The Corner

Politics & Policy

Biden Campaign Says He ‘Misheard’ Question About Hyde Amendment

Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Pa., May 18, 2019. (Mark Makela/Reuters)

Here’s the Biden campaign’s statement explaining why he told an ACLU activist one month ago that he would repeal the Hyde amendment:

“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.”

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.

Odder still is the Biden campaign’s statement that he might eventually change his mind and support repealing the Hyde amendment after four decades of supporting it: “Given the current draconian attempts to limit access to abortion, if avenues for women to access their protected rights under Roe v. Wade are closed, he would be open to repeal.”

“When asked to clarify what ‘closed’ meant, the campaign did not respond,” the Huffington Post reports.

Is the Biden campaign saying that if Roe v. Wade is overturned and states regain the right to regulate and ban abortion, then Biden would support federal funding of elective abortions? That doesn’t seem to make any sense at all.

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