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Vice President Joe Biden says Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women, caught on tape in 2005, are the “textbook definition of sexual assault.”
The Vice President sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd in Las Vegas on Thursday, where he harshly criticized the Republican presidential nominee.
According to Biden, what makes it “believable that he engaged in that kind of activity is not just that he said it, but his…instinctive abuse of power.”
Trump “is not a guy that should be representing the United States in any way,” Biden said.
The Vice President referenced his four granddaughters when he said he was “embarrassed that this is even being discussed.”
Biden, who as a senator introduced the Violence Against Women Act in 1990, was asked what the lesson is for young men, in a larger conversation about sexual assault.
He responded, “We gotta change the culture,” and referenced the “It’s On Us” campaign the White House has launched on college campuses.
“The vast majority of men don’t share the view of Donald Trump…I don’t ever remember that kind of locker room talk, never,” the Vice President continued.
He added, “You might have a guy say, ‘Boy look at that’ or…make some comments like that. But the idea that ‘She lets me do anything because I’m a celebrity’ is just sick.”
Biden emphasized, “No man has a right to touch a woman, to raise a hand to a woman, to abuse a woman, for any reason.”
On the issue of Syria, Biden was asked why there isn’t yet a no-fly zone over Aleppo, one of the cities devastated by the ongoing civil war.
The Vice President responded that the Administration’s top priority is to “defeat ISIL. We must take out Raqqa. We must take out Mosul. We must eliminate the caliphate. It’s the direct, immediate threat to the American people.”
He added that the Defense Department “has told us from the beginning that the assets we need to be able to do that would have to be diverted. We could not do both.”
The humanitarian crisis in Syria has been compared to the Rwandan genocide, which Fmr. Pres. Bill Clinton has often expressed regrets over.
Biden dismissed that comparison, however, saying “Rwanda was soluble, Rwanda was soluble. This is complicated. We have to deal with central and west and eastern Iraq to clear ISIL. That will fundamentally change the dynamic.”
Pressed on if the Administration will regret not doing more in Aleppo, Biden replied that there are regrets “whenever anyone dies.”
He expanded, “I regret that we’re not doing something about…genital mutilation in Africa. I regret there’s still real problems in Afghanistan.”
But he defended where the Administration has emphasized its priorities, explaining, “There has to be a sense of humility about what is able to be done at the time. And what we’re doing is the right thing. Generating a consensus among the Arab countries as to what we should be doing in the region. And at the same time, going after ISIL to destroy it.”
On Hillary Clinton, Biden was asked if he thought the first woman president would face public sexism in the way Barack Obama, the first African American president, faced public racism. Biden said he thought she would, but added that he didn’t think the attacks would be as bad as what President Obama faced in the early days of his presidency.
“There’s still a small portion of the population that…just can’t understand – and you don’t have to be David Dukes,” Biden explained. “There’s people that just don’t understand, ‘How did this black man get elected?’”
Biden also addressed what he called “a double standard for a woman candidate.”
In Biden’s view, if he were to start talking about his late son Beau, “I might find myself choking up. Everybody looks at me and says ‘Well, he’s a good father,’ and ‘Well, that’s a decent guy.’”
On the other hand, if Clinton “chokes up and says something – you know, for whatever reason – ‘She’s playing the woman card.’”
Additionally, the Vice President offered his advice for how Clinton should deal with the continued fallout over calling some of Trump’s supporters “deplorables”.
She can get past these remarks, according to Biden, “By demonstrating where her heart is, what she cares about. And what she cares about are all those people who are struggling. That’s been who she is.”
“She has been so battered and beaten,” he continued, “And we all make mistakes. She’s made mistakes, too.”