On Sunday, Tara Reade again recounted the details of her sexual assault claim against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, arguing that since Biden is running for the presidency “on a platform of character,” his assault against her proves that he “doesn’t deserve the presidency.” Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that many Americans saw the interview since it ran on 60 Minutes Australia, not 60 Minutes in the United States.
Reade described Biden as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” She said she came forward with her allegations last year because people “needed to know. He’s going to the highest office in the land. He’s running on a platform of character. Well, I know what he’s like. I know what his character’s like, and he doesn’t deserve the presidency based on what happened to me.”
Reade recalled working in Biden’s Senate office.
“He was a political hero of mine because I bought into the image,” she said. Yet the former staffer also remembered how the senator “put his hands on me… he’d run his fingers up underneath my hair on my neck. I didn’t know him… There was no reciprocal relationship or flirtation, there was nothing like that.”
“He seemed to lack boundaries with women,” Reade added. Indeed, many women have come forward saying that Biden’s touching has made them extremely uncomfortable. Some have defended Biden’s handsy-ness as a forgivable quirk, but Reade insisted Biden abused women’s personal space — and also sexually assaulted her.
Reade’s sexual assault claim
“We were alone in this corridor, and he said my name and then the next thing I knew, he pushed me up against the wall,” she recalled. “He used his knee to separate my legs. He said, ‘I want to f**k you.'”
“He was whispering in my ear and he was kissing me and I was trying to get away from him,” Reade added. “He had taken his hands and put them down my skirt and taken one hand and penetrated me with his fingers.”
“When I pulled away, he pulled back,” she recalled. “He looked at me like kind of almost annoyed He said, ‘Come on man, I heard you liked me.'”
“I could see he was angry and he put his finger towards my face and he said, ‘You know, you’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.'”
Reade recalled telling her mother afterward, and her mother told her to go to the police. Yet the young staffer decided against filing a police report. As Reade explained to 60 Minutes Australia, “They’re there to protect the senators and congressmen, they’re not there to protect us.”
Last year, an interview on Larry King Live surfaced from 1993 in which a woman — presumably Reade’s mother — called in to ask for advice on how to deal with a sexual assault her daughter allegedly suffered at the hands of a senator.
Lynda LaCasse, Reade’s neighbor, said the former staffer told her about the sexual assault in 1995, two years after it happened. “She basically said that he had um put her up against the wall, he put his hands up her skirt, and he put his fingers inside her,” LaCasse told 60 Minutes Australia.
Reade claims she filed a complaint with the Senate, and the complaint got lost. Some of her former coworkers said they had no recollection of any complaint or of any sexual assault claims.
60 Minutes Australia briefly mentioned the fact that 25 women have made sexual assault claims against Donald Trump, claims that Trump has repeatedly denied.
“Unlike Trump’s accusers, Tara has received a barrage of scrutiny,” the host explained. “Do you feel as though, if Joe Biden wasn’t Joe Biden, your allegations would be taken more seriously?” she asked Reade.
“Absolutely. If he was a Republican. I think the fact that he’s an elite Democrat put him in this untouchable position,” Reade argued.
The accuser said that “deep down” Biden knows the claims to be true. “You don’t have to believe me. I’m the one who has to live with it,” she added.
Reade noted that she had nothing to gain in coming forward with this story. “There’s nothing to gain. In my case, I lost everything. I lost work, legitimacy, I lost my reputation, I lost friendships. I lost my housing, everything. Money. Everything,” she said.
Despite all this, LaCasse said she would still vote for Biden. “I’m totally against Donald Trump,” Reade’s neighbor explained. She did admit, however, that it is difficult to square that with the fact that she believes Biden sexually assaulted her friend.
“He’s going to be the president who assaulted my very good friend,” LaCasse said.
Biden’s character argument
When Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign, he said he decided to run for president in order to restore the soul of America. He pointed to the white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, falsely accusing Trump of having praised them as “very fine people.”
Yet Biden is ill-suited to make the character argument. He has repeatedly lied about the man who got into the tragic accident that killed his late wife — falsely claiming that the driver “drank his lunch” when he was not drunk during the accident. Biden has bragged about the historic smear campaign against Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. He has compared Trump to the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
In the first presidential debate with Trump, Biden told his opponent to “shut up,” called him a “clown,” said he was the worst president America has ever had, and repeatedly interrupted him. That debate definitively proved that Joe Biden does not represent a “return to normalcy” or a restoration of America’s soul.
In May, President Trump encouraged Biden to defend himself against sexual assault allegations, noting that he himself has faced such claims. “And all of a sudden you become a wealthy guy, you’re a famous guy, then you become president, and people just – people that you’ve never seen, that you’ve never heard of make charges. So I guess in a way you could say I’m, I’m sticking up for him,” Trump said of Biden.
Dilbert creator Scott Adams praised this rhetorical tactic, saying Trump “is using as a kill-shot that his opponent is just like him. Do you understand how sublime that is? Because there’s only one person in the race who can survive being just like Trump, and it’s not Joe Biden.”
Indeed, when Reade made her case against Biden’s character on 60 Minutes Australia, she described Biden as a “blue Trump.”
Reade’s 60 Minutes Australia interview was extremely powerful, and it raises the question of why CBS News had the interview run on television in Australia and not the United States — where Biden is running for president. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) gave a stunning explanation.
“This is the most complete indictment of media bias ever. Why does CBS think voters in…Australia need to know about these serious charges against Biden, but not voters in…America (where he’s actually on the ballot)? ONLY explanation is that [CBS News]
is covering up for Dems,” he tweeted.
This is the most complete indictment of media bias ever.
Why does CBS think voters in…Australia need to know about these serious charges against Biden, but not voters in…America (where he’s actually on the ballot)?
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 4, 2020
It’s hard to argue with that logic.
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.