Joe Biden reportedly suggested that mocking a “gay waiter” would have been fine just five years ago while speaking at a gay rights fundraiser in Seattle on Saturday. Per a pool report of the event, the Democratic frontrunner for president said that five years ago—in 2014—if someone in a business meeting in Seattle “made fun of a gay waiter” people would have let it go. The former vice president's remark reportedly drew pushback from the crowd, who yelled: “Not in Seattle!” Others in attendance reportedly said that kind of behavior would only have been acceptable much longer than five years ago. Biden then made the point that times have changed for the better. “Today, that person would not be invited back,” he said.
It’s not the first time the Democratic nominee has put his proverbial foot in his mouth. Just last week, Biden came under fire for saying that a kid in a hoodie “may very well be the next poet laureate and not a gangbanger.” The remarks came a day after Biden also drew ire for his response to criticism from senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) over his record on civil rights issues, specifically his position on school-desegregation busing in the 1970s while he was a senator. The controversial comments highlight Biden's vulnerabilities and what has so far been a defensive campaign approach.