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CNN highlights old Biden comments about need for a border fence to stop drugs from 'corrupt Mexico'

'I know I'm not supposed to say it that bluntly, but they're the facts'

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Democrats in 2019 call the idea of a border barrier between the United States and Mexico "racist" or "immoral." But the man currently leading the way for the 2020 presidential nomination had a very different view on the issue back in 2006.

Then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), as he was preparing for another failed presidential run, was speaking at a South Carolina rotary club when he emphasized his support for a border barrier. From CNN:

"I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won't like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence," Biden said at the time. "But, let me tell you, we can build a fence 40 stories high — unless you change the dynamic in Mexico and — and you will not like this, and — punish American employers who knowingly violate the law when, in fact, they hire illegals. Unless you do those two things, all the rest is window dressing."

"Now, I know I'm not supposed to say it that bluntly, but they're the facts, they're the facts," Biden continued. "And so everything else we do is in between here. Everything else we do is at the margins. And the reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs. And let me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it's all coming up through corrupt Mexico."

A Biden spokesperson attempted to separate Biden's view from that of President Donald Trump's after the comments resurfaced in the media.

"Vice President Biden believes we have to stop trying to scare people and instead have an immigration discussion based on facts," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said. "He believes that we can secure our borders without abandoning our values, and that we should do that by addressing the root causes of immigration abroad and working toward comprehensive immigration reform at home, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and smart border security."

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