Joe Biden just loves to praise goodness and decency wherever he finds it, like in the current vice president of the United States.
“The fact of the matter is it was followed on by a guy who’s a decent guy, our vice president, who stood before this group of allies and leaders and said, ‘I’m here on behalf of President Trump,’ and there was dead silence. Dead silence,” Biden said in a speech in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday, recounting a meeting Pence had with foreign leaders.
Some people, including former New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, reacted critically to Biden’s assessment, given how Pence is an anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion extremist in an administration that put children in cages.
In response to Nixon’s tweet, Biden issued a sort of non-apology: “You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on the world stage. But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.”
Yet Mike Pence is not the only bad man that Biden thinks is a “decent guy” or even a “good guy.” In that same speech, Biden also described Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, noted climate change denier, as a “good guy.”
And here’s Biden, in 2015, on former Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, whose tenure in the House was singularly focused on gutting the welfare state and further impoverishing people already struggling to survive, and who is also both a “good guy” and a “decent guy”:
“I think we can make some real progress, particularly with Paul Ryan, who is a good guy, on working toward an accommodation on the budget and on keeping the government open,” Biden said in the interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” airing on Sunday.
Asked about the White House’s difficulty getting much done with the Republican-led Congress and if a Ryan speakership could change things, Biden replied: “Yes. This is a decent guy. And he knows you cannot function - this government can’t function without reaching some consensus and he wants to do that.”
Here Biden is on “Larry King Live” in 2010, talking about “good guy” Colin Powell, who pushed for the U.S. to go to war in Iraq:
KING: Dick Cheney — not Dick Cheney, I’m sorry. Colin Powell was here the other night.
JOE BIDEN: Yes.
KING: And —
JOE BIDEN: A good guy.
And let’s not forget how Joe Biden, in 2018, described Republican Representative Fred Upton, a man who vigorously pushed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as: “One of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with.”
I personally would judge men in positions of power more on their policy choices and how many people have suffered as a result of them, but certainly it’s telling that Biden thinks his personal, apolitical assessment of a man’s character matters most. Biden, that fan of civility, just loves all of the good, decent, fine men out there.