Former Vice President Joe Biden responded to criticism Thursday after he called Vice President Mike Pence a “decent guy” during a speech in Omaha, a comment that was met with criticism over Pence’s well-documented anti-LGBTQ history.
Biden’s praise of Pence came as he discussed foreign policy and how the international community had reacted to Pence’s speech at the Munich Security Conference last month. During that speech, the vice president mentioned Trump and received no applause.
“The fact of the matter is it was followed on by a guy who’s a decent guy, our vice president, who stood before this group of allies and leaders and said, ‘I’m here on behalf of President Trump,’ and there was dead silence. Dead silence,” Biden recounted Thursday at the Chuck Hagel Forum in Global Leadership at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon tweeted, “[email protected] you’ve just called America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader ‘a decent guy.’ Please consider how this falls on the ears of our community.”
.@JoeBiden you’ve just called America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader “a decent guy.”
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) February 28, 2019
Biden responded to Nixon a short time later on Twitter: “You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on the world stage,” he said. “But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.”
You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on the world stage.
But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 28, 2019
In response, Nixon thanked Biden, tweeting, “Appreciate the response. But please understand from where we sit, his dehumanizing of our community disqualifies @MikePence for the honorific of ‘decent’, regardless of the context.”
Samy Nemir-Olivares, a former Clinton staffer and founder of a queer activist group, tweeted on Thursday evening, “People confuse & often praise being afable, articulate & soft spoken with decency -when in fact they are quietly & actively doing** & behaving the opposite way, pushing discrimination & attacking communities.”
Nemir-Olivares concluded, “I’ll take a loud supporter of human rights 10k before ‘decent’ Pence.”