Outgoing Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he thinks the 2016 presidential campaign in which Republican Donald J. Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in a landslide was more a battle of “personalities” than it was a battle of “ideas.”
“This has been a very tough election. It’s been ugly, it’s been divisive, it’s been coarse, it’s been dispiriting. And it was more a battle of personalities than it was a battle of ideas in my view,” Biden said at a New York University forum in Washington, D.C., according to CNN.
“I find myself embarrassed by the nature of the way in which this campaign was conducted,” Biden added “So much for the shining city on the hill.”
It’s interesting that Biden would claim the race was about personalities when it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign that repeatedly and consistently attempted to force the conversation away from policy matters to questions about Trump’s personality—and it was Trump who barnstormed America giving perhaps one of the most detailed policy visions a presidential candidate has in generations.
Trump toured the country during the GOP primaries and the general election giving policy speech after speech. In the general election, Trump’s policy speeches focused on everything from immigration to trade to healthcare to revving up the economy to rebuilding the military to infrastructure planning to inner city development to law and order crime combating measures to national security to foreign policy to the economy and more. Clinton gave exactly zero policy speeches in the general election.
While Trump was talking about policy directly to the American people, in speeches, over social media, and in interviews with new media outlets not beholden to the political class, the entire Democratic Party, the media establishment — including and especially CNN, and the political class in Washington was focused almost exclusively on the latest allegations against Trump–whether they be the unsubstantiated and questionably timed allegations from a variety of women against him or about whatever else they could focus on other than policy matters.
But Democrats and their allies throughout the legacy establishment media—including CNN—have been desperately searching for something to blame for Hillary Clinton getting smoked, losing 30 states to Trump. Trump’s landslide victory saw him win 30 states—Clinton only got 20—and 306 electoral votes, the most any Republican has won since the 1980s.
Part of what Democrats, including now Clinton herself, and their media cohorts are blaming is this “fake news” phenomenon. Some in the media–including CNN’s Brian Stelter and others–have admitted their industry is in crisis in the immediate aftermath of the election. But Stelter and his crew at CNN, and the rest of the media by and large, have reverted to the same form of inaccuracy within days of the election and continue to refuse to accurately report the news.
Biden, later in an interview with CNN’s own Jake Tapper, actually claimed—incorrectly—that President-elect Trump didn’t provide any “detail” about his trade policy platform to the American people.
“[Trump] did say a lot that the trade deals had sold out the American people, and that he was going to bring those jobs back and that he was going to fight for the American worker,” Tapper said to Biden. “That did cut through.”
“That cut through, but there was no detail about any of it,” Biden replied.
So now that the “fake news” claim is falling apart—the media choosing Brian Williams, the disgraced ex-NBC Nightly News anchor who lost his job due to making up news stories, as its spokesperson against “fake news” didn’t work out so well—the left is now shifting its story about why Trump won to another implausibility: That it was a race of personalities, not substance.
In that follow-up interview with Tapper, which will air in full on CNN’s State of the Union this coming weekend, Biden claimed that if he ran instead of Clinton Republicans would “probably have eaten me alive.”