Joe Biden just got brutally honest about Hillary Clinton’s millennial problem

Joe Biden just got brutally honest about Hillary Clinton’s millennial problem
Source: AP
Source: AP

Vice President Joe Biden dropped a truth bomb Friday while stumping for Hillary Clinton.

While her campaign may not be thrilled — although the GOP sure is — there's both honesty and method behind Biden's words.

The famously frank vice president let loose at a voter registration drive for Clinton in battleground Pennsylvania.

"No one ever doubts I mean what I say. The problem is sometimes I say all that I mean," Biden apologized in advance to laughter from the crowd. "But I know some of you — and some of the people you're trying to convince — aren't crazy about Hillary. I know that, OK? I think she's gotten an unfair deal."

"But the truth of the matter is there is a lot of people—but folks don't , don't wake up on November 9 and find out we lost Pennsylvania by 2,000 votes and say 'if I only.' 'If I had only taken my neighbor.' 'If I only gone.' 'If I only. If I only.' And there has been a lot of elections. Remember Al Gore," he added, referring to Gore's narrow loss in Florida to George W. Bush in 2000.

The latest polls have Clinton up about six percentage points on average, per RealClearPolitics.

And to be fair, the former secretary of state is doing much better among millennials — a group that had strong feelings for her Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, in the primary phase — than Republican Donald Trump.

As a new Quinnipiac University poll notes, "American likely voters 18 to 34 years old back Clinton over Trump 48 to 27%," with 11% saying they support Libertarian hopeful Gary Johnson. 

But Clinton — who's now dispatching her husband's former second-in-command, Al Gore, to woo young voters — is struggling to make the same inroads with the younger portion of the electorate that President Barack Obama enjoyed.

As the Associated Press reported of a recent GenForward survey, Clinton's favorability rating among voters between 18 and 30 is just 41%, with 54% viewing her unfavorably. Even today, Obama boasts a 60% approval rating with these voters.

Republicans are gleefully playing up Biden's pronouncement, but his remark could be fairly characterized as a riff on things Clinton has openly acknowledged about herself during the race.

As she said in a Philadelphia address targeting young voters last month,

"Now, I know that with Washington paralyzed by big money and partisanship, the gap between the change we want and the progress that politics should deliver can look like a chasm. I also know that even if you're totally opposed to Donald Trump, you may still have some questions about me. I get that. And I want to do my best to answer those questions." 

With 69 million millennials now of age to cast a ballot — equal to the number of baby boomers in the voting pool — young voters could be a make-or-break bloc in November.

But as both Biden and Clinton clearly know, this election is shaping up to be a binary choice — and by raising the specter of Gore, whose loss many blame on Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, Biden wants to make sure millennials see it the same way.

Even if some voters, including the young, aren't wild for Clinton, the fight is to make the public see her as a more palatable choice than a President Trump.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Celeste Katz

Celeste Katz is senior political correspondent at Mic, covering national politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at celeste@mic.com.

MORE FROM

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”