1990's Biden Called Barr 'One of the Best' AG's

Biden also praised Barr for 'candid' response on abortion rights

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June 11, 2019

Former vice-president and current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden praised Attorney General William Barr in 1995, calling him "one of the best" attorneys general Biden ever worked alongside. But Biden went back on his praise of Barr when he called for the attorney general to be fired in early May.

At the time, Biden was the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Barr was working in the private sector. Barr testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on improving "the effectiveness of incarceration," according to CBS News.

"I truly enjoyed working with you when you were attorney general," Biden told Barr during his interview.

"You were one of the best I have ever worked with, and there have been a lot of attorneys general since I have been here," he continued.

Barr served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993 before returning to the private sector. Barr's confirmation hearing in 1991 resulted in a confirmation via voice vote after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously 14-0 to approve him. Biden commented at the time that Barr would make a "fine" attorney general despite Barr expressing his disagreement with the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion and criticism of NARAL during his hearing.

Biden said that while he disagreed with Barr's opinions on abortion law, he respected how "candid" Barr was during the hearing. Biden felt Barr's response was "the first candid answer anyone has given on Roe v. Wade that I can remember in God knows how many years," according to CBS News.

But Biden turned against Barr following the attorney's general summary and subsequent release of the Mueller Report. When asked whether Barr should resign, Biden said, "I think he's lost the confidence of the American people. I think he should."

The late Democrat Ted Kennedy joined Biden in praising Barr as well during the confirmation hearing, complimenting Barr on his career in government.

Published under: Joe Biden , William Barr