Joe Biden appeared at a virtual fundraiser on Thursday evening hosted by a mix of showbiz figures and former rival Pete Buttigieg, but the news out of the event is what the former Vice President said about worries that President Donald Trump will try to delay the November election.
“Mark my words I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden said told donors, according to a pool report.
“Imagine threatening not to fund the Post Office. Now what in God’s name is that about?” Biden said. “Other than trying to let the word out that he’s going to do all he can to make it very hard for people to vote. That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.”
He also said that Trump’s refusal to provide a lifeline to the Postal Service is linked to an effort to undermine the election, as a number of Democrats have been pushing for funding for an all-mail election this fall. That would alleviate concerns over social distancing in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Biden said that Trump “is already trying to undermine the election with false claims of voter fraud and threatening to block essential COVID assistance if any extra funds go to U.S. Postal Service. It’s un-American.”
The event raised $1.1 million, according to a source, which will be much needed as the campaign tries to achieve some parity to the vast war chest of the Trump campaign.
The event was billed as a “A Fabulous Evening With Vice President Joe Biden,” as he spoke to donors via web chat from his basement studio in Wilmington, DE. Joining him were Kristin Chenoweth, Melissa Etheridge, Billy Porter and Billie Jean King. Tickets started at $1,000 per person.
Biden also warned that the Russians will try to interfere in the election.
“I guarantee, I promise you the Russians did interfere in our election, and I guarantee you they are doing it again with two other major actors,” Biden told donors. He did not name who the other actors were.
He also said that the Wisconsin primary sent a “giant warning flare to the nation” as to what might happen in the general election if the country is still in the midst of the coronavirus crisis in November.
“Republicans were trying to force in-person voting no matter the health cost,” he said. “We have to figure out how we are going to conduct a full and fair and safe election in November and no should have to risk their lives to cast a ballot.”
The event took place just as Trump, during his latest nightly press briefing, was bashing Biden. The president called his likely 2020 rival “a sleepy guy in the basement of a house.”
Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign, said in a statement about Biden’s comments, “Those are the incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality. Perhaps he also missed the news that the infamous Steele Dossier, central to the Russian Collusion Hoax, was likely compiled with Russian disinformation. That’s the real Russian collusion.”
At his fundraiser, Biden also called the press briefings “political hits.”
“Look at his marathon press conferences which are political hits. What’s he doing? He’s saying ‘I take no responsibility for that. Not my fault.'”
Before Biden’s remarks, Porter told the 670 participants on Zoom that “weneed to elect a steady, experienced leader to guide us through this storm and forward. Someone with decency, character and empathy whose own life has taught him to persevere.”
Etheridge sang her song Uprising of Love, which she said was written as an anthem against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s oppression of LGBTQ people.
“I don’t think we could have possibly imagined then that so much injustice and oppression at the hands of our own government was on the horizon,” she said.
Chenoweth, meanwhile, sang a version of “Popular” from the musical Wicked, this time themed to Biden’s campaign.
The lyrics, via the pool, are below:
Mr. Vice President:
Whenever I see someone less glittery than I, and let’s face it? Who isn’t? Less glittery than I!
My tender hearts tends to start to bleed.
And when I see someone critically in need of hints politically, I know, I know exactly what they need
So I come here from Oz, yes Joe, I’ve come here all this way because
I sense in you a leader who will lead
So please pay heed and you’ll succeed
Cause. You’ll. Be. Popular. I’ll help you be popular.
I’ll teach you some proper jokes, how to glad hand folks, help to give your step some bounce
I’ll tell you what ties to wear, maybe dye your hair? Everything that really counts to be
Popular. You’re gonna be popular.
You see I’m adorable, un-deplorable, well Joe you can be that too!
Be like me and let’s turn all of those red states blue
Joe I hear folks with blue collars trust you to increase their dollars, as you’ve always done on their behalf
But think of certain current heads of state who think they’re great communicators
Did they have brains-heart-or-courage? Don’t make me laugh – ha! They’re just popular.
Joe! I know about popular. And just cause you tell the truth, will that win the youth?
And though a decent man you were—well—are! I’m going to guide you to becoming popular. -LAR!
Laaaa, laaaaa, laaaaa, laaaaaaa
Don’t be hiding out, bring Joe Biden out! And very popular you’ll be.
Just not as quite as popular as—–Jill! Or Michelle! Or meeeeeeee!