PORTLAND, MAINE – A Bernie Sanders supporting candidate for U.S. Senate from Maine unleashed on former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday in response to the news that Bernie Sanders was suspending his campaign for President, effectively handing Biden the nomination.
In an apparent reference to the recent accusation by a former Biden staffer that Biden sexually assaulted her, candidate Bre Kidman, one of three candidates vying for the Democrat nomination, issued the “old white rapists” tweet just before noon on Wednesday. Kidman followed the tweet with another suggesting that the nomination of Biden was the result of establishment politics, corporate money and media manipulation of the election.
In late March, former Biden aide Alexandra Tara Reade said in a widely distributed podcast that in 1993 Biden assaulted her, pushing her against a wall and forcing his hand down her skirt while twice telling her “You’re nothing to me.”
While many traditional media outlets have ignored the story, it has sparked a firestorm on the left, triggering attacks and counterattacks by supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders and defenders of Biden.
Largely focusing on the lack of outcry from the #metoo movement, Sanders supporters have said Biden should not get a free pass and that sweeping the accusation under the rug sets back the entire movement.
Kidman’s tweet also lumps President Donald Trump into the fold, saying, “Somehow we went from the most diverse field of presidential candidates in history to “pick the lesser of two old white rapists.”
This is not the first time Joe Biden has been accused of misconduct. Reade previously had told a local Nevada newspaper that Biden had touched her inappropriately in front of interns and that at one point she was told she had to serve drinks at a campaign event because Biden “liked her legs.”
The free pass many on the left appear willing to give Biden, now the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for President, is a major departure from the “believe all women” mantra of the #metoo movement and the Democratic Party over the past few years.
A high-profile legal fund set up to provide referrals to support to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace has so far not provided Reade any support. That situation too has caused controversy, with the firm saying they are forbidden from participating in electioneering and that the situation gets into a gray area around election activity. At the same time, the law firm the fund works with to provide that support was founded by a well-known Biden adviser, sparking theories that the fund and connected firm are simply protecting Biden by refusing to help Reade.
Kidman is one of three Democrats vying for the opportunity to challenge Senator Susan Collins in November. House Speaker Sara Gideon and activist turned civil rights lobbyist Betsy Sweet are also running. Former Google Executive Ross Lajeunnesse previously dropped out of the race.