Joe Biden said he would not rule out appointing donors as ambassadors, but wouldn’t make decisions about those roles based on someone’s financial contributions.
“Nobody in fact will be appointed by me based on anything they contributed,” he told a group of reporters aboard his “No Malarkey” bus in Decorah, Iowa. “But, for example, you have some of the people who are out there that are prepared to in fact, that are fully qualified — head of everything from being the ambassador to NATO to be the ambassador to France or any other country — who may or may not have contributed, but that will not be any basis upon which I in fact would appoint anybody.”
Other Democratic presidential candidates, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, have criticized the longstanding practice of appointing donors to governmental positions. Warren, who has sworn off high-dollar fundraisers, has vowed to not nominate wealthy contributors as ambassadors.
In a wide-ranging 20-minute interview, Biden also defended his response to an Iowa voter who confronted him over his son’s work in Ukraine, which has come into sharp focus during the US House impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. He said he wanted to keep the focus on Trump, but reacted because the man made accusations that were false. Biden said his son did nothing wrong and referred to a statement by Hunter Biden that he exercised “poor judgment” in joining the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. ”My son speaks for himself,” the former vice president said. “He’s a 47-year-old man. He didn’t do anything wrong.” Joe Biden, who is at the end of an eight-day bus tour across Iowa, again spoke about the need for bipartisan cooperation.