Former vice president Joe Biden compared President Donald Trump to the segregationist former Alabama Gov. George Wallace on Thursday, apparently forgetting that Biden himself once praised Wallace.
NBC News correspondent Mike Memoli reported that Biden called Trump “more George Wallace than George Washington” at a fundraiser in Los Angeles.
Biden’s remark might be a nice little hit on Trump, if Biden hadn’t gone on record back in the 1970s speaking highly of Wallace. Here’s what Biden thought of Wallace in 1975:
“I think the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace—someone who’s not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn’t pander but would say what the American people know in their gut is right,” Biden said in an October 1975 interview with the Philadelphia Enquirer.
In that context, suddenly a comparison of Trump to Wallace doesn’t sound so negative. So which is it? Are they both good, or are they both bad?
It probably doesn’t matter. All that matters to Biden right now is continuing to recover from the race-related beatdown he took from Sen. Kamala Harris on the issue of desegregation busing in the first Democratic debate, which catapulted Harris into top contender status and put the first serious dent in Biden’s status as the frontrunner.
Biden once said, also in 1975, that the idea of trying to “integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another” represents a “rejection of the whole movement of black pride.”
A recent Fox News poll from South Carolina, a state where the black vote is crucial, shows that Biden still holds a significant lead among black voters even after the debate and without an endorsement from Barack Obama.