The Corner

Elections

Yes, Biden Called Trump’s Travel Restrictions Xenophobic

Biden campaign national press secretary TJ Ducklo had a disastrous interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier on Thursday in which Ducklo appeared to be as eminently unprepared as your typical Trump White House surrogate, and grew increasingly agitated as the segment progressed. After Baier played clips of two experts that Biden has relied upon downplaying the coronavirus in late January, Ducklo claimed that “the vice president was not against the travel ban” placed on China by President Trump on January 31. Baier pressed Ducklo on this point, repeatedly asking if Biden was for the travel restrictions. Ducklo refused to answer directly, instead saying that Biden was “not against” them and offering to send Baier “fact-checks.”

More interesting than Ducklo’s substandard performance was this offer. The day after Trump announced the travel restrictions on China, Biden tweeted that “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

PolitiFact says that because Biden had previously accused Trump of fostering “hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering” and Biden did not explicitly tie xenophobia to the travel restrictions, Trump’s allegation that Biden had called his Chinese travel ban xenophobic was “mostly false.” FactCheck.org ignored Biden’s February 1 tweet entirely, simply asserting that Biden did not take a position on the initial restrictions and pointing to his support of such measures in April.

Our current president is fond of making galling claims that insult the intelligence of those listening to him. It appears that a President Biden would be no different. The day after the travel restrictions were put in place, Biden criticized Trump for his xenophobic response to the coronavirus crisis. It strains credulity to argue that the criticism had nothing to do with those travel restrictions, regardless of what Ducklo’s precious fact-checks may say.

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