Joe Biden Tries to Play the Middle of the Road Game on Abortion, but Democrats Demand Total Compliance
2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden is facing massive backlash from other Democratic candidates over his campaign’s comments earlier this week on where he stands on the Hyde Amendment.
NBC News reports:
Yet his presidential campaign confirmed to NBC News that Biden still supports the Hyde Amendment, a four-decade-old ban on using federal funds for abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.
Biden’s continued support for Hyde not only sets him apart from the rest of his 2020 Democratic competitors, but it may surprise progressive groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, which promoted a recent tweet by one of its activists appearing to get Biden to commit to ending Hyde during a rope-line exchange in South Carolina. Biden’s campaign told NBC he would be open to repealing Hyde if abortion avenues currently protected under Roe were threatened.
Here’s the exchange Biden had with the woman in South Carolina:
A few weeks ago, Joe Biden told our #RightsforAll volunteer Nina in South Carolina that as president, he would end the Hyde amendment, which blocks access to abortion for low income women who can’t pay out of pocket.
But his campaign has now told NBC he still supports Hyde. pic.twitter.com/O1GhzU1vgY
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 5, 2019
The Biden campaign, in turn, issued this response to the ACLU’s tweet:
Biden misheard the woman on the ropeline and thought she was referring to the Mexico City rule, which prevents federal aid money from going to organizations overseas that perform abortions. He supports the repeal of the Mexico City rule because it prevents critical aid from going to organizations even if abortion is a very small fraction of the work they are doing. He has not at this point changed his position on the Hyde Amendment.
How could he have “misheard” the question? It was as plain as day:
It’s hard to imagine Biden “misheard” the activist: The words “Hyde amendment” don’t sound much like “Mexico City Policy.” What the campaign is trying to say is that the candidate “confused” the two policies. It’s still odd that the campaign waited two weeks after the Washington Post first reported Biden opposes the Hyde amendment to clean up this gaffe.
Other Democratic candidates for president condemned Biden’s postion:
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has campaigned as an unapologetic feminist, tweeted “reproductive rights are human rights, period. They should be nonnegotiable for all Democrats.” On Capitol Hill, California Sen. Kamala Harris told The Associated Press she was “absolutely opposed to the idea that a woman is not going to have an ability to exercise her choice based on how much money she’s got.”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, during an MSNBC town hall in Indiana, said Biden was wrong to support the abortion funding restriction. “Women of means will still have access to abortions,” Warren said. “Who won’t will be poor women, will be working women, will be women who can’t afford to take off three days from work.”
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said on CBS News that Biden was “absolutely wrong” on his stance on the Hyde Amendment. “I hope that Joe Biden rethinks his position,” O’Rourke said. “Perhaps he doesn’t have all the facts. Perhaps he doesn’t understand who the Hyde Amendment huts the most.”
As part of his new “no middle ground” mantra, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted out his position on the Hyde Amendment yesterday:
In response to Biden's support of the Hyde amendment, Bernie is touting his plan to make American taxpayers pay for all abortions. https://t.co/CU8LJBQopO
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) June 5, 2019
It would appear that Biden is trying to have it both ways on the Hyde Amendment, as part of what he calls his “middle of the road” approach to the abortion issue. While other candidates have said they disagree with him, it’s not likely to matter to Biden who is still far out-polling everyone else.
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–
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