Vox founder and editor Ezra Klein thinks that “Democrats need to talk about Hunter Biden. Sorry, but they do.”
Most of us likely agree with that statement.
At Tuesday night’s debate, CNN moderator Anderson Cooper did question Biden about his son. He asked:
The impeachment inquiry is centered on President Trump’s attempts to get political dirt on Vice President Biden and his son. President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board in Ukraine. I want to point out there’s no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you.
Having said that, on Sunday, you announced if you are president, no one in your family will be involved in any foreign businesses. My question is, if it’s not okay for a president’s family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were vice president?
Remarkably, Biden got away, unchallenged, with the following answer. “My son did nothing wrong, I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. That’s what we should be focusing on.”
When it was Sen. Cory Booker’s turn to answer, he said, “I saw this play out in 2016’s election. We are … elevating a lie and attacking a statesman. That was so offensive. The only person sitting at home that was enjoying that was Donald Trump.” Okay, so let’s not ask difficult questions of candidates because they might be offended.
Booker added, “I am having deja vu all over again.” He equated talking about Hunter Biden’s position as a board member of Burisma with discussion of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Booker sees discussion of Clinton’s emails as merely a political smear? Flash to Booker. She should have been indicted for using a private server for government business, for deleting 33,000 emails (with BleachBit) she decided were personal after they’d been subpoenaed, and for destroying her old cell phones with hammers.
And, no we don’t have evidence yet that Hunter Biden broke the law, but he capitalized on his father’s position as both Vice President of the United States and as the “point man” for U.S. interests in Ukraine, by taking several million dollars from Burisma for a job he never would have been offered had his father not been Joe Biden. Hunter Biden even admitted this in his ABC interview earlier this week.
The larger problem for them lies with Joe Biden’s actions. I would argue that the evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden is his confession, captured on video, that he withheld $1 billion in U.S. aid until the Ukrainian president agreed to fire the prosecutor general. The only point of debate is whether Biden wanted the prosecutor fired because he was about to question his son or because, as Biden claims, the prosecutor was corrupt. I think we all know the answer to that question.
Klein argues that “Hunter Biden poses real problems for Joe Biden’s campaign, and if Democrats pretend otherwise, they’re making a mistake.”
He makes the case that, had the Democrats properly vetted Clinton during the primaries, they could have prevented her emails from becoming an issue in the general election. We all recall Sanders turning to her in a primary debate to say, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” If her nearest rival had not taken discussion of her emails off the table during the primaries, Democrats would have learned quickly that they were a serious liability, and Clinton may not have won the nomination. The nomination likely would have been handed to another candidate, presumably Bernie Sanders. (Flash to Klein: Sanders would not have defeated Trump either, but that’s beside the point.)
Klein makes the case, and I agree with him, that if Democrats don’t talk about Hunter Biden now, even if that means Biden loses the nomination, it will become an issue in the general election, and may be the reason they lose the presidency a second time to President Trump. He writes, “Democrats are afraid to talk about Hunter Biden. Trump won’t be.”
No, Trump certainly won’t be.
Democrats need to talk about Hunter Biden. Sorry, but they do.
Better to see if Biden is vulnerable on this in the primary than in the general. https://t.co/yirfANmZtY
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) October 16, 2019