The Feeble Pre-Debate Attacks on Joe Biden

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 11 2012 2:28 PM

The Feeble Pre-Debate Attacks on Joe Biden

My morning read on Biden's debate history makes my bias clear: I think he's good at this stuff. To prove my point, the RNC is pointing journalists to a nice find by Michael Warren in the Weekly Standard. Headline: "Warren on Biden: No Friend to Women." It turns out Elizabeth Warren opposed the 2005 bankruptcy reform bill, and wrote this.

Senators like Joe Biden should not be allowed to sell out women in the morning and be heralded as their friend in the evening.
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Ouch! Hang on, though -- Paul Ryan voted for the same bill. What about this tidbit, also being passed around by Republicans?

Throughout his Senate career Biden voted for the Hyde Amendment, prohibiting most federal funding of abortion. Indeed, Biden explicitly advocated that the Hyde Amendment should contain an exception only to save the life of the mother, and he voted repeatedly against adding exceptions for rape and incest to the amendment.

It's a good example of how Biden, like Harry Reid and Jesse Jackson and a whole team of Democrats, flipped on abortion as they became national figures. But it's not something Ryan can go after. He's consistently supported the Hyde Amendment, codifying it further in the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act of 2011. And here we see the problem with putting up candidates who have actual voting records, and the problem with four years of concentrated Joe Biden-underrating.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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