During an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden said if voters believe his accuser Tara Reade “they probably shouldn’t vote for me.”
O’Donnell started his line of lack-luster questioning by describing a New York Times opinion article titled “I Believe Tara Reade. I’m Voting for Joe Biden Anyways.”
“What do you say to women who were ready to vote for Joe Biden, eager to vote for Joe Biden, but this gives them serious pause because they do believe Tara Reade and you’re not going to change their mind about that. What would you say to them about their vote?” O’Donnell asked.
“Well, I think they should vote their heart and if they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade,” Biden said.
Reade alleges Biden sexually assaulted during her time as his Senate staffer in 1993. During an interview with Megyn Kelly, Reade detailed the sexual assault allegation.
“He had his hands under underneath my clothes, and it happened all at once. So he had one hand underneath my shirt and the other hand, I had a skirt on. And he like went down my skirt and then went up,” Reade said.
Biden has denied the allegations and says he would refuse to allow a search of his Senate records for Reade’s name. According to the Washington Post, Biden’s Senate records are held at the University of Delaware and will remain sealed until two years after Biden leaves public life.
“Reade told the Daily Caller that she wants the records released since she believes they might contain a copy of the complaint filed over the alleged incident which she says led to her termination on Capitol Hill. Several Biden Senate staffers have denied the existence of any such paperwork,” writes Tristan Justice at The Federalist.
Women’s groups and left-leaning organizations have been silent on Reade’s accusations against Biden, meanwhile being outspoken in favor of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she accused now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Groups such as Planned Parenthood and Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund have been silent on the issue of whether Reade is to be believed.
Biden has previously said that women should be believed when they come forward as it’s difficult to make that decision, but in his denial of Reade’s accusation, he stated a different standard for Reade than he held for Ford. “They should come forward. They should be heard, and then they should be investigated,” he told Mika Brzezinski.
“We need to believe women like Colbie [Holderness]. We need to recognize the incredible courage it takes for women like her to come forward. And we need to change the culture so those who live in fear can safely get the support they deserve,” Biden tweeted in February 2018.
Good morning pic.twitter.com/JnByW0UDos
— Kylee Zempel (@kyleezempel) May 15, 2020
Those standards don’t apply to Biden in the 2020 election or to Reade, his accuser.