The mother of Heather Heyer, the Charlottesville woman killed during the 2017 protests there, said Friday that former vice president Joe Biden called hours after invoking her daughter in the video announcing his presidential campaign launch.
Biden kicked off his third run for the White House with a strongly-worded condemnation of the self-proclaimed white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, describing “their crazed faces illuminated by torches, veins bulging, and baring the fangs of racism. Chanting the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ‘30s.” He added: “And they were met by a courageous group of Americans, and a violent clash ensued, and a brave young woman lost her life.”
Susan Bro, the mother of Heyer, who was killed when a self-proclaimed white supremacist drove his car into the crowd, said Biden called her later in the afternoon Thursday.
Before that, Bro had told the Daily Beast that she wasn’t surprised Biden mentioned Heyer without alerting her first.
“Most people do that sort of thing,” she said. “They capitalize on whatever situation is handy. He didn’t reach out to me, and didn’t mention her by name specifically, and he probably knew we don’t endorse candidates.”
Biden called around 4:30 p.m., Bro said during a Friday morning appearance on CNN, and told her he didn’t reach out initially because he didn’t know how that would make her feel.
“I said, ‘yes,’ I noticed you didn’t mention her name because you hadn’t contacted me. So, we acknowledged that much,” Bro said.
Bro said that for most of the call they spoke about bereavement, a subject Biden is intimately familiar with after losing his first wife and daughter in a car accident and more recently his son to cancer.
She said Biden called her because she said rumors were circulating that his video had “devastated and traumatized” her, which it hadn’t. But she told him that it was likely so for other people in Charlottesville to have those images “thrown up at them on the screen.”