In the middle of a Friday morning speech championing women’s issues, Vice President Joe Biden offered warm words for a senator who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal.
According to attendees, Biden singled out former Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Oregon) as the sort of Republican who used to be reasonable on issues like expanding voter access. Packwood was reportedly accused by 10 women of unwanted sexual harassment and ultimately resigned in 1995.
“It was Republicans that were involved,” Biden said in a speech at a DNC Women’s Leadership Forum breakfast. “Guys like [former Maryland Sen.] Mac Mathias and Packwood and so many others. It wasn’t Democrats alone. Republicans were the sponsors of the raises of the minimum wage. I could go on and on. I’m not joking: This is not your father’s Republican Party, or your mother’s Republican Party.”
According to the Washington Post, the details of Packwood’s scandal were especially lurid.
“The extremely detailed and convincing accounts of Packwood’s gross misbehavior were appalling,” the Post said. “Outrage toward Packwood in his home state of Oregon and across the nation grew by day. The scandal and legal entanglements surrounding it would lead the senator to tearfully end his political career in 1995.”
Biden already stumbled into multiple controversies in the last two days, including an off-colour remark about his wife, a reference to “Shylocks,” and calling a famous Singapore politician “the wisest man in the orient.”
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