Journalists shilling and protecting Joe Biden didn’t in 2020. The need to spin Biden’s cringe-inducing gaffes as delightful was well under way when he was vice President. In this week’s FLASHBACK, reporter Mary Bruce covers for Biden’s many stumbles.
Talking about the Democrat flirting with running in 2015, Bruce used the August 2, 2015 Good Morning America to cover for the then-Vice President: “Biden is an experienced campaigner. If he runs, it would be his third attempt at the White House.... But he's also had his fair share of stumbles. From back rubs to BFD’s. Biden is a gaffe-making machine. But those ‘oh that Joe’ moments are part of his political charm.”
See? Racial stereotypes about Indian Americans, reminiscing about segregationists and inappropriate touching are all just “charm.”
Reporter Paula Faris highlighted Biden’s duty to run to honor his late son, Beau: “Vice President Joe Biden may jump into the ring to fulfill what’s said to be his son’s dying wish.” Bruce added, “One thing reportedly weighing heavily on his mind, his son Beau's dying wish. The New York Times reporting that on his death bed, Beau ‘had a mission.’ He tried to make his father promise to run.”
Expect disingenuous journalists to find quite a bit more “charm” from Biden as the 2020 race gets under way.
For more examples from our weekly flashback series, which we call NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.
A transcript of the segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Good Morning America
PAULA FARIS: And we want to move to the political battlefield now, and news that could shake up the Democratic nomination. Vice President Joe Biden may jump into the ring to fulfill what’s said to be his son’s dying wish. And ABC's Mary Bruce is at the White House, and Mary, this would certainly shake up the race.
MARY BRUCE: Hey, Paula, good morning. Well, nothing has been decided yet, but many have voiced concerns there aren't more candidates on the Democratic side, now it seems the vice president could change that. This morning, Joe Biden isn't saying yes, but he isn't saying no to a possible run at the White House. His political machine is gearing up. ABC News has learned the vice president's chief of staff is quietly talking to Biden supporters, and Democratic donors, clearing the way for a possible presidential campaign. The vice president hasn't indicated yet if he's in or out. But it's no secret that he's interested.
JOE BIDEN: Yes, there's a chance. But I haven’t made my mind up about that.
BEAU BIDEN: Our nation needs my father, my hero, Joe Biden.
BRUCE: One thing reportedly weighing heavily on his mind, his son Beau's dying wish. The New York Times reporting that on his death bed, Beau “had a mission.” He tried to make his father promise to run.
BIDEN: So help me God.
BRUCE: Biden is an experienced campaigner. If he runs, it would be his third attempt at the White House.
BIDEN: So, give me a break.
BRUCE: But he's also had his fair share of stumbles. From back rubs to BFD’s. Biden is a gaffemaking machine. But those oh that Joe moments are part of his political charm.
BIDEN: Happy New Year.
BRUCE: The latest polling shows Biden with his highest favorability rating in seven years, 49%, highest than any other Democrat already in the race. Now Biden has said he will make a decision by the end of the summer. And if he does decides to jump in, politically speaking, that would be a big deal. Dan.
DAN HARRIS: All right, Mary Bruce, thank you. Obviously, this would be an earthquake in the race for president. So let's bring in ABC’s chief white house correspondent Jon Karl, who’s also in Washington, where he’ll be hosting This Week later this morning. Jon, good morning, my friend. How likely is it really, let's get a reality check -- how likely is it really that Biden is going to run?
JONATHAN KARL: Well, I'm told he's seriously looking at this. There are people in his inner circle who are preparing for a possible run. I have talked to several longtime Biden advisers who are divided about how likely it is. But one of them, Dan, told me that he believes that Biden is 90% in.
HARRIS: Wow, that certainly sounds like he's going to do it. But let me ask what the consequences are likely to be. As we know Hillary Clinton has had more time to raise money, and build an organization, how serious a threat would Biden be?
KARL: Well, look, huge obstacle here. You mentioned getting in so late without the organization, without the money. Also you know, Biden has run for president twice, did not do well at all in either of those campaigns. But there are clear signs that Hillary Clinton is vulnerable and Biden would be a force in this race from the start. He would undoubtedly be a serious challenger though under the right circumstances could pose a serious threat to Hillary Clinton.