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In Indy, Biden Says White House Defense of Aide Accused of Spouse Abuse Is Too Common -- and Not Just in Politics

Former VP urges fraternity and sorority audience to be vocal in calling out abusive behavior, unsafe conditions

(INDIANAPOLIS) -  Former Vice President Joe Biden says the handling of accusations a top White House aide battered his ex-wives is all too typical -- and not just in politics.

Staff secretary Rob Porter has resigned, but the White House has continued to defend him. President Trump himself declared Porter had done "a very good job" shortly before Biden took the stage in Indianapolis to discuss sexual violence on campus, at a national fraternity and sorority conference. 

Biden says you see variations on Trump's comments not just in politics, but in industries from pro and college sports to the fast-food joint on the corner. He says domestic violence is the only crime people try to excuse by suggesting the abuser is "good at something."

"That's like saying, 'That ax murderer -- he's a really good painter,'" Biden said.

Biden says every industry has instances of men abusing positions of power over women. He says those men are the exception, but says others who know about it and don't intervene become complicit. He urged his college-age audience to show the courage to speak up, whether to university administrators about unsafe conditions on campus or to fraternity brothers taking advantage of someone who's had too much to drink.
Biden authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. Since then, he says there's been clear progress against sexual assault -- except among girls and women age 14 to 24. He says men and women that age need to understand assault has everything to do with abuse of power, and nothing to do with anything the victim did. He says he'll consider the effort against sexual assault a success not when violence is nonexistent -- something he says will never happen -- but when no abuse victim asks herself what she did to bring it on.

Biden also headlined a fundraiser for Senator Joe Donnelly during his Indianapolis visit.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

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