Donald Trump likes to use the U.S. military and veterans as political props, but on Thursday in Detroit, former Vice President Joe Biden showed the draft-dodging president what a real commander-in-chief looks like.
During a press availability a day after his well-received debate performance, Biden was asked a question about veterans, and he delivered arguably one of the most passionate answers of the campaign to date.
“Every single day I have my staff check with the Defense Department – how many people have died? How many people have died or were wounded in these wars?” a fired-up Biden said. “Because every one of them left behind a community – every one of those fallen angels. And we owe them.”
“We got to do a lot more,” Biden added after highlighting some of the ways he has tried to help veterans throughout his career in Washington.
Video via Politico’s Alex Thompson:
Near the end of the gaggle someone randomly shouted “what about veterans” and Biden was as passionate as I’ve seen him. pic.twitter.com/ZXj8x1ioU2
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) August 1, 2019
Veterans are being left behind in so many ways. We need, for example, we need another 75,000 psychiatric nurses. I carry a card with me and I have it with me every day … Every single day I have my staff check with the Defense Department – how many people have died? How many people have died or were wounded in these wars? Because every one of them left behind a community – every one of those fallen angels. And we owe them. … It’s 6,678 precisely that have died so far. But here’s the thing that’s not told: We have 300,000 people coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq and the wars in the Middle East with post-traumatic stress. We have more people committing suicide who are veterans than are getting killed in battle. We need to care for them. … We got to do a lot more.
Trump uses veterans as political props
The contrast between Donald Trump and Joe Biden couldn’t be clearer on a whole host of issues, but in this particular area – the U.S. military – it’s about as stark as ever.
While Trump lied to avoid service in Vietnam, Biden has spent a career advocating for veterans. It’s clearly an issue that remains close to the former VP’s heart, particularly as his late son, Beau Biden, served in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star.
As president, Trump has repeatedly made it clear that he views veterans as a prop he can roll out whenever he needs a political boost. His idea of honoring servicemembers is holding wasteful authoritarian-style parades and taking credit for a veterans bill that Barack Obama signed into law in 2014.
While it may seem like a distant memory now, it took Trump nearly two full years in office before he actually visited troops in the Middle East. He finally did after he was shamed into it.
In just two minutes on Thursday, Joe Biden was more of a commander-in-chief than Donald Trump has been in two and a half years.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.