NYT’s Frank Bruni Hits Joe Biden for Sudden Abortion Flip-Flop: He May Be ‘More Woke,’ But ‘Stumbles Matter’


On CNN’s OutFrontNew York Times columnist Frank Bruni highlighted the risks of 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s sudden, clumsy policy reversal on a key abortion issue: “Stumbles matter. If you keep stumbling, it doesn’t matter if you keep getting back up.”

Bruni’s comments were in response to an earlier guest on OutFront, Biden advocate and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), who tried to minimize the damage from the former Vice President’s abrupt flip-flop on the Hyde Amendment the day before. “To me, it’s not about whether you stumble, it’s whether you get back up and get back in the game and keep going. Because this is for our country. The stakes are that high,” Rochester had told Erin Burnett.

Bruni pointed out that voters, especially Democratic voters exasperated by President Donald Trump, only have so much patience, however.

“Joe Biden has run for president twice before. And both campaigns were a sequence of mishaps and miscues,” Bruni observed. This latest stumble, he added, seemed like more of the same: “They weren’t prepared for the political backlash and they misjudged the political atmosphere. And these are seasoned people.”

Biden’s political career does indeed have a long and occasionally checkered past. Besides being dogged by plagiarism incidents — one of which sunk his first presidential run in 1998 — and, more recently, numerous claims that he had engaged in inappropriate physical contact with women, Biden has a history of making crude, insensitive remarks. And Burnett cued up several past clips of these moments for her viewers.

“From the very beginning, it was clear he has the challenge of how long he has been on the public stage, how long he has been in politics, how many positions he’s taken, how many news clips there are like that,” Bruni noted. “He may be more woke than he was back then. But all of those positions exist, all those clips still exist.”

And while Biden enjoys a commanding lead in every 2020 Democratic primary poll, Bruni added that the former vice president sill has a “soft front-runner status.” If fact, a recent Marist poll found that a whopping 84 percent of Democratic voters say they haven’t made up their mind about which candidate they will back in the party’s 2020 primary.

“This is very, very early,” Bruni reminded Burnett and CNN viewers. “Remember, a lot of the people saying I want Joe Biden are saying it because they want, first and foremost to dislodge Donald Trump and they think he is the safest bet. When things happen like this Hyde reversal in 24 hours, he doesn’t look the safest bet anymore and his campaign should be concerned.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: