‘Look at My Record, Child,’ Biden Tells Adult Climate Campaigner in Condescending Response to Super PAC Question

Former Vice President Joe Biden came under fire from progressives Monday as video footage circulated online showing his condescending response to a young woman who questioned him about abandoning his opposition to super PACs in the face of a cash-strapped presidential campaign.

“Since you’ve reversed and are now taking super PAC money… how can we trust that you’re not fighting for the people profiting off climate change?” Lily Levin, an 18-year-old volunteer with the Sunrise Movement, asked the Democratic front-runner at a Sunday night rally in Durham, North Carolina.

Interrupting her question, a visibly frustrated Biden replied, “Look at my record, child.”

Watch:

The short clip sparked swift outrage. In These Times associate editor Dayton Martindale tweeted, “Biden’s condescension and unjustified arrogance—his climate record isn’t that good!—are exactly why youth need meaningful democratic input in climate policy.”

Levin, meanwhile, said Monday that “I am upset that Joe Biden did not address any of the content of my question, and instead referred to me in a condescending way.”

He referenced ‘good paying jobs’ and renewable energy in his speech, but he seems to be all talk,” the activist continued. “His support for former fossil fuel executives shows that he has continued to undermine low income communities of color—specifically Indigenous and Black communities—through environmental racism and injustice, both here in eastern North Carolina and nationally.”

Although Biden declined to actually engage with the content of Levin’s question, some critics seized on his remark and examined his record on climate issues.

As the Sunrise Movement detailed in a statement Moday,

his record on climate change is mixed. The Obama-Biden administration promoted an all-of-the-above energy policy that promoted natural gas and fracking, despite the rapid need to totally transition away from fossil fuels. In his 2020 campaign, he’s refused to join other candidates in calling for a ban on fracking and put forward a $1.7 trillion climate plan, much less ambitious than some of his rivals’ plans. Moreover, he’s hired Heather Zichal to advise his climate policy, who earned more than $1 million as a board member of a natural gas company.

While the movement’s climate scorecard for the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary race is forthcoming, Biden has ranked in the middle and at the bottom of scorecards from other groups as the other two top tier candidates—Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—have earned higher grades.

Sanders and Warren, who are both fueling their White House runs with small-dollar donations, also have outraised Biden and maintained their opposition to super PACs.

Warren’s campaign, in a fundraising email Monday, wrote that “I’m not counting on a billionaire to fund a super PAC for me—because the Democratic primary can’t just be one more plaything for the rich and powerful.”

In a statement last week, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir called Biden’s reversal on super PACs “a recipe to maintain a corrupt political system which enriches wealthy donors and leaves the working class behind.”

Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash concurred, calling the ex-vice president’s move “deeply troubling.”

“No one knows if the new super PAC is taking huge sums of money from executives at Exxon, BP, and Chevron, and that makes us doubt his commitment to climate action,” said Prakash. “Biden needs to wrestle seriously with young people demanding real leadership, and stop dismissing young women asking him legitimate questions as children.”

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5 Comments on "‘Look at My Record, Child,’ Biden Tells Adult Climate Campaigner in Condescending Response to Super PAC Question"

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Neverevertrumper
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Neverevertrumper

Biden is not doing so well and he is probably to old to effectively take on trumper because trumper plays dirty-will support him if he receives the nomination but am very worried about him being up for the job-WHY do we need more god damn old white men ruining this country? Have we not learned anything here from trumper?? While anything is better than trumper it’s not looking so great here….

chris whitley
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chris whitley

Because the only ones that come out to run are older white guys. Mayor dude is cool but doesn’t have name recognition or national experience. Beto would make good VP but you have experience again. Obama came out with little experience but was a great natural orator.

fishouttaH2o
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fishouttaH2o

Look at my record child is the same as saying don’t worry you pretty little head about it. Very rude & condescending. No wonder Joe’s falling flat with younger voters.

chris whitley
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chris whitley

Well you might get younovoters at primaries but presidents get elected by older voters. It would be nice to see younger voters and candidates get involved but it still hasn’t happened.

chris whitley
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chris whitley

Biden is good middle road candidate. What it will take to win. Also going to take money. Hell trump already outspending democrats and he ain’t even in a primary.