Former Vice President Joe Biden moves town hall audience to tears as he opens up about how he dealt with his stutter
Former Vice President Joe Biden talked about how he overcame his stutter at a CNN town hall that moved some audience members to tears. He talked about how he used to be "embarrassed" of his speech impediment growing up, and how he eventually came to accept that it wasn't his fault that he couldn't control it. He capitalized on the importance of empathy, and how people need "to reach out a little more" to those who need it.
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Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden opened up about how he dealt with his stutter throughout his life during a CNN town hall, moving members of the audience to tears. Biden said he eventually overcame his stutter by practicing speeches to himself in the mirror and imitated the "torture face" he would get when he couldn't make out a whole sentence due to his stutter. He talked about how he was "embarrassed" of his stutter growing up, but that he no longer feels that shame. "Things that people cannot control, it's not their fault," Biden said. "No one has a right, no one has a right to mock it and make fun of it, no matter who they are." The former vice president went on to emphasize the power of empathy, and how a simple phrase like "I know how you feel" can reinforce someone enough to think, "I guess there's a way through. I guess I can make it." Biden said he empathized with the conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, who announced he had been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. Limbaugh was a controversial recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union address on Tuesday. "I probably got in trouble for saying empathize with Rush Limbaugh dying of cancer," Biden said. "I don't like him at all, but he's going through hell right now. He's a human being." Biden said this type of consideration is something that is lacking in the US, both in and out of politics. The government remains bitterly divided following a high-tension impeachment inquiry, pinning Democrats and Republicans — both congresspeople and civilians — against each other. "We just have to reach out a little more for people; we don't do it enough," Biden said. "We got to heal this country. As a nation, we didn't use to be like this." Watch Biden's response at the CNN town hall here:
“Things that people cannot control, is not their fault. No one has a right… to mock it and make fun of it,” says Joe Biden on his lifelong struggle with stuttering. “We just have to reach out a little more for people… We don’t do it enough. We have to heal this country.” pic.twitter.com/SQQVlr4hkm — Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 6, 2020
Read more: Sarah Huckabee Sanders mocked Joe Biden during the Democratic debate after he mentioned comforting a child with a stutter Read Joe Biden's moving 1994 letter to a boy with a stutter Trump joins chorus spearing Joe Biden's 2020 run: 'some things aren't salvageable' SEE ALSO: 15 famous people who had a stutter Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
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Some top Democrats say they want the country to move past Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations, even though Biden is calling for an investigation
Some prominent Democrats are calling for the country to move past a sexual assault allegation against...Some prominent Democrats are calling for the country to move past a sexual assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden, even though the candidate himself is calling for an investigation. On Friday morning, Biden appeared on nation TV and vehemently denied Tara Reade's allegations that he harassed and assaulted her in 1993, but the presumptive Democratic nominee called for an investigation into Reade's claims. "They should be heard and then it should be investigated," Biden said of women who make sexual misconduct allegations. Even after Biden called for Reade's personnel file to be released, prominent Democrats continued to push Americans to "move on" from the allegations, citing Biden's moral character and a lack of evidence to prove Reade's claims. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Many prominent Democrats are calling for the country to move past a sexual assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, even though the candidate himself is calling for an investigation of the matter. On Friday morning, Biden appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and vehemently denied Tara Reade's allegations that Biden sexually harassed and assaulted her when she worked in his Senate office in 1993. But Biden said he believes all allegations should be investigated. "They should be heard and then it should be investigated," Biden said of women who make sexual misconduct allegations. Biden called for the National Archives to release any records that might shed light on whether a complaint was ever filed against him for sexual misconduct. (The National Archives told Insider on Friday that it doesn't have the records, which instead are controlled by the Senate. But Senate rules bar the release of personnel files for 50 years after they're created.) Even after Biden called for Reade's personnel file to be released, prominent Democrats continued to push Americans to "move on" from the allegations, citing Biden's moral character and a lack of evidence to prove Reade's claims. Leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a leader in the fight against sexual misconduct in Washington, said they believe Biden's denials and didn't call for any further investigation of the matter. "I have complete respect for the whole #MeToo movement," Pelosi said. "There's also due process and the fact that Joe Biden is Joe Biden." Biden's campaign previously circulated talking points that falsely claimed that The New York Times' April investigation of Reade's allegations found her claims weren't credible. This point was regurgitated by some of Biden's allies, including Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate who's lobbying to be Biden's vice presidential running mate. "I believe that women deserve to be heard and I believe they need to be listened to, but I also believe that those allegations have to be investigated by credible sources," Abrams told CNN on Tuesday. "The New York Times did a deep investigation and they found that the accusation was not credible. I believe Joe Biden." The Times pushed back on the campaign, pointing out that its report didn't come to a conclusion about the credibility of the allegations. Even after Biden's call for an investigation on Friday, some Democrats are still misleadingly arguing that Reade's allegations have been discredited and pushing for the country to "move on." "I believe @JoeBiden. Anyone who knows him knows this allegation is antithetical to his character, to the culture in his office, to his soul," Jennifer Granholm, a former Democratic governor of Michigan, tweeted on Friday. "He has never been that kind of guy. Ever. The story has been heard and vetted. No staffer remembers it. No complaint found. Move on." Gillibrand, who was the first Senate Democrat to call on former Sen. Al Franken to resign amid several sexual misconduct accusations, unequivocally defended Biden during a Tuesday conference call. "I stand by Vice President Biden," Gillibrand said. "He's devoted his life to supporting women and he has vehemently denied this allegation." Influential women's rights groups reportedly urged Biden to publicly address Reade's allegations for weeks, after drafting their own public letter. Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of the organization, called on Biden to advance the national conversation on sexual misconduct by putting foward "policy solutions" and taking "personal responsibility." The group didn't call for an investigation into Reade's allegations. "We are glad to see Vice President Biden take a needed first step in addressing this issue head on. We now look to Biden to continue to push this conversation, and our country, forward," the group said on Friday. "We need, and expect, someone who wants to hold the highest office in the land to push our country to have a real reckoning on sexual violence and assault — one that both includes personal responsibility, and gives survivors the hope of real solutions so that they never have to experience this trauma again." Kayla Epstein contributed to this report. SEE ALSO: The 25 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Tax Day is now July 15 — this is what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
