Joe Biden at New Hampshire rally criticizes ‘abuse of power’: ‘I’ve never liked bullies’

May 13, 2019 GMT

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday made his first trip to the early primary state of New Hampshire since announcing his 2020 presidential bid, saying one of his passions is combating “abuse of power” and talking up his support for women’s rights.

Mr. Biden discussed his involvement in helping write the Violence Against Women Act, as well as his support while vice president for the “It’s On Us” campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses.

“I’ve never liked bullies,” he said, saying he took abuse as a child for a stutter.

“It’s on us it’s on all of us to speak up. It’s on us to engage,” he said. “I go onto campuses ... freshman year, you’re in a fraternity [and] you see a brother taking a young woman who’s inebriated up the steps if you don’t go over and say no, no, no, not in this house, then you’re a damn coward. I don’t want to hear it,” Mr. Biden said.


Mr. Biden has faced accusations in recent months of engaging in unwanted touching that has made women feel uncomfortable in the past.

“If a woman, no matter what the circumstance if she is unable to say yes, it’s rape. ... No man has a right to put his hand on a woman without her knowing consent period,” he said on Monday.

That answer came after a person at an event at a local pizza parlor in Hampton had asked Mr. Biden what he’s passionate about outside of work and family.

Mr. Biden also said during the stop he wants to “restore the soul” of the United States, saying inaction prompts executives to reach out and claim more power than they’re entitled to.

“This election is bigger than any you’ve been engaged in not because I’m running or anybody else is running because [of] who occupies the office,” he said.

Mr. Biden said he wanted to roll back parts of the GOP’s $1.5 trillion tax-cut law to make investments elsewhere and shore up Obamacare, while saying people should be allowed to buy into a Medicare-type plan amid calls from the far left for a universal “Medicare-for-All” health care plan.

He also said he planned to give a major speech on environmental policy by the end of the month.

“We need an environmental revolution,” he said.

Mr. Biden has taken some criticism from his 2020 rivals in the wake of a Reuters report that suggested he was aiming for a “middle ground” on climate policy.

He said people should check out PolitiFact, which recently affirmed his recent statement that he was an early advocate and that he had introduced a bill on the subject in the 1980s.


“I said that I was in this area long before most anybody else, and I have a record,” Mr. Biden said. “It basically said Biden’s right he’s been a leader in climate change.”

A Monmouth University poll released last week showed Mr. Biden with a sizable lead in New Hampshire among 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

Mr. Biden garnered 36 percent support from likely Democratic primary voters in the poll, doubling up the 18 percent support for Sen. Bernard Sanders of neighboring Vermont, the former vice president’s closest competitor in the survey.