The last time Joe Biden appeared on late-night television less than two weeks ago, he was criticizing Donald Trump for not paying his “fair share” of taxes. A lot has changed since then.
Vice President Biden, who, along with his wife Dr. Jill Biden, stopped by one of Late Night with Seth Meyers’ special Washington, D.C., shows on Wednesday, first weighed in on the tape of Trump bragging about groping women without their consent in a tweet on Saturday. “It’s not lewd,” he wrote. “It’s sexual assault.”
The issue is a major one for Biden, who introduced the Violence Against Women Act in the early 1990s and just last month brought his “It’s on Us” campaign to stop sexual assault to Law & Order: SVU. So when Meyers asked him to discuss the latest Trump revelations, Biden was ready. And this was before The New York Times released its report in which two women accuse Trump of doing exactly the things he boasted about but claimed in Sunday’s debate he never actually did.
“What did you find more stunning,” Meyers wanted to know, “the use of the language or the fact that there are still people who are defending it for not being what you called it out as?”
“First of all, what I found astounding is that he would so publicly—no matter who he was talking to—that he would acknowledge that he engaged in the textbook definition of sexual assault.”
As Biden put it, Trump didn’t say he went up and “asked” women if he could kiss or touch them: “He said I go up and grab and I can do this.” Biden said he was also shocked to see the report today from BuzzFeed in which several Miss Teen USA beauty pageant contestants described Trump walking into their dressing room while they were changing. “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before,” one of the women remembers Trump saying.
“I mean, this is absolutely outrageous behavior,” Biden said. “I’ve spent more of my career trying to figure out how to change the culture in this country so that we treat women with respect and with dignity.”
And now he has to sit back and watch a man like Donald Trump come within striking distance of succeeding Barack Obama as president.