I’m old enough to remember when Joe Biden ran on the issue of character in the 2020 election. Part of his campaign pitch was that character, compassion, and decency were on the ballot.
“Character is on the ballot,” Biden said in his acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention. “Compassion is on the ballot.”
And the mainstream media, after four years of pushing the narrative that Donald Trump was a bully, was more than willing to echo Biden’s self-proclaimed status as a man of empathy.
The common theme of those who endorsed Biden, a man with many years in Washington with little to show for it, was his alleged empathy. “Nearly every top Democrat says the same thing about former Vice President Joe Biden when they make their endorsement: He is a man defined by his decency and empathy,” CNN wrote in April 2020.
“In the entire history of American presidential campaigns, there may never have been a wider gap in empathy than between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. And it has rarely mattered more,” wrote Peter Wehner of The Atlantic.
And yet, Joe Biden was the one who was caught looking at his watch during the dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base and then further disrespected the soldiers killed in Afghanistan while visiting with their families by repeatedly bringing up his late son Beau Biden, who served in the military but died of brain cancer, not in combat.
Joe Biden was also the one who compared his own experience with a small kitchen fire to Floridians losing their homes in the hurricane.
And yet he’s a man of empathy?
And then, earlier this year, it took Trump’s visit to East Palestine, Ohio, to get the Biden administration to respond to that environmental disaster. When asked about the devastating wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, Joe Biden once again destroyed his reputation as a man of empathy with two words: “No comment.”
While Americans are struggling to make ends meet because of his disastrous economic policies, Biden has spent huge chunks of his presidency on vacation, and yet he couldn’t be bothered to respond to questions about what’s happening to the people of Maui.
Biden’s on vacation, so he’s not taking any questions. pic.twitter.com/SZPZZv1ZDA
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 14, 2023
To say the optics of Biden saying “no comment” about the deadliest wildfire in American history, which has now killed at least 96 people, were terrible is an understatement. Biden had once again failed to live up to his self-proclaimed status as a man of unparalleled empathy.
A White House staffer was tasked with posting a statement to Twitter, and it was a pathetic boilerplate statement. “As residents of Hawai’i mourn the loss of life and devastation taking place across their beautiful home, we mourn with them,” the statement read. “Like I’ve said, not only our prayers are with those impacted – but every asset we have will be available to them.”
The statement was then followed by a series of tweets detailing the federal response to the wildfires. The entire thread reads like a transparent attempt to “prove” that Biden cares about what’s going on more than his millionth vacation. And they couldn’t even make it sound like he wrote it.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, released a video statement, which was posted to Truth Social.
“I would like to express my sympathy and warmest regards to the people of Hawaii, and specifically all of those who have been so gravely and irreparably hurt by the tragedy of the wildfires in Maui, something the likes of which have seldom been seen anywhere at any time,” Trump said.
Trump then criticized local leaders for being unprepared, the Biden administration for its refusal to act, and Joe Biden for his despicable uncaring attitude.
“To the families affected I give you my love and sympathy. Nothing can ever replace your loved ones. But you will always have the memories and will feel their great love surrounding and embracing you. Together we will continue to carry their legacy forward and I love you all very much. Thank you,” Trump concluded.
At just over two minutes, the video likely represents more time than Joe Biden has spent thinking about wildfires because he’s a man on vacation.