Gillibrand Dodges on Biden Question: 'The Voters Will Decide' if He Is Fit to Be Candidate

April 2, 2019

Presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) dodged questions on MSNBC's Hardball about whether former Vice President Joe Biden is fit for candidacy, following accusations that Biden is too touchy in public.

"What should he do?" Matthews asked Gillibrand. "Is there anything he can do now at this point in his career?"

Gillibrand said she took the issue of sexual assault seriously.

"I've been in the Senate fighting against sexual assault for the military and on college campuses and changing the rules for the House and Senate on harassment," Gillibrand said. "So I think with these allegations specifically, I think it's something if Vice President Biden decides to run, he just will have to address directly with the American people."

"What should he say?" Matthews asked.

"These people feel demeaned and that is not OK," Gillibrand responded.

"I've heard the speech on this the other day, and it was fabulous by the way," Matthews said. "It's that's not what he thought or felt, but how people receive it."

"Yes, there is a conversation in this country and it is about 'Do we value women?'" Gillibrand said. "When we allow this space to tell their truth to tell what they experienced, you have to not only receive and believe them, so you can then investigate."

Matthews continued to press her on Biden specifically.

"You know what I'm trying to do, get an answer on this very tough question: Is he fit to be the nominee for the Democratic Party? Is he fit for the office?" he asked.

"I think it's an issue he will have to address with voters, and the voters will decide," Gillibrand said.

In the past, Gillibrand has been a strident critic of sexual indecency in any form, calling for former colleague Sen. Al Franken's (D., Minn.) resignation after details of sexual assaults allegations emerged in 2018.