- Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
- Former Vice President Joe Biden was derided online after using an unfortunate choice of words to condemn domestic violence.
- In response to a question about addressing sexual violence, Biden said people needed to “keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it.”
- Biden also noted in his answer that he had written legislation addressing violence against women.
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Former Vice President Joe Biden made a clumsy attempt Wednesday at condemning domestic violence, vowing to “keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it” as the audience at the Democratic presidential debate stifled laughter.
Biden was asked during the evening’s debate about how to address sexual violence, and he immediately mentioned that he created legislation addressing violence against women, known as the Violence Against Women Act.
But then he quickly veered into a tangent about combatting domestic violence.
“No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger, other than in self-defense, and that’s rarely ever occurred,” he said. “And so we have to just change the culture. Period. And keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it. It’s a gigantic issue.”
The audience could be heard laughing during his remarks.
The gaffe quickly sparked mockery and derision online, with Twitter users criticizing Biden’s unfortunate choice of words.
Joe Biden just said in response to what we need to do about violence against women "…we have to keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it." oh no, Joe. ????????♀️ #DemocraticDebate
— Free Dominguez (@freedominguez) November 21, 2019
It says so much when Biden is asked about the #Metoo movement, his only frame of reference is domestic violence. So he changes the subject to it.
And he says “We’re gonna keep, PUNCHING AT IT, PUNCHING AT IT, PUNCHING AT IT.”
He has no idea what women face in 2019. #DemDebate
— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) November 21, 2019
Lol did Biden just say men can hit women in self-defense and violence against women is a problem we need to keep "punching at"?! #DemDebate
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) November 21, 2019
Surely, that didn't just happen. Talking about domestic violence, Biden says "no man should ever hit a woman except in self-defense …" Then, he says to tackle the issue, we need to keep "punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it." ????????♂️ #DemocraticDebate
— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes) November 21, 2019
In response to a question about male violence against women, Biden replies, in a really staggeringly tone deaf comment, "We have to keep punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it."
— Moira Donegan (@MoiraDonegan) November 21, 2019
Wednesday marked the fifth round of Democratic presidential debates; it was hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.
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