- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 8, 2016

Vice President Joseph R. Biden said Thursday that President-elect Donald Trump won the election by diverting the media’s attention away from serious issues to scandals and outrageous rhetoric.

“When a guy talks about grabbing a woman’s private parts, when a guy says some of the incredibly outrageous things that were said, it sucks up all the oxygen in the air,” Mr. Biden said in an address at the New York University School of Law. “There wasn’t much of a discussion of issues, even in the debates.”

The vice president said the “coarse” campaign was “dispiriting.”

“I find myself embarrassed by the nature and the way in which this campaign was conducted,” Mr. Biden said. “So much for the shining city on a hill.”

Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump distracted the media intentionally away from issues such as Hillary Clinton’s plan for free college tuition.

“I guess it was P.T. Barnum said there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” Mr. Biden said. “And Trump says it. It turns out, he’s pretty damned smart in terms of being able to figure out how to deal with the press. You would have thought some of the things he said would be just, ipso facto, disqualifying for president of the United States of America. But such a negative campaign seemed to take everybody’s eye off the ball.”

He said the media wrote and broadcast far more stories about Mrs. Clinton’s private email server than about plans for tax reform, or issues such as dealing with China.

“Other than ‘Make America Great Again’ and ‘Forward Together,’ what do you know about the last election?” Mr. Biden asked the audience. “Why wasn’t there more discussion? Hillary Clinton, in my view, and I’m prejudiced, was the single most qualified candidate on the face of it to run for president of the United States we’ve had, period. But the press didn’t cover it.”

The vice president said Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans will find out how difficult it is to govern when they try to repeal Obamacare. Chuckling, he said the GOP is already showing signs of trepidation by discussing a plan to repeal phase out Obamacare after two or three years.

“If it’s that bad, just repeal it. Have at it right now,” he said. “Repeal it wholesale. Watch county hospitals go under. Take 20 million people off of health care. Get the press covering ‘My mother just died because she lost her coverage.’ All of a sudden, insurance companies going back to charging women more than men for the same coverage. I welcome the debate. I can hardly wait.”

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