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At Wednesday’s Democratic debate, Joe Biden was asked about the nation’s #MeToo movement, and what he could do, if elected, to help change the way society treats women. Biden, who has come under fire for both his treatment of women and his tendency to commit gaffes on the debate stage, combined those two into one controversial answer.
Biden first talked about how Congress needed to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and how he worked to pass that the first time. Biden said that no man has a “right to raise a hand to a woman in anger, other than in self-defense,” and then said that to change the culture, we need to keep “punching at it,” which he then repeated.
It was instantly derided on Twitter.
did joe biden just said we have to "punch away at" domestic violence— Talia Lavin, girl reporter (@chick_in_kiev) November 21, 2019
biden just said to end intimate partner violence we need to "keep punching at it" pic.twitter.com/H8YA7Vd29E— wikipedia brown aka silk bonnet spectre (@eveewing) November 21, 2019
In response to a question about male violence against women, Biden replies, in a really staggeringly tone deaf comment, "We have to keep punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it."— Moira Donegan (@MoiraDonegan) November 21, 2019
Biden talking about repeatedly punching at the issue of domestic violence is.... quite a take. #DemDebate— April is #StillWithKap (@ReignOfApril) November 21, 2019
Surely, that didn't just happen. Talking about domestic violence, Biden says "no man should ever hit a woman except in self-defense ..." Then, he says to tackle the issue, we need to keep "punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it." 🤦🏾♂️ #DemocraticDebate— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes) November 21, 2019
“No, I really mean it,” he added.
This story has been updated.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]