UPDATE, 12:17 PM PT: Hillary Clinton endorsed Joe Biden for president in a virtual hall on Tuesday, saying telling viewers, “Think of what it would mean if we had a real president, not just somebody who plays one on TV.”
“Just think of what a difference it would make right now, if we had a president who not only listened to the science with facts over fiction, but brought us together, show us the kind of compassion and caring that we need from our president, and which Joe Biden has been exemplifying his entire life,” Clinton said.
She was part of a Biden town hall on women and the coronavirus crisis.
Clinton criticized the Trump administration’s response — calling the daily briefings “incoherent” and “insensitive” — but also found fault with the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion relief legislation passed late last month that was followed by another $484 billion last week.
She said that “too much money in the recovery act has ended up in the hands of the wrong people, shameful.” That was a reference to corporations like Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse that have returned some of their small business loans in the face of public shaming.
She called for a remedy of “almost radical transparency” to track where the money from the legislation is going.
“Right now we are in the age of deliberate disinformation. The reason for that is to destroy trust,” she said.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement about Clinton’s endorsement, “There is no greater concentration of Democrat establishment than Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton together. Both of them carry the baggage of decades in the Washington swamp and both of them schemed to keep the Democrat nomination from Bernie Sanders. President Trump beat her once and now he’ll beat her chosen candidate.
During the hourlong event, Clinton and Biden shared stories about their time together serving in the Obama administration. when she was Secretary of State and Biden was Vice President.
But one of the most interesting moments came right near the end, as Biden was thanking Clinton for her support. He said that “I wish this were my doing this in my supporting your reelection for president of the United States. You won the majority of the vote.”
He went on to say that Clinton would have been better prepared for the pandemic. “You would have done a lot to keep us from getting into such a dire strait,” he said.
Clinton replied, “Well, I will tell you one thing I would have done, Joe, which you know so well, I would have read my daily intelligence briefing.” Laughing, she said, “They were sounding the alarm since January but apparently this president doesn’t do what we used to do.”
She was referring to a Washington Post report that U.S. intelligence agencies warned Trump of the coronavirus threat in more than a dozen classified briefings during January and February. The story said that the president routinely skips reading the daily reports, and has shown little patience even for an oral summary delivered several times a week.
PREVIOUSLY, 11 AM PT: Hillary Clinton will appear at a virtual town hall on Tuesday, when she reportedly plans to endorse Joe Biden.
Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, was added to the campaign’s virtual town hall event, set to start at 3 PM ET, which will focus on the impact of the coronavirus on women.
She also teased her appearance in a tweet featuring a photo of her, Biden and President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
Clinton has been outspoken about Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Last week, after he suggested that a possible way to treat the virus would be to ingest disinfectants, she tweeted, “Please don’t poison yourself because Donald Trump thinks it could be a good idea.”
She also has been critical of the White House for the lack of available testing.
She wrote, “All the experts say we need to greatly expand COVID-19 testing capacity to safely re-open America. The White House promised 27 million tests by the end of March. As of last week, only 4 million have been conducted. Where are the tests?”
Clinton was the first female presidential nominee on a major party ticket. Biden had considered running in 2016, a move that would have pitted him against her in the primary, but he ultimately decided against it.