On Thursday evening, ABC televised a townhall with former Vice President Joe Biden from Philadelphia, hosted by George Stephanopolous. The presidential candidate took questions from both the audience members as well as from the host on a wide variety of topics.
Some of the topics discussed that would be of interest to Christians and their families touched on questions concerning the pandemic, taxes, the Supreme Court, and transgenderism.
National vaccine mandate?
Biden was asked whether, as president, he would require all Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when such vaccines became available. While suggesting there ought to be a mandatory vaccine, he seemed to recognize that the federal government couldn’t require it.
Biden: “The answer is, depending on how clear… Vaccines, they say, have a very positive impact and that you’re going to affect positively 85% of the American public. Or there’s others say, ‘This vaccine is really the key. This is the golden key.’ It depends on the state of the nature of the vaccine when it comes out, and how it’s being distributed. But I would think that we should be talking about, depending on the continuation of the spread of the virus, we should be thinking about making it mandatory.”
Stephanopolous: “How would you enforce that?”
Biden: “Well, you couldn’t, that’s the problem. Just like you can’t enforce measles, you can’t come to school unless you have a measles shot. You know, you can’t. But you can’t say, everyone has to do this, just like you can’t mandate a mask. But you can say, you can go to every governor and get them all in a room, all 50 of them as president and say, ‘Ask people to wear the mask. Everybody knows.’”
A Trump supporter asked Biden about his campaign pledge to raise taxes only on those earning in excess of $400,000. As the middle-class beneficiary of the Trump tax cuts, which Biden has also pledged to end, he wanted to know how both things could be true. Biden explained that he was not going to end all of the Trump tax cuts.
“When I said the Trump tax cuts, about $1.3 trillion of the $2 trillion in his tax cuts went to the top one-tenth of one percent. That’s what I’m talking about eliminating, not all the tax cuts that are out there,” Biden answered.
Packing the Court.
Stephanopolous noted that although Biden had previously voiced a lack of enthusiasm for increasing the number of Supreme Court justices, recently the candidate had been more evasive due to the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The host pressed him for clarity, but only got a promise that Biden would reveal his intentions after the confirmation of Barrett, which might be only a couple days before Election Day. That would not be in time for the millions of Americans who will have cast their votes by then.
Stephanopolous: “But don’t voters have a right to know where you stand?”
Biden: “They do have a right to know where I stand and they’ll have a right to know where I stand before they vote.”
Stephanopoulos: “So you’ll come out with a clear position before Election Day?”
Joe Biden: “Yes. Depending on how they handle this. But look, what you should do is you got to make sure you vote, and vote for a senator who in fact reflects your general view on constitutional interpretation, and vote for a president who thinks is more in line with you. And if you oppose the position that – I would not have appointed her – but if you oppose my position, vote for Trump, vote for a Republican who shares that view. But that’s your opportunity to get involved in lifetime appointments. Presidents come and go; justices stay and stay and stay.”
A mom of two young daughters, age eight and 10, told Biden that one of them was transgender. She asked what a President Biden would do in the face of the Trump Administration’s various restrictions placed on LGBTQ individuals.
“I will flat out just change the law. Eliminate those executive orders, number one,” Biden said, going on to explain a childhood incident where he witnessed two men kissing, and his dad explained that “they love each other.”
He then addressed the subject of transgenderism, agreeing that an eight-year-old child should be allowed to choose to become the opposite sex with “zero discrimination.” That presumably would mean the full force of government coming down on any physician who for moral reasons would be opposed to prescribing drugs or performing unnecessary surgeries to address the child’s gender dysphoria.
“The idea that an eight-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, ‘I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be. It’d make my life a lot easier.’ There should be zero discrimination. And what’s happening is too many transgender women of color are being murdered. They’re being murdered. I think it’s up to, now, 17. Don’t hold me to that number, but it’s… It’s higher now?
“And so I promise you, there is no reason to suggest that there should be any right denied your daughter, or daughters, whichever, one or two. Your daughter, that your other daughter has a right to be and do. None. Zero.”
President Trump took part in his own townhall in Miami on Thursday evening, televised on NBC, and hosted by Savannah Guthrie, at the same time as Biden was appearing on ABC.
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