- Claudia Tawil
Presidential Character- Team Biden
Before I address the question about presidential character, I think it is important that I respond to what we just heard from my friend Shira:
Shira provided you with a list of “Promises made, promises delivered” by the president. But it is telling, what she did not include. The President, when he announced his candidacy promised that he would build a wall that would cover the entire 2000-mile border with Mexico and that Mexico would pay for it. Well as we learned today, the president has come nowhere close to delivering on that promise. The president promised that he would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and that he would offer a “beautiful plan to protect the millions of people who have pre-existing conditions.” He has been president for four years and the American people have never seen this promised plan. No previous president or presidential candidate has failed to release his tax returns. Joe Biden has released his returns for the last 22 years. The president promised to do so back in 2015 and yet we are still waiting. What we do know, from leaked documents, is that the President owes over 400 million dollars, and unlike other businessmen, he had to secure that debt personally, because he is not viewed by creditors as creditworthy.
Shira told you “that the president delivered for our Veterans”, what she didn’t tell you, and certainly the president has never acknowledged this, was that it was the Obama-Biden administration that put into law the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act, in 2014- not President Trump!! The president did sign a Mission Act four years later, but as the Washington Post reported, the law that President Trump signed was a mere update to the Obama-Biden law.
Sadly, this type of misrepresentation or distortion of the facts was not an uncommon occurrence with President Trump. Fact-checkers have found that President Trump has made more than 22,000 false or misleading claims that go beyond mere political exaggeration. A discussion of character should include honesty—the president’s dishonesty has been a hallmark of his presidency.
Shira told you that the President delivered on a promise to overturn an Obama gun regulation. What she didn’t tell you was what exactly the President was overturning- it was a regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun. No doubt there was one special interest group that applauded the Trump Action, the National Rifle Association which is now spending millions of dollars to get the president re-elected. As Talia told you earlier, even when the president expressed a willingness to consider meaningful control gun policies to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, the President has deferred to the NRA, to a special interest, and not the public interest.
Shira told you that Joe Biden has been in public office for decades but that he has accomplished nothing. Well with all due respect, that is just another Trump talking point- and it simply not true. As Talia Dror told you earlier, it was Joe Biden, when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who authored the VAWA- the violence against women’s act. That law succeeded in reducing domestic violence against women by 53%. As Vice- President, Joe Biden spearheaded an economic recovery act that reduced unemployment from 10% to 4%. As Gilad told you, the Obama- Biden Administration created 1.6 million more jobs in the last three years of its term than President Trump did in his first three years. And yes, Biden played a crucial role in securing the passage of the Affordable Care Act that expanded health care coverage to 20 million people, saving thousands of lives. So, with all due respect to our Team Trump friends, Joe Biden has a record of helping people, and yes, saving lives
The question was, what is the most important characteristic of a president? That is a tough question. I do think a president should be honest; I do think a president should be trustworthy. I also think a president should show respect for those who disagree with him. Above all, I think that a president must be able to put the interest of the nation over his own personal interest and respect our democratic institutions. In my view, Joe Biden passes that character test, President Trump does not.