Joe Biden Holds Town Halls In New Hampshire
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Former Vice President Joe Biden is now explicitly saying President Trump should be impeached.
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JOE BIDEN: We all laughed when he said he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and get away with it. It's no joke. He's shooting holes in the Constitution, and we cannot let him get away with it.
CORNISH: Biden ramped up his message against Trump at a campaign event he held today in Rochester, N.H. NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben is on the trail with Biden. She joins us now from Manchester.
Danielle, what has changed? Why is Joe Biden now saying this about the president?
DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, BYLINE: Right. So this is the most direct that Joe Biden has been about calling for impeachment of President Trump. In the past, he had been conditional at one point, saying that he - that if Trump didn't cooperate with Congress, they would leave him no choice. He had just been saying that he supported the inquiry. Now - while other candidates had been more direct. Now, in recent days, as I'm sure you know, more has added up. Trump called on China to investigate Biden. Now the White House is refusing to cooperate with the investigation by House Democrats. And former Vice President Biden really struck a very somber tone today, really trying to stress the gravity of what he sees as a threat to democracy. Here's what he said.
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BIDEN: With his words and his actions, President Trump has indicted himself. By obstructing justice, refusing to comply with a congressional inquiry, he's already convicted himself. In full view of the world and the American people, Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable acts.
KURTZLEBEN: Now, we should add that right after the speech, Trump responded immediately with a tweet. It said, so pathetic to see sleepy Joe Biden who, with his son, Hunter, and to the detriment of the American taxpayer, has ripped off at least two countries for millions of dollars calling for my impeachment. And I did nothing wrong. Joe's failing campaign gave him no other choice.
CORNISH: And we should make it clear that this is a completely false statement from the president. There's no evidence...
CORNISH: ...He's presented to this point. And to that point, did Biden address the allegations Trump is making against him and his son?
KURTZLEBEN: Yes. So Joe Biden said pretty much what you just said. He said these are lies. He sort of - he didn't get into specifics. He just said that the president was saying falsehoods. But what's interesting is that Joe Biden also turned this around and folded it into an existing argument he is making. Joe Biden has been saying for a long time on the campaign trail that Donald Trump is scared of him and that that's why Donald Trump attacks him. So Biden made this about electability. He said Donald Trump is lying about me and is attacking me because he's afraid to face me.
CORNISH: You've also been talking to voters. What are you hearing from them about all this?
KURTZLEBEN: You know, as far as impeachment, the voters here, they care about it. A lot of these voters want to see Trump impeached. But it doesn't really weigh on how they feel about the campaign, from what I gather. Now, as far as Hunter Biden's business dealings overseas, again, there are a lot of voters here who don't - who really didn't bring it up and, when I asked them about it, didn't seem to care. I will say that the most serious misgivings about Hunter Biden's business dealings that I heard were from a very solid Biden supporter. Her name is Pam Dupee (ph). And she said, you know, Hunter Biden doing business overseas while his father was responsible for U.S. policies in countries like Ukraine, she said it's bad judgment, but it's not really a big deal.
PAM DUPEE: It annoys me that he was even - his son was even - had anything to do with that. I mean, I think that was a stupid move. But I don't think of anything illegal or anything nefarious or - I just think kind of a lack of judgment maybe.
KURTZLEBEN: But again, you hear from a lot of these voters, no matter what, they think Trump is worse than - that Trump is just the worst choice, no matter whom Democrats nominate.
CORNISH: That's NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben.
Thanks so much.
KURTZLEBEN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.