Biden ’embarrassed’ by 2016 campaign


Vice President Biden on Thursday voiced disgust with the tone of the 2016 presidential campaign. 
“I find myself embarrassed by the nature and the way in which this campaign was conducted,” Biden said at a forum in Washington sponsored by the New York University School of Law. “So much for the shining city on a hill.”
{mosads}The vice president’s comments were one of the most withering assessments of the state of American political discourse from an elected official.
President Obama and Biden have largely encouraged the country to come together after a divisive campaign, despite their preferred candidate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, losing to Republican Donald Trump.
But Biden on Thursday delivered a blunt evaluation of how politicians campaign for office. 
He lamented that the debate between Trump and Clinton became “more a battle of personalities than it was ideas.”
“This has been a very tough election. It’s been ugly; it’s been divisive; it’s been coarse; it’s been dispiriting,” Biden said. 
“For a lot of folks, it feels as if we’re more divided than we’ve ever been in our history and that the election brought out the worst in the political system.”
The vice president said there should have been a greater focus on policy. 
“Hillary Clinton was the single most qualified on the fact of it to run for president of the United States that we’ve had, period,” he said. “It wasn’t that she didn’t have all these ideas. She did. But the press, you didn’t cover it.”
But he added the media was not totally to blame because bombshell revelations about Trump’s personal conduct were hard to avoid.
“It wasn’t your fault,” Biden said. “When a guy talks about grabbing a woman’s private parts, when a guy says some of the incredibly outrageous things that were said, it sucks up all the oxygen in the air.”
Biden attempted to “bring a little bit of perspective” to the moment, expressing hope that the situation could improve.
One way of doing it, he said, is to institute public financing of elections. Many Democrats want to overhaul the current campaign financing system in order to curb the influence of major donors and super PACs.
“If you want to change overnight, instantaneously, the electoral process in America and the way we handle issues, have public financing,” he said. 
Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

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