Politico reports former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that Americans who believe the sexual assault allegations leveled against him by former Senate staffer Tara Reade “probably shouldn’t vote for me” in November’s presidential election, adding that he also “wouldn’t vote for me” if he thought the charges to be true.
But Biden was quick to reiterate his vehement denial of Reade’s accusations, insisting that the purported incident “never, ever happened,” and that “there is no truth to it. I promise you.”
The remarks from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee came during an interview and virtual town hall on MSNBC, after host Lawrence O’Donnell asked Biden what he would say to women who were ready to cast their ballots for him over President Donald Trump, but trusted Reade and had been given pause by her claims.
“I think they should vote their heart. And if they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade,” Biden responded.
Reade, who worked in Biden’s office when he served as a U.S. senator from Delaware, has alleged Biden assaulted her in a Senate hallway in 1993. He categorically denied the accusations earlier this month, and called for the National Archives to locate a complaint Reade says she filed with a Capitol personnel office at the time — a search which has thus far proved inconclusive.
On Thursday, Biden said he did not remember Reade from his time in the Senate, and vacillated between casting doubt on her account and arguing that all women who come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct or assault deserve a fair hearing.
“Look, let me get something clear: When a woman makes a claim that she has been harassed or abused — and this claim has changed as it’s gone on — but harassed or abused, she should be taken seriously,” he said, later asserting that Reade’s story “changes considerably.”
Per TCO, a recent Yahoo/YouGov poll conducted May 4th to 5th found 30% of Americans believe former Vice President Joe Biden sexually assaulted accuser Tara Reade.
Notably 62% of Trump voters believe Tara Reade’s claim and a majority of Republicans (53%.)
Recently appearing on MSNBC, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she views the Reade allegation as a “closed issue.”
Asked by Ari Melber if she viewed the sexual assault allegation against Biden as a “closed issue” Pelosi responded “Well it is for me. I have said I am proud to support Joe Biden for president. I believe him when he said it didn’t happen… But I’m not going to answer this question again, I will just say I have every confidence.”
Yahoo reports after nearly a month of silence on former Senate staffer Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault against him, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared on MSNBC on May 1 to publicly deny those claims for the first time. His response found a mixed reaction among the public.
According to the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll, nearly half of respondents — 49 percent — were “not satisfied” with Biden’s response to Reade’s allegations. Only 19 percent said they were “very satisfied”; the remaining 32 percent were “somewhat satisfied.”
This split shifts significantly in partisan cross-tabulations. Republicans — taking their cue from party leaders who accuse Biden and his supporters of hypocrisy for dismissing Reade’s account, in contrast to how Democrats treated the assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — overwhelmingly find Biden’s response unacceptable. Seventy-six percent of GOP respondents were “not satisfied” and only 9 percent were “very satisfied.”
In contrast, most Democrats were at least “somewhat satisfied” (41 percent) or “very satisfied” (37 percent) with Biden’s explanation. The party rank and file may be waiting for progressive leaders to signal a direction. Many major women’s groups have declined or not responded to requests for comment. Major endorsers, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have yet to publicly address the allegations.
The parties are split similarly on whether they even believe the allegations in the first place.
Barely any Democrats (12 percent) said they definitely believed that Biden assaulted Reade in 1993. Many more (49 percent) said they did not, and a smaller remainder (40 percent) said they were unsure. A majority of GOP respondents (53 percent) do believe Reade, with just a scattering (9 percent) saying her allegations are not true, and the rest (38 percent) not sure.