No debate moderator will ask these questions.
Tuesday’s presidential debate provides an opportunity for the American public to finally get answers from Joe Biden, who has largely been absent from the campaign trail.
Vice President Biden should be asked the following 25 questions. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Many of these questions were suggested by this author last month, but because they remain unanswered, I offer them again in the hope that Tuesday’s debate moderator, Chris Wallace, will question the Democratic nominee with the same enthusiasm he has shown for questioning President Trump.
1. A Senate investigative report issued this month found that your son, Hunter Biden, and his family and business partners “received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds.” Among the sums they received while you were vice president include over $4 million from the corruption-plagued Ukrainian energy company Burisma to your son and his business associate, a $3.5 million wire transfer to your son from the wife of the former mayor of Moscow, and “millions of dollars in cash flow” from your son’s business associations with “Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and the People’s Liberation Army.” In light of all of this, we must ask: Why did members of your family get so many lucrative business opportunities overseas while you were vice president?
2. The report also contradicts your earlier statements that you were never told about your son’s business dealings in Ukraine. According to the report, “In October 2015, senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Joe Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.” Is Mr. Hochstein lying about this or are you?
3. Why did your son Hunter accompany you on your official trip to Beijing in December 2013? What did he do on that trip? Who did he meet with? What should the American public make of the fact that just 10 days after this trip, your son’s boutique private equity firm secured a $1 billion investment deal from the state-owned bank of China (later expanded to $1.5 billion) despite having no prior experience in China; and with this deal, the Chinese government granted your son’s firm a first-of-its-kind arrangement to operate in the recently formed Shanghai Free-Trade Zone—a perk not granted to any of the large established financial institutions?
4. Should the American public be concerned that your son’s private equity firm partnered with a Chinese government-owned aerospace and defense conglomerate to facilitate the purchase of an American company (based in Michigan) that produced strategically sensitive dual-use military technology that the Chinese government wanted?
5. Does your “Build Back Better” proposal contain any provisions to ensure that American taxpayer-funded technology is not bought off by Chinese state-backed enterprises working with private equity firms like your son’s?
6. How did your brother, Frank, secure $45 million in taxpayer loans from the Obama administration for his Caribbean projects?
7. How did a newly-minted firm employing your other brother, James, receive a $1.5 billion contract to build homes in Iraq despite having no experience in construction or international development?
8. Back in 2000, you voted in favor of giving permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR) to China. At the time, you said that this would not lead to “the collapse of the American manufacturing economy” because China is “about the size of the Netherlands” and could not possibly become “our major economic competitor.” Furthermore, you predicted that free trade with China would establish “a path toward ever greater political and economic freedom” for the people of China. Do you still stand by these statements today after 3.4 million American jobs have been lost to China and millions of China’s citizens have been imprisoned, surveilled, disappeared, and used as slave labor by an increasingly authoritarian regime enriched by 20 years of record trade imbalances acquired through flagrant trade violations?
9. The People’s Republic of China has a bold plan called “Made in China 2025” to dominate the key technologies of the future in order to overtake the United States militarily and economically. Do you still contend that China is “not competition for us”
10. Why did you promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to financial special interest groups when research was clear that the deal would make it easier for corporations to move U.S. jobs overseas?
11. Do you believe Xi Jinping kept his promise to Barack Obama to end cyber-espionage against the United States? If not, what are you prepared to do about it?
12. Do you accept that the coronavirus originated in China? Do you think China was honest with the world in its handling of the coronavirus? Are you satisfied with China’s explanations for how it spread? Do you believe their claims about the number of cases and fatalities in China?
13. Do you think China should be held responsible in any way for its handling of the coronavirus? If not, why not? What, if any, repercussions should there be for China in its handling of the coronavirus?
14. You have vowed to rescind the Trump tax cuts. Can you think of a single example of a country that recovered from a recession by raising taxes?
15. President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, has been attacked by members of your party because of her Catholic faith. Do you denounce these attacks on Judge Barrett’s Catholicism?
16. Your running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), attacked a judicial nominee on the basis of his membership in the Catholic fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus, which is the largest fraternal organization in the world and includes among its past and present members many prominent Americans like President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA), and Vince Lombardi. Do you or Sen. Harris believe that being a member of the Knights of Columbus disqualifies a person from holding public office? Would you refuse to hire someone on the basis of their membership in the Knights of Columbus or any other Catholic organization? In Sen. Harris’ questioning of this Catholic judicial nominee, she singled out the issue of the Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life. Would you or Sen. Harris disqualify a job applicant on the basis of their Catholic beliefs about abortion? Do you or Sen. Harris believe that being pro-life disqualifies someone from employment?
17. Your campaign has adopted a version of the Green New Deal that calls for 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035. California has adopted similar “green” goals, but now it can’t keep the lights on due to the state’s reliance on wind and solar energy. California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson admitted that the Golden State needs a “backup” plan for energy because the current blackouts caused by lack of wind and overcast skies have shown the danger of relying solely on “green” energy. Why would the nation fare any better than sunny breezy California in keeping the lights on if we adopt 100 percent renewable energy?
19. Do you believe that the looting of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago was a “form of reparations,” as one Chicago Black Lives Matter organizer claimed? Is looting an appropriate form of protest as a means of reparations?
20. Seattle Black Lives Matter protesters stormed a neighborhood, demanding that residents “get the f*** out” and “give black people back their homes” as reparations. Do you support that style of protest? If not, have you condemned it?
21. You said in your DNC acceptance speech that America is ready to “do the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism.” What did you do in your 36 years as a U.S. senator and 8 years as vice president to root out systemic racism? Why didn’t it work?
22. What is the maximum number of illegal immigrants you would allow into the country before securing the border to stop more from entering?
23. The Obama administration deported an estimated 3 million illegal aliens. Was that a bad thing?
24. With 30 million Americans unemployed due to the coronavirus, would you support a halt on work visas for foreign workers competing with Americans for jobs? If not, explain to us why CEOs will not use this huge increase in the supply of labor to freeze and reduce salaries for American workers?
25. Do you or do you not support a ban on fracking? If you do, what do you say to the estimated 7.5 million American jobs that will be lost due to such a ban, which includes an estimated 550,000 jobs lost in Pennsylvania, 500,000 jobs lost in Ohio, 363,000 jobs lost in North Carolina, 353,000 jobs lost in Colorado, and 233,000 jobs lost in Michigan?