By Sam Dorman
Published August 01, 2019
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has defended her decision to question former Vice President Joe Biden on his previous statements about childcare tax credits, arguing that American women had a right to more information about his position.
Gillibrand doubled-down on her Biden critiques just one day after their confrontation at the second Democratic primary debate. Af the debate, Gillibrand challenged Biden on a 1981 op-ed that he wrote opposing tax credits for childcare.
"When I read that op-ed, I was deeply shocked and I was deeply offended because the language he chose to use was really disturbing," she told MSNBC host Chuck Todd on Thursday.
"To say that making sure more middle-class families could have access to childcare was going to somehow deteriorate the family... I think that's a very alarming perspective."
She went on to say that she wanted to give Biden the "opportunity" to explain what he meant. But Biden, she said, did not give her a "satisfactory answer." "He really avoided the question and he wouldn't really give us a direct answer but I think America's women have a right to know."
Biden, on Wednesday night, responded to Gillibrand's criticism by mentioning how he raised his children as a single dad after losing his first wife in a car accident. He also noted how Gillibrand praised his work on gender equality, adding that her opinion seemed to change once she ran for president.
"I don't know what's happened, except that you're now running for president," he said.
Gillibrand has also taken heat over her decision to call for Sen. Al Franken's, D-Minn., resignation amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. During her interview with Todd, she stood by that decision and argued that Democratic activists were "wrong" to continue holding that decision against her.
"I am disturbed that members of our party and certainly even candidates do not fully understand that this is a reflection of what kind of party we are," she said. She also told Todd that it was "absurd" for Franken to feel as though he didn't receive due process with the Senate Ethics Committee.
"Sen. Franken is the one who made the decision not to go through his Ethics Committee investigation... my decisions were whether or not to defend him," she said.