The youth of America aren’t particularly keen on Joe Biden, a fact that was on full display during Wednesday night’s CNN Climate Town Hall. Biden’s portion of the night kicked off with a question from 19-year-old Katie Eder, the executive director of the youth-led organization Future Coalition, who very nicely asked why the hell anyone under the age of 40 should trust him or anyone else of his generation.
“Older generations have continued to fail our generation by repeatedly choosing money and power over our lives and our futures,” Eder said. “So how can we trust you to put us, the future, over the wants of large corporations and wealthy individuals?”
“Because I’ve never done it,” Biden replied. “I’ve never made that choice, my whole career. Simple.”
Joe Biden fancies himself as a veteran Captain Planet, assuring Eder and the audience that everything he’s done “has been done to take on the polluters.” But he followed this up by saying that coming up with good plans isn’t enough. “You need to be able to bring people, and countries and interests together to get anything done.”
But when the interests of wealthy corporations regularly have a strong influence in policy, therein lies the problem. And it’s a problem that also came to light during the forum: a 27-year-old doctoral candidate at Northwestern University named Isaac Larkin confronted Biden about his pledge not to take money for oil and gas executives despite the fact that Biden is slotted to host a high-dollar fundraiser hosted by—wait for it—a fossil fuel executive named Andrew Goldman:
Biden had no idea!
From the New York Times:
[CNN’s Anderson Cooper], who seemed apprised in advance of the issue raised by the audience member, pressed Mr. Biden, saying Mr. Goldman “has a company called Western LNG” that announced it was building an offshore terminal in western Canada to export natural gas. Earlier in the day, the news site The Intercept had reported on Mr. Goldman’s background.
“Well, I didn’t realize he does that,’’ Mr. Biden replied. “I’m going to look at what you just told me and find out if that’s accurate.’’
It looks like we got the real answer to Eder’s question.
UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: Jezebel reached out to Eder and asked if she was satisfied with Biden’s response. Eder replied via email, saying, “I found his initial response of ‘because I’ve never done that’ to be a bit abrupt and lacking substance.” She added: “He went on to refer to his past record on Climate Change (which is mixed), but gave no specific details about his current plan. We don’t want to hear about what he’s done in the past—we want to know what he plans on doing in the future.”