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Joe Biden celebrates free speech rights of students to call him an ‘absolute jerk’

Liberals have ‘very short memories’

When he’s not comparing supporters of campus due process to “Nazis,” Joe Biden can say things that are only semi-muddled.

The former vice president and longtime Delaware senator showed he appreciates freedom of speech more than his Republican counterpart, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, when the two former presidential candidates and native Pennsylvanians spoke at a University of Delaware event Tuesday on “bridging political and partisan divides.”

Biden warned students that “we hurt ourselves badly when we don’t allow [subjectively offensive] speech to take place,” and pointedly told his fellow liberals they had “very short memories,” judging by their persecution of conservatives for their speech:

[W]hen I was coming up through college and graduate school free speech was the big issue but it was the opposite. It was liberals were shouted down when they spoke … You’re not allowed to stand up and yell fire in this auditorium [incorrect]. But you are allowed to stand up and say, “Biden, I think you’re an absolute jerk,” and “Biden, I think whatever and by the way I think we should do away with,” or “I believe that race is the problem in America.”

Biden taught constitutional law for 22 years at the university, and shutting down the First Amendment “in the name of what is appropriate is simply wrong,” even when the University of California-Berkeley does it, he said.

MORE: Biden compares supporters of due process to ‘Nazis’

He said the blame for riots lies with “those who are engaged in that violence,” not the speakers they are protesting:

I mean, look, if your idea is big enough, it should be able to compete and you should be able to listen to another point of view as virulent as it may be and reject it, expose it. … Don’t give the Trumps of the world the ability to compare you to the Nazis … because you’re doing the same thing. You’re silencing.

Strangely, Gov. Kasich took the opposite side, approving of Ohio University recently blocking a controversial speaker on the grounds that this person planned to use “hate speech” to incite violence and did not have “diverse ideas,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Watch Biden’s remarks and read the Inquirer article.

h/t Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

MORE: Shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater is not banned by First Amendment

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