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With two septuagenarians battling for the nomination and a fervent ideological battle boiling within the Democratic...With two septuagenarians battling for the nomination and a fervent ideological battle boiling within the Democratic Party, the eventual nominee's vice-presidential pick could have an impact on the general election, according to political scientists and operatives. Given the diversity of the Democratic Party and its coalition, women and people of color should make up the bulk of both Biden's and Sanders' shortlists, political scientists and operatives told Insider. The candidate's ideology, regional appeal, and experience will also come into play. Some pundits and strategists have begun speculating about who the two frontrunners will consider for the job. One Biden-aligned operative said he'd be "surprised" if Biden's pick wasn't Sen. Kamala Harris. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. With Super Tuesday setting the inescapable delegate math into motion, the Democrats will almost certainly have a septuagenarian white man leading the ticket in November to take on President Donald Trump. But the other half of that ticket is pretty wide open. Political scientists and Democratic operatives told Insider that both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont would be smart to look for a younger running mate, preferably a woman or a person of color — or both. Both candidates have already suggested their future running mates would be women and younger than they are. In December, Biden told a New Hampshire voter he could think of "seven women off the top of my head" who could be his running mate. Beyond the candidate's identity, their ideology and regional strength will also come into play, and the nominee's goal will be a running mate who offers both balance and broad appeal. Biden has also said he would pick a running mate who could shoulder significant responsibility and act as almost like an equal partner in the White House. "Look, the only thing I know a lot about is the vice presidency," Biden said in response to a question about who he would pick for a running mate during a December town hall in Peterborough, New Hampshire. "The responsibility of the president is so immense that no one woman or man can handle the job by themselves. They have to be able to delegate, delegate significant responsibilities — not a joke. And the president did that with me." Biden said he had enough influence as Obama's vice president that "I could hire and fire. I could pick people throughout the cabinet. I could do exactly as if I were the president, for real." That codependency, he said, should trump concerns about the running mate complementing the nominee tactically for the general election. Youth, energy, and diversity Given the diversity of the Democratic Party and its coalition, women and people of color should make up the bulk of both Biden's and Sanders' shortlists, the professors and operatives said. Ian Russell, a former deputy director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the vice-presidential pick should help energize black and Latino voters as well as college-educated suburban women who came out in force for Democratic House candidates in 2018. And they should be a model for the party going forward. "It's got to be somebody that the Democratic Party can see its future in," he said. Russell pointed to Florida Rep. Val Demings, a former Orlando police chief who endorsed Biden on Thursday, as a strong candidate for the former vice president. Another Democratic strategist said either Demings or New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham would make good running mates for Biden. And Axios reported last year that Biden was considering former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams as his pick. A Democratic operative working to elect Biden predicted the candidate would choose Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who dropped out of the 2020 race in December, as his running mate. Harris, a former prosecutor and attorney general of her home state, ran on a more progressive platform than Biden but shied away from some of the progressive left's boldest proposals. Harris is considering endorsing Biden, according to The New York Times. "I'd be surprised if it wasn't Kamala Harris," he told Insider. "I actually think [she] is pretty pragmatic. I think Kamala Harris is closer to Joe Biden's form of politics than she ever was to the stuff she was trying to do on the campaign." Though Harris was critical of Biden's record on race during the primary, the former vice president praised her when she dropped out of the race. "Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be," Biden said in December. "I talked to her yesterday. She's solid. She can be the president one day herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice." The operative said Sanders may have a harder time finding a running mate who will have broad appeal and be willing to be branded a democratic socialist. Some have suggested former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a national cochair of Sanders' campaign, or Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, a progressive with a strong track record of wins in a swing state. "He doesn't want to seem as if he's selling out his people. There is an appearance piece of this, so it's gotta be someone who's going to pass the smell test with his supporters," he said. Basil Smikle, the former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, largely agreed. "For Biden, I imagine black voters who were critical to his resurgence will be looking for an African American running mate," Smikle told Insider. "For Sanders, I think someone that fits his policy profile but may assuage concerns among 'establishment' Dems is possible, though few may fit the model." But the two Democratic frontrunners find their strongest support in very different segments of the Democratic electorate. While Sanders has a significant lead over Biden among young voters and Latino voters, the former vice president is much more popular than his competitor among older and suburban voters. Both candidates will also likely look for a running mate who appeals to the groups they're weak with. "Vice President Biden needs someone who can help him connect with the youth that Sen. Sanders has energized throughout this campaign," Josh Klemons, a Wisconsin Democratic strategist, told Insider. "Sen. Sanders needs someone who can either help him continue making inroads with communities of color or assuage moderates and conservative democrats that he isn't an ideologue looking to change everything they know about the country." Historically, the vice-presidential pick doesn't make or break the general election, but there is a danger of picking a running mate who hurts the nominee's chances. "The percentage of people who said they wouldn't support John McCain in 2008 increased markedly in the immediate aftermath of Sarah Palin's first televised interview," Dan Hopkins, a political-science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told Insider of the former GOP nominee's choice. "If they haven't already, I hope that the Biden campaign will start vetting because the most important thing is to do no harm," Russell said.SEE ALSO: Mike Bloomberg drops out of the 2020 presidential race and endorses Joe Biden Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope