News and Commentary

Possible Biden VP Candidate Karen Bass Issues Statement On Her 2010 Scientology Speech
Congresswoman Karen Bass attends the official unveiling of City Of Los Angeles' Obama Boulevard in honor of the 44th President of the United States of America on May 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Leon Bennett/Getty Images

As presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden inches closer to announcing his choice for running-mate in the 2020 general election, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), who is the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, seems to have emerged as a potential top-tier candidate.

However, The Daily Caller recently unearthed a clip from April 2010 in which Bass, who was then a California assemblywoman, spoke at an event for a Church of Scientology building in Los Angeles.

Bass stated in part:

As both a leader in our state legislature and a representative of Los Angeles, my goal has been a simple one – to actually make a difference. So that’s why I first have to say that this day and this new Church of Scientology is an exciting moment because I know your goal and your commitment is truly to make a difference.

“It is my belief that if we really want to change this world, it is important that we think about how we treat each other. We have to treat all people with the respect they are due as human beings, and we must fight against oppression wherever we may find it,” Bass stated. “That is why the words are exciting of your founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in the creed of the Church of Scientology: that all people of whatever race, color, or creed are created with equal rights.”

“It’s a remarkable credit to your church that this is part of your creed. The Church of Scientology, I know, has made a difference because your creed is a universal creed, and one that speaks to all people, everywhere,” Bass continued.

Bass was elected to the House of Representatives later that same year, in November 2010.

Following the circulation of the clip online, Bass issued a statement on Twitter:

Just so you all know, I proudly worship at First New Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in South LA.

Ten years ago, I attended a new building opening in my district and spoke to what I think all of us believe in – respect for one another’s views, to treat all people with respect, and to fight against oppression wherever we find it. I found an area of agreement in their beliefs – where all people, of whatever race, color, or creed are created with equal rights, which is what my remarks were about. 

Since then, published first-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this group. Everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology. Back in 2010, I attended the event knowing I was going to address a group of people with beliefs very different than my own, and spoke briefly about things I think most of us agree with, and on those things – respect for different views, equality, and fighting oppression – my views have not changed.

Bass’ tweet has approximately 3,900 “likes,” and has been retweeted roughly 1,000 times as of publication.

The response to the congresswoman’s tweet has been mixed.

Some offered praise.

“Thank you for such a swift response, Congresswoman. Hopefully that puts an end to this nonsense hit piece,” one commenter wrote.

Another user stated: “Set the record straight! We love to see it.”

Others ripped Bass.

One user wrote: “Ten years ago, we knew they were a cult for decades. Good luck in your future, but we don’t need the baggage right now.”

“Sorry, I lived in LA from 1999-2001 and we knew then that it was a dangerous cult that preyed on people for their money,” added another.

Rep. Bass is allegedly being considered alongside Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), former national security adviser Susan Rice, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), among others, for Joe Biden’s vice presidential slot.

In mid-July, MSNBC’s Joy Reid asked Biden if he was “committed to naming a black woman” as his candidate for vice president.

“I am not committed to naming any but the people I’ve named, and among them there are four black women,” Biden replied. “So, that decision is underway right now.”

The former vice president noted that the candidates were being vetted, and that he would “narrow the list” afterward, and speak personally with each candidate in order to assess who would be the best choice.

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