During election season, every candidate’s words fall under heavy scrutiny. Perhaps that goes double for 2020, as both Joe Biden and Donald Trump will have to be very careful.
Biden might face a steeper challenge, however, as Republicans push the idea that the former Vice President isn’t fit for office (though there is no definitive evidence to support that claim).
So, if Biden makes a mistake during a public appearance, it’s likely to get attention.
Unfortunately, the Democratic presidential nominee opened the door for more criticism yesterday: he claimed he didn’t say something very specific about face masks.
Speaking after a recent COVID hearing, Biden said:
Regarding a federal mask mandate, Joe Biden backtracks, claiming now he is a “constitutionalist.” 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/Df1dCfawri
— George Revere (@george_revere) September 2, 2020
In this speech, he denies saying he would institute a nationwide mask mandate if he became President.
‘No, no,’ he said. ‘I’m a constitutionalist. You can’t do things the Constitution does allow you the power to do.’
He added that he would simply “put pressure” on states and local governments to require face masks.
He also said Americans could take off the mask “if they’re 12 to 15 feet away” from other people.
The problem is, this flies directly in the face of what he said just a few weeks ago during the Democratic National Convention.
Fact-checkers (via Breitbart) remind people that Biden said very specifically during his speech:
We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask.
Many latched on to that quote and it started to appear on social media. Here’s one example:
“We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask.” – Joe Biden. It shouldn’t be but those are brave words.
— JEN KIRKMAN (@JenKirkman) August 21, 2020
And the week before that, Biden said:
Let’s institute a mask mandate nationwide.
Every single American should be wearing a mask when they are outside for the next three months at a minimum.
He added that “every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing,” and then claimed this policy would “save 40,000 lives.”
This seems like a pretty definitive backtracking on Biden’s part. I don’t recall him mentioning the Constitution when pushing for face masks a few months ago.
Will this have any impact on the polls?
- Joe Biden claims he didn’t call for a nationwide mask mandate.
- But during the Democratic National Convention, he specifically said, “we’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask.”
- He also called for a nationwide mandate the week before that. And he added that Americans should wear masks outside “for the next three months at a minimum.”