Biden's reference to Pence came Thursday at the Forum in Global Leadership at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Biden and Pence have been friendly with one another for quite some time, but in 2019 politics, that sort of bipartisan politeness is apparently unacceptable. Biden was quickly attacked by people who accused him of supporting an anti-LGBTQ figure in Pence.
"You've just called America's most anti-LGBT elected leader 'a decent guy,'" said former New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon to Biden on Twitter. "Please consider how this falls on the ears of our community."
"You're right, Cynthia," Biden replied. "I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn't be given a silent reaction on the world stage. But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President."
@CynthiaNixon You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstan… https://t.co/z7sb1rrgER— Joe Biden (@Joe Biden) 1551397063.0
Pence is often targeted by liberal voters and politicians as anti-LGBTQ, which really means he adheres to the traditional Christian beliefs on gender and sexuality. Biden has been able to maintain a positive relationship with Pence despite their ideological disagreements (imagine that), but for some Democrats, that sort of friendliness is disqualifying.
"Nothing better exemplifies why Joe Biden has zero chance of winning the Democratic Primary," wrote one user on Twitter.
"Sorry Joe. This is disturbing. And disqualifying," wrote another. "I hope you're willing to go out and campaign hard for the Democratic nominee."
Biden's incident wasn't the only example of a liberal getting chastised for being nice to someone across the aisle. CNN's Van Jones spoke at CPAC about criminal justice reform, giving credit to conservatives for spearheading the effort that led to the First Step Act. Liberals were not pleased.