MSNBC: Joe Biden's Offensive Gaffes Make Him 'Real' and 'Authentic'

During a segment on Thursday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, fill-in host Kristen Welker noted Joe Biden making a string of gaffes – which included using an anti-Semitic slur – during a trip to Iowa, but then she and her guests proceeded to excuse his offensive remarks as merely being part of his charm. [Listen to the audio]

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza observed: "Joe Biden is probably the most 'real,' I suppose, politician you have these days. He does say what's on his mind. Unfortunately, what's on his mind often gets him in trouble."

Turning to Julie Pace of the Associated Press, Welker argued: "These gaffes are also a part of who he is as a politician, right?" Pace agreed: "Yeah, it's hard to manage this part of Joe Biden because so much of what is appealing about him to a lot of voters is the fact that he's authentic. The fact that he doesn't always seem scripted. That he's willing to kind of say things that maybe he shouldn't say."

As MSNBC tried to dismiss Biden's comments, none of the broadcast networks bothered to mention them at all.



Here is a transcript of the September 18 exchange on Andrea Mitchell Reports:

12:28 PM ET

(...)

KRISTEN WELKER: Alright, and Chris and Julie, a potential rival that she [Hillary Clinton] might have if she does declare, Joe Biden, was in Iowa yesterday. He made what some are calling three gaffes. Let's take a listen to one of them, I'm going to get your reaction on the other side.

JOE BIDEN: You know, on the way back from Mumbai to go meet with the President Shi in China, I stopped in Singapore to meet with a guy named Lee Quan Yu, who most foreign policy experts around the world say is the most – the wisest man in the Orient.

WELKER: So, Chris, he wound up apologizing for using the term "Orient." He also had to apologize for using the term "Shylock." And then for opening the door to U.S. combat forces in the Middle East. How damaging were those three gaffes? It's still very early, obviously.

CHRIS CILLIZZA [WASHINGTON POST]: Well, look, even if Joe Biden ran, he's a significant underdog to Hillary Clinton, assuming she's in the race. That said, this is Joe Biden's fundamental problem.

Let us remember that the last time Joe Biden ran for president in 2008, a story came out by my former colleague Jason Horowitz, he's now at the New York Times, in which Biden called Barack Obama "clean and articulate." That was on the day Joe Biden announced his presidential campaign.

So, Joe Biden is probably the most "real," I suppose, politician you have these days. He does say what's on his mind. Unfortunately, what's on his mind often gets him in trouble.

WELKER: Right. And Julie, you and I have spent a lot of time reporting on Vice President Biden. These gaffes are also a part of who he is as a politician, right?  

JULIE PACE [ASSOCIATED PRESS]: Yeah, it's hard to manage this part of Joe Biden because so much of what is appealing about him to a lot of voters is the fact that he's authentic. The fact that he doesn't always seem scripted. That he's willing to kind of say things that maybe he shouldn't say.

So how do you allow him to continue to be that kind of politician while also trying to avoid gaffes that become distracting to what he was originally supposed to be talking about? I bet there are very few people who could actually say what the purpose of Joe Biden's event in Iowa was yesterday. They only know about the gaffes.

WELKER: That's a great point.

(...)

Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Gaffes Video Chris Cillizza Julie Pace Kristen Welker Joe Biden

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