Displeased Americans have found myriad ways to show that they are not particularly happy about the words President Trump has used when talking about women.
Thousands of protesters in pink hats descended on Washington and other cities the day after Trump was inaugurated — and many returned a year later. The faculty at one university tried to revoke the president’s honorary degree. And some politicians in Trump’s own party have taken to Twitter to tell him that his words were less than presidential.
But on Tuesday, former vice president Joe Biden told a crowd of thousands how he would share his discontent with Trump.
It does not involve words.
“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere, and she likes it,’ ” Biden said during a speech at the University of Miami, according to ABC News. “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said ‘no.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.’ ”
“I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life,” Biden continued. “I’m a pretty [darn] good athlete. Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest SOB in the room.”
Trump was not impressed by Biden’s comments — and took to Twitter to say so.
Biden’s made his remarks at the University of Miami’s “It’s On Us” rally, aimed at “creating an environment where sexual assault and gender-based violence is unacceptable.”
But, as the president noted Thursday, Biden has made similar statements about Trump-based violence before.
At a Hillary Clinton campaign stop in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Biden said he would “take Trump behind the gym.” He said the things Trump said in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape about kissing women without their consent and grabbing them by the genitals should be considered assault.
“What he said he did and does is the textbook definition of sexual assault,” Biden said at the campaign stop. “Think about this: It’s more than wrong. He said, ‘Because I’m famous, because I’m a star, because I’m a billionaire, I can do things other people can’t.’ What a disgusting assertion for anyone to make.”
Biden, who served as vice president under President Barack Obama, has not said whether he wants to take on Trump in 2020, although some polls have penciled him in as a front-runner. Either way, the race is unlikely to include physical combat.
While it has been 160 years since an esteemed member of a federal governing body “savagely beat a senator into unconsciousness,” Biden’s statements weren’t the first time a prominent Democrat has spoken about being assertive with Trump.
In her book about the campaign, Clinton said Trump’s actions during the second presidential debate — days after the “Access Hollywood” tape was released — made her skin crawl.
Trump roamed the stage as she spoke, and made faces at her, in what pundits said was an attempt to assert his dominance over the situation.
“It was incredibly uncomfortable,” Clinton wrote. “He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled. It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, ‘Well, what would you do?’
“Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly, ‘Back up, you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’ ”
This post has been updated.