Joe Biden During Watergate: Democrats are 'More Immoral' than Republicans
2020 Democrat Biden's words continue to come back and haunt him
During the height of the Watergate scandal in 1973, a young Joe Biden declared that Democrats were "more immoral" than Republicans.
"Let me say for the record clearly, clearly Democrats are as immoral as Republicans, if not more immoral in some of the big cities, a great deal more immoral in the traditional sense," the 30-year-old whippersnapper Biden said at the City Club of Cleveland in Ohio.
The City Club released an audio recording of the event this year, bringing the then-Delaware senator's words back to haunt the now-2020 Democrat.
"But as a practical matter, politicians as a whole, in my opinion, having practicing law for four years, are a good deal more moral than lawyers as a whole, or doctors or businessmen."
The future vice president made the comments in May 1973, months after the so-called Nixon tapes were released to the public.
The tapes went on to prove that President Richard Nixon had learned about the break-in at the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate Hotel and oversaw a cover-up of the crimes.
According to the Washington Examiner, despite those revelations, Biden urged Democrats not to seize on the Watergate scandal as a campaign issue and boasted about how he "put on a 20-minute tirade" for attendees of a fundraiser in New Jersey about "the virtues of the Republican Party."
He said, "For those of you who are active Democrats in the audience, who are too short-sighted to realize that the demise of the Republican Party means your own demise, that the demise of politicians and political parties means the demise of the system, then one of us is very stupid, either you or me, and I don't think it's me."
Throughout his address, Biden defended the Republican Party and criticized Democrats who used the scandal as a central campaign message.
"Politicians happen to affect everything that affects you, as you are very well aware, and if we bring down a great political party that should not be blamed for what happened, we begin to bring down a system," he said.
"And if we bring down the system, unless you got something better to replace it with, we're in trouble.
"And I for one don't have anything better to replace it with."
The young senator, who in his speech accused the Nixon administration of having “assaulted the system” in unprecedented ways, stressed the need for the president to be given the benefit of being “innocent” until proven guilty.
“There are only two alternatives to the bitter end of this thing, neither one of which is palatable,” Biden said.
“That is if Mr. Nixon is involved, which I pray to God he’s not because it will be terrible for the country if he is—as much as I’m not fond of him, I think we’ve got to say he is innocent until he is proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be guilty.”
Biden invoked the Bill of Rights to further drive his point home, claiming Democrats had to hold themselves to a higher standard than Republicans.
“We cannot commit the same sins that some of his followers have committed in the past of forgetting that we have a thing called the Bill of Rights,” he said.
“And the thing says that you’re in fact innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Also in his remarks, Biden made comments women might find offensive and used racially insensitive language, especially when lecturing on what he thought “was good for the Negro.”