary.”
— RossiSturgill (@AutoimmuneS) February 28, 2019