Former Vice President Joseph Biden says anyone looking to the Obama administration for a “whisper” of scandal will come up empty.
The 2020 presidential hopeful told the ladies of ABC’s “The View” on Friday that his proudest accomplishment while serving the White House is absolute avoidance of scandal.
“The thing I’m proudest of is, coincidentally, we were each in a different part of the country and we were each talking to groups of people that were being televised,” Mr. Biden said. “The same day, purely coincidentally, we were asked, ‘what are you proudest of from your administration?’ You know what I said — he said the same thing as I did. Not one single whisper of scandal. That’s because of Barack Obama.”
“That’s right,” responded co-host Joy Behar. “I know. He’s amazing.”
Conservatives have long argued otherwise regarding the Obama era.
“Mr. Obama has presided over some of the worst scandals of any president in recent decades,” The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky wrote in January 2017. “The president’s journalistic allies are happily echoing the ‘scandal-free’ myth. Time’s Joe Klein claims Mr. Obama has had ‘absolutely no hint of scandal’ in his presidency. The media’s failure to cover the Obama administration critically has been a scandal in itself — but at least the president can’t be blamed for that one.”
The conservative think tank’s partial list of Obama administration scandals include:
- State Department email: “In an effort to evade federal open-records laws, Mr. Obama’s first secretary of state set up a private server, which she used exclusively to conduct official business, including communications with the president and the transmission of classified material. A federal criminal investigation produced no charges, but FBI Director James Comey reported that the secretary and her colleagues ‘were extremely careless’ in handling national secrets.”
- Operation Fast and Furious: “The Obama Justice Department lost track of thousands of guns it had allowed to pass into the hands of suspected smugglers, in the hope of tracing them to Mexican drug cartels. One of the guns was used in the fatal 2010 shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Congress held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt when he refused to turn over documents about the operation.”
- IRS abuses: “Mr. Obama’s Internal Revenue Service did something Richard Nixon only dreamed of doing: It successfully targeted political opponents. The Justice Department then refused to enforce Congress’ contempt citation against the IRS’s Lois Lerner, who refused to answer questions about her agency’s misconduct.”
- Benghazi: “Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in the attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya. With less than two months to go before the 2012 election, the State Department falsely claimed the attack was not a terrorist attack but a reaction to an anti-Muslim film. Emails from the secretary later showed that she knew the attack was terrorism. Justice Department prosecutors even convinced a magistrate judge to jail the filmmaker.”
- Hacking: “Mr. Obama presided over the biggest data breach in the federal government’s history, at the Office of Personnel Management.”
- Veterans Affairs: “At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at a Phoenix VA facility, many of whom had been on a secret waiting list — part of an effort to conceal that between 1,400 and 1,600 veterans were forced to wait months for appointments.”
“All of these scandals were accompanied by a lack of transparency so severe that 47 of Mr. Obama’s 73 inspectors general signed an open letter in 2014 decrying the administration’s stonewalling of their investigations,” Mr. von Spakovsky added.
• Douglas Ernst can be reached at email@example.com.
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