Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed to state his position on court packing before the election and said it would hinge on what happens with Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation.
Moderator George Stephanopoulos pressed Biden on his refusal to state his position on expanding the court, noting that he previously opposed the idea during the Democratic primaries.
“Is the nomination of Judge Barrett reason enough to rethink your position?” he asked Biden.
Biden reiterated that he is not a “fan” of court packing but “it depends on how this turns out,” he said of Barrett’s nomination.
“It depends on how much they rush this,” he said.
“If they vote on it before the election, you are open to expanding the court?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I'm open to considering what happens from that point on,” Biden replied.
“So, you will come out with a clear position before Election Day?” the moderator pressed.
“Yes, depending on how they handle this,” Biden replied.
Biden admits 1994 crime bill was a “mistake”:
Biden also acknowledged that supporting the 1994 crime bill was a “mistake.”
“Things have changed drastically. That crime bill, when it voted, the Black Caucus voted for it, every Black mayor supported it across the board,” Biden said. “And it didn't -- the crime bill itself did not have mandatory sentences except for two things. It had three strikes and you're out which I voted against in the crime bill. But it had a lot of other things in it that turned out to be both bad and good.”
“An awful lot of people were jailed for minor drug crimes,” Stephanopoulos said. “Was it a mistake to support it?”
“Yes, it was. But here's where the mistake came. The mistake came in terms of what the states did locally,” he replied. “What we did federally, we said -- you remember, George, it was all about the same time for the same crime.”
“But what happened was it became the same time for the same crime,” he added. “So it said you had to serve between one and three years. It ended up becoming much lower. Black folks went to jail a lot less than they would have before. But it was a mistake.”
Biden vows to focus on “decency and honor”:
Biden said the key difference between him and Trump would be his focus on “decency and honor.”
“I think the American people want to see that happen,” he said. “I think they're ready to see that happen. And I'll tell you one thing. If I'm elected president, you will not hear my race-baiting and you'll not hear me dividing you. I'm trying to unify and bring people together.”