Joe Biden is standing up for a free press and an independent judiciary.
On Wednesday, Biden received the Patriot Award for political courage and leadership from the Bipartisan Policy Center. During his acceptance speech, he said that the attack on the press and the justice system were “corrosive” and “dangerous.”
“What worries me the most almost drumbeat of denigration of the institutional structures that govern us,” Biden said, according to ABC News. “When you delegitimize the courts, you delegitimize the legislative body. It’s corrosive, and it makes it impossible to reach compromise.”
Although he never mentioned President Trump’s name, his comments were an obvious response to the 45th president’s war of words with the press and with judges that don’t do what he wants them to do.
After U.S. Judge James Robart had put a temporary stay on his travel ban, Trump took to Twitter and called him a “so-called judge” whose “ridiculous” opinion “takes law enforcement away from our country.”
President Trump has also called the media the “enemy of the American people, ” and he has repeatedly called press coverage that is unfriendly “fake news.”
The former vice president thinks undermining the press is extremely dangerous, saying in his speech, “To question the actual legitimacy of a free press is one of the most dangerous things out there. The degree that we depart and denigrate our institutions and the fourth estate, I think we really, honest to God, honest to God, weaken our ability for self-government. We undermine it and become weaker and not stronger.”