A campaign spokeswoman for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign called the allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in the early 90s “false.”
Biden last week was accused by Tara Reade, who said she previously worked as a staffer for Biden when he was a senator in the early 90s. She claimed she was delivering a gym bag to Biden when he pushed her up against a wall and put his hands all over her, including under her clothes. She claimed Biden penetrated her with his fingers and kissed her.
Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, called the allegations against Biden “false” in a statement to Fox news.
“Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false,” Bedingfield said.
Fox reported that a “former executive assistant to then-Senator Biden also challenged the account, calling it ‘clearly false.’”
The response from the Biden campaign is a clear contrast to the statements Biden has made over the past few decades, in which he insists women making sexual misconduct allegations must be believed. In 2018, for example, Biden was asked about whether he believed Anita Hill’s claims in the 90s that her then-boss Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her. Biden said he thought Hill “was telling the truth at the beginning.” He then spoke generally about women’s allegations.
“For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time. But nobody fails to understand that this is like jumping into a cauldron,” Biden told reporters.
Biden made the comments after Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had been accused of sexual assault shortly after he was nominated to the position. The allegations from Christine Blasey Ford claimed Kavanaugh assaulted her 30 years earlier at a party. Ford’s claims were thin, yet the media, Democrats and the “believe all women” crowd ran with them in an effort to keep Kavanaugh off the court.
Reade’s claims against Biden may be slightly less thin, as she says she made a contemporaneous complaint (it has yet to be produced) and told friends and family what happened at the time (they seem to remember this).
What Biden’s communications director said is true, media outlets do need to “rigorously vet those claims,” however, Biden has never made such an insistence until the allegations were made against him. When dubious allegations were made against political rivals, powerful businessmen and celebrities, or male college students, Biden sings a different tune.
He has led the charge that we must “believe all women” and that women don’t lie about these things, yet here he is – through his campaign – calling Reade a liar. Either Biden is going to have to accept what Reade says as true or admit that we can’t just assume every woman is telling the truth when she makes such allegations.