During a low-energy roundtable with veterans in Florida Tuesday, Joe Biden repeated his dubious claim that he removed 150,000 troops from Iraq as vice president as he also admitted that Trump seemed to be helping the middle class amid the coronavirus pandemic — an apparent oversight given his pro-union, blue collar platform.
Biden, 77, who again took no questions from reporters and could barely be heard through his mask even though he had a microphone, made his first visit to the Sunshine State amid polls which show his support among Hispanics, who make up a fifth of the Florida population, is trailing Trump.
At the discussion in Tampa, Biden spoke about his late son Beau Biden’s military record and also touted his legacy as Barack Obama’s veep, recounting how he got permission to withdraw 150,000 soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It was particularly difficult when watching what happened during the heavy deployments, back in Iraq and Afghanistan, before I was able to get permission to bring home 150,000 troops,” he said.
The number of US troops in Iraq — a war Biden voted for — did fall in Obama’s first term from 150,000 to nearly zero.
But Biden failed to mention that 5,000 American soldiers were sent back to the region in 2011 after ISIS gained a foothold in Iraq because of the lack of US soldiers. The Obama-Biden administration also sent troops to Syria and Libya.
Biden spoke passionately about mental health issues, traumatic injuries and suicide among veterans but repeatedly cut himself off, telling the veterans he was talking for too long, and bizarrely ended his speech by comparing himself to a “poor relative.”
“The bad news is I show up when I’m invited,” Biden joked at the end of the round table.
“I’m like the poor relative. The poor relatives show up, eat all your food, stay longer than they should. The wealthy ones don’t come. I’m like the poor relative. I show up.”
He also spent a portion of the speech bashing President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, falsely claiming he was solely focused on the stock market, and questioned his payroll tax cut.
“He has focused only on making sure the stock market stays up and make sure it doesn’t decline because then it looks bad and the economy begins to droop for the very people that he most represents,” Biden claimed.
Honing in on the president’s desire to introduce a payroll tax cut for struggling Americans Biden said Trump was “trying to make it look like he’s actually helping some people that are in that struggling area to middle class area.”
“It’ll put more money in their pocket now and they say, ‘Oh God, he’s doing something to help me,’” Biden said.
“He wants to be able send that $1,200 check out per person because he literally signs it and he has his name on it.”
With just 49 days until the election, Biden and Trump are neck and neck in the Sunshine State polls, with the former veep leading by just 1.6 percentage points according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
Brett Hankison pleads ‘not guilty’ to endangering neighbors
The Louisville cop charged with “wantonly” firing his gun during the shooting death of Breonna Taylor pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday, according to reports.
Former Det. Brett Hankison, the only officer involved in Taylor’s fatal March 13 shooting to face charges, made his first court appearance since he was indicted by a grand jury last week, WAVE-TV reported.
Hankison remains free on $15,000 bond pending a return court appearance on Oct. 28, the station said.
The field cop was hit with three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting through the window of Taylor’s apartment during the botched raid, with bullets going into an occupied neighboring apartment.
Hankison and two other officers — Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Det. Miles Cosgrove — busted into Taylor’s apartment with a narcotics warrant and exchanged gunfire with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Taylor, 26, was sleeping when the cops entered the apartment and fatally shot her.
Walker, who had a licensed gun, told investigators he was not aware that the intruders were police officers.
A shot allegedly fired by Walker struck Mattingly in the leg — although a newly released state ballistics report said it was inconclusive whether the shot that hit the cop was fired by Walker or another officer.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who announced the grand jury indictment last week, said Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor. However, the state report said it was also inconclusive which officer fired the fatal shot.
None of the cops were charged with directly causing Taylor’s death.
Trump advisor Brad Parscale’s arrest caught on police bodycam
Newly released police bodycam video shows Brad Parscale’s arrest — including the Trump adviser’s wife describing his meltdown to Florida cops, and officers tackling the shirtless and apparently drunk operative.
The footage shows Candice Parscale, wearing a towel over a blue bikini after fleeing the couple’s $2.4 million waterfront Fort Lauderdale home, tell police her husband “was acting crazy” and “going irate” when he cocked a gun, sending her running outside.
“He’s acting crazy and so I went out to the backyard to let him just chill out,” she said. “He’s going irate, and he’s like, came out of his office, cocked the gun, went back in. I’m like, okay, this is like f—ed up. So I went to the front yard. … Give him his space.”
“I saw him like look out the window, and then I heard a loud boom,” she said.
Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Timothy Skaggs then gets on the phone with Brad Parscale.
“Hey, Brad, how you doing? This is Officer Skaggs, Fort Lauderdale Police Department,” the cop said. “You okay? You okay in there? Okay. All right. Can you do us a favor? Can you walk out with no weapons? Can you come outside with no weapons, please?”
Later in the video, Parscale is seen sitting on the front stoop of the house wearing white shorts, no shirt, and holding a beer.
He stands up and walks up to police, at one point putting the beer on the back of a pickup truck in the driveway.
“Okay, come over here. That’s fine,” a cop is heard saying. “All right, relax. What’s going on?”
“So, she started saying all this shit,” Parscale begins to say.
Suddenly, another cop is heard telling him to get on the ground and tackles him after Parscale appears to ignore several requests.
“Jesus,” Parscale says. “I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything.”
Parscale, 44, was taken for psychiatric evaluation.
The Trump campaign would not say whether he will stay on or be let go, but said it is waiting for an investigation.
Cops hunt for thief who stole Torah from Yonkers synagogue
Yonkers police are trying to track down the thief who stole a Torah from a city synagogue on Friday, just days before Yom Kippur.
The unidentified burglar also walked off with a guitar and a laptop computer from the Lincoln Park Jewish Center on Central Park Avenue.
The Torah was donated to the Yonkers synagogue by a World War II veteran, police said.
Police this weekend asked the public for help identifying the culprit, who has a beard and was photographed wearing a Harvard T-shirt.
Officials at the synagogue couldn’t be reached for comment Monday because of Yom Kippur, one of the holiest Jewish holidays.
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