Joe Biden blames ‘white man’s culture’ for sexual assaults
NEW YORK Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Tuesday blamed “white man’s culture” for allowing sexual assaults on women to persist in America.
“It’s an institution, a culture, a white man’s culture. It’s got to change,” Mr. Biden said at an award ceremony for students working to end rape on college campuses.
He made the remark as he prepares to enter a crowded Democratic presidential race that includes several women and black hopefuls.
Mr. Biden said that the recent sexual assault allegations aired at confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh showed that very little had changed since Anita Hill made similar allegations during Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991.
“In 30 years the culture hasn’t changed,” Mr. Biden said at the event at the Russian Tea Room, which was co-hosted by his own Biden Foundation that is focused on ending violence against women.
Mr. Biden is expected to enter the Democratic presidential race next month as the clear frontrunner. He has a formidable fundraising operation ready to spring into action and the appeal among Democrats of being the sidekick for the popular President Obama.
Mr. Biden, who spent more than 30 years in the Senate, ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008.
This time, recent polls confirm his advantage at this early stage of the race.
A Morning Consult poll released Tuesday showed Mr. Biden in the lead with 35 percent support, followed by Sen. Bernard Sanders at 25 percent and the rest in single digits.
Celebrity guests at the event included actress Connie Britton, who has already thrown her support behind Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who built her political brand on fighting sexual assault in the military.
The Friday Night Lights star is a childhood friend of Ms. Gillibrand. She introduced Ms. Gillibrand at a campaign kickoff rally Sunday in front of Trump International Hotel in New York.
Ms. Gillibrand, New York Democrat, barely registers in the polls.
Mr. Biden has a long record of working to protect. As a senator in 1990,
he introduced the Violence Against Women Act that imposed tough, automatic sentences on people convicted of violent crimes against women.
Mr. Biden has been teasing his entry into the crowded field of more than a dozen rivals.
In an apparent verbal slip, Mr. Biden last week counted himself in the race by saying he was the most progressive record of “anybody running.”
He quickly corrected himself, saying, “anybody who would run” and made the Catholic Sign of the Cross. The slip delighted the crowd at the Delaware Democratic Dinner in Dover, Delaware, which is his home state.
Mr. Biden’s Catholic faith and working-class roots in Pennsylvania are considered strengths in a general election competition with President Trump for blue-collar voters.