On Sunday, the former vice president attended Mass at Wilmington, Delaware’s St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church. Afterwards, he toured the church’s graveyard, where his first wife, Neilia, daughter Naomi, and son Beau are buried. Neilia and Naomi died in a car accident in 1972, while Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.
As Mediaite reported, Biden, trailed by a security agent, did not respond to a reporter calling for his attention and instead waved while continuing to walk.
Later on Sunday, the Director of Strategic Response for the Trump campaign, Francis Brennan, tweeted video of the incident, with a caption that appeared to mock Biden.
REPORTER: "Mr. Vice President come talk to us."
Joe Biden just keeps meandering along. pic.twitter.com/6tnNQj2Ucg
— Francis Brennan (@FrancisBrennan) September 6, 2020
The backlash to the tweet was swift and brutal.
“Are you human?” California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell asked. “It’s a cemetery. Where his son is buried.”
Bill Kristol, a Republican political analyