Politico notes that Joe Biden held a rally in a high school gym in Detroit, Michigan with high hopes of making the same sort of magic that happened in Dallas, Texas when Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar endorsed him.
Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, former opponents who had spent most of the campaign accusing Biden of racism and dementia, were there to say, in effect, just kidding, old Joe would make a great president after all. 2000 people, a healthy crowd for a Biden event, were present.
Very shortly after Biden took the stage, a group of protesters unfurled a banner that said, “NAFTA Killed Our Jobs.”
Biden, who has been in politics for decades, believed he knew who was heckling him. He started, “Are you a Donald Trump—?”
However, the former vice president was not able to complete his thought. Someone in the crowd proceeded to tear the banner out of the hands of the protesters. Biden then said, “That’s OK, let him go. This is not a Trump rally. Let him go, let him go. The Bernie Bros are here. Let him go.”
A few minutes later, things got decidedly worse.
“Minutes later, a larger group of pro-Green New Deal demonstrators began shouting over Biden’s remarks and waving signs. But as staff members tried moving the group along. Biden senior aide Symone Sanders was hit on the head with an iPad and knocked down. Video of the incident shows her popping right back up; she was reportedly doing fine afterward. Last week, on Super Tuesday, Sanders charged on stage as a protester approached Biden and his wife, Jill, as he spoke in Los Angeles.”
Hot Air reports that Biden seemed just a little confused during the heckling. The interruptions, apparently undertaken by Bernie Sanders supporters, did not offer much hope of reuniting the two contending wings of the Democratic Party.
After Symone Sanders, no relation to the “democratic socialist” from Vermont, got up from the floor, she is heard to inquire in a loud voice about who had hit her. She then made some futile efforts to mollify the crowd, which continued to shout Biden down.
In the runup to the Michigan Primary, most polls predicted that Biden was going to give Bernie a fine stomping. However, the incident at the rally and another one at an auto factory under construction that turned into a squabble about gun control suggest that all is not happy for Bidenworld.
According to WWJ 950, a factory worker told Biden that “You’re gonna take away our guns.”
Biden had a nice, puffy response. “You’re full of –” er, stuff.
When a woman tried to intervene, Biden tried to shush her and said, “I support the Second Amendment.”
The radio station continued its account of the squabble. Biden tried to explain, “The Second Amendment right now if you yell fire, that’s not free speech. From the very beginning, I have a shotgun, a twin gauge, a 12-gauge, my son’s hunt. Guess what? I’m not taking your gun away at all. Do you need 100 rounds?”
In fact, Biden has often stated that he is in favor of an “assault weapon” ban. He tried to argue the point some more according to the account when a worker said something that the mic did not pick up. “I DID NOT SAY THAT!” He suggested that whatever viral video that the worker had seen him in was filled with lies.
Then Biden started on a rant about AR-14s, a favorite semiautomatic weapon that many favor for hunting and home defense. He seemed to be confused about the weapon, calling it a “machine gun” and talking about “100 rounds.” No magazine for any long gun available contains that many rounds.
The two incidents, especially one on the auto factory floor, reveals another aspect of Biden that many long-term observers of the aging politician have noted, besides his tendency for gaffes and senior moments. Biden can get testy with people, especially those who directly confront him about subjects he knows little about, such as firearms.
His mission was to persuade as many people as possible to vote for him, both during the primary and in November. Clearly, in both incidents, Biden went off mission. The ability of the candidate to lose control of the situation and, indeed, himself does not bode well for his chances going forward.