Vice President Joe Biden, on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton, told CNN he doesn’t think Donald Trump is a “bad man,” just very ignorant.
Biden was asked specifically about Trump’s comments at a forum in Herndon, Va., on Monday at which a veteran asked the GOP nominee, “Will you support and fund a more holistic approach to solve the problems and issues of veteran suicide, PTSD, TBI and other related military mental and behavioral health issues and will you take steps to restore the historic role of our chaplains and the importance of spiritual fitness and spiritual resiliency programs?”
“Yes I would. Look we need that so badly and when you… when you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it. But a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump replied. “And they see horror stories. They see events that you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it.”
Biden’s response: “This is an ignorant man. This guy says things he has no idea about. He’s not a bad man, but his ignorance is so profound. So profound.”
“I have my staff contact the Defense Department every morning at 6 a.m. to tell me exactly how many troops are injured, exactly how many troops are wounded, because everyone matters. It’s not 6,700 and some. It’s 6,753 deaths; not 50, 53. It’s 52,419 wounded,” Biden said. “And the number of people coming home with unseen injuries, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, is significantly higher.”
“What’s this say about a guy who doesn’t have any notion of that? Look at what these kids are going through. Look at the sacrifices they’re making. And look what they go to sleep dreading.”
Biden continued: “I was asked to present a Silver Star to a young man who had jumped into a — a young commander, jumped into a burning Humvee to pull out his buddy after an IED exploded. And the kid died. The commanding general, General Odierno, asked me to pin on a Silver Star when I was there. You know what the kid said to me? ‘I don’t want it. I don’t want it. He did not live, sir. He did not live, sir.’ That kid probably goes to sleep every night with a nightmare, and this guy doesn’t understand any of that.”
“How can he not understand that? How can he be so out-of-touch?” the veep added. “He’s not a bad guy, but how can he be so out-of-touch and ask to lead this country?”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus countered on Fox News that Trump was “very compassionate.”
“I think people like Joe Biden, Obama, and Hillary Clinton should really ask the question why these vets aren’t taken care of when they come back on their watch. They’re waiting if lines at VA’s across the country, in some cases dying, and they didn’t do a thing about it,” Priebus said.
“So Joe Biden, if he’s mad, he ought to look in the mirror and ask himself why after his entire career, eight years as vice president, he didn’t do a darn thing about it. It’s on his watch, not on Donald Trump. He’s the private citizen. They’re the ones that were in the position to do something.”