Biden Communications Director: Gaffes are ‘part of his charm’

(Image: screenshot)

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s countless campaign gaffes are just “part of his charm,” an aide for the Democratic 2020 contender suggested.

Biden’s communications director, Kate Bedingfield, claimed in an MSNBC appearance that an “unfair standard” was being used against the 76-year-old Democratic presidential candidate compared to others in the race, dismissing concerns about his recent string of misstatements.

(Video: MSNBC)

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell asked Bedingfield about a series of Biden’s verbal gaffes including one over the weekend when he said at a campaign stop that he was in a town in Vermont while he was actually in New Hampshire.

“So I know it’s just a mistake, but it’s Vermont and New Hampshire, he’s running in the New Hampshire primary,” Mitchell said on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” Tuesday after playing a clip of Biden from Keene where he was with a local elected official who was running for reelection.

“Does he have to be more careful to prove that he hasn’t lost his fastball?” Mitchell asked.

Bedingfield fired back with a warning to the media covering the former vice president who may be losing ground to his Democratic opponents according to recent polls.

“I think the press has to be more careful about applying an unfair standard to Joe Biden than they’re applying to other candidates,” she said.

“If you listen to what the candidates say all day as they’re out campaigning, they’re out in front of cameras, they’re in front of people, they’re talking all day. Everybody’s going to slip up and misstate a name or a date or a location. It happens all the time,” Bedingfield insisted, adding that mistakes by other candidates do not get the same attention Biden does.

But the former senator’s headline-grabbing flubs have become almost expected after a series of missteps have dogged him on the campaign trail.

At a New Hampshire stop on Monday, Biden was confused about speaking earlier at nearby Dartmouth College, but assured everyone that he was “not going nuts.”

Biden confused supporters at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month as he rallied the crowd by declaring that Americans “choose truth over facts.” He also appeared to forget this month that Thomas Jefferson was a U.S. president, and said that “poor kids are just as bright, just as talented, as white kids.”

In May, he confused then-British Prime Minister Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher, the former British PM who left office in 1990. He also said that he had met with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. when he was still serving as vice president, but he had actually been out of office for more than a year when that mass shooting took place in February 2018.

Last week, Biden sparked more confusion when he misplaced the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy by a decade while speaking to an Iowa crowd about his younger years.

Biden’s deputy campaign manager ascribed the flack he was receiving as “part of being a front-runner” and told Mitchell that his supporters are not seeing the slip-ups the way the media is portraying them.

“People know who he is. They know this is a part of his charm. They understand that, you know, they’re getting it straight from him,” she said. “It’s not overly packaged. He’s always speaking from his heart. And sure, that means sometimes he’s going to misstate a couple of things. But frankly, so does every other candidate.”

“I would love to see some coverage of the other candidates misstating where they are at an event because, I promise you, it happens almost every single day,” Bedingfield added.

“Well, we’re going to check that out,”Mitchell replied, not missing an opportunity to knock President Trump in the process.

“We certainly report on the president’s misstatements, clear, outright lies one after another,” she said. “That is very much a fair comparison but we’ll follow up on that.”

“Great!” Bedingfield exclaimed.


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