President Donald Trump missed an opportunity in the first presidential debate when he failed to debunk Joe Biden’s infamous “Charlottesville very fine people hoax.”
The hoax is the false claim that Trump called neo-Nazis “very fine people” in 2017 when, in fact, he said they should be “condemned totally.” (The “fine people” were non-violent marchers on either side of a statue dispute.)
Vice President Mike Pence should not miss the opportunity against Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) if it arises.
Harris spread the “very fine people hoax” long before Biden. In fact, she was one of the first. In January 2019, she launched her campaign a reference to Charlottesville at a rally in Oakland, California — just as Biden would launch his with the hoax in April.
Harris did not include the “hoax” part then — but she did so the next day in a town hall hosted by CNN, telling Jake Tapper: “We have seen when Charlottesville and a woman was killed that we’ve had a president who basically said, well, there were equal sides to this.”
In fact, Trump had called the murder of the “woman” — Heather Heyer — an act of terrorism.
(Tapper did not correct Harris on that occasion, but he did admit later that Trump never called neo-Nazis “very fine people.”)
Harris later repeated the “very fine people” hoax on Twitter (along with the false claim that Trump “ripped babies from their parents”: the practice of separating children from adults detained at the border dated to the Obama administration).
Trump promised affordable health care, then tried to rip care away from millions.
Said he was for working people, then passed a tax bill benefitting the top 1% & corporations.
He’s ripped babies from their parents & called neo-Nazis "fine people." It’s time for a new president.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 15, 2019
More recently, when she was re-introduced to the nation as Biden’s running mate, Harris referred again to the Charlottesville hoax — after Biden had repeated his standard stump script about the “very fine people” — “veins bulging” and all.
Harris is likely to bring up Charlottesville at the vice presidential debate on Wednesday night. When she does, Pence has an opportunity to set the record straight:
“Senator, that did not happen. Check the transcript. Stop spreading a divisive hoax.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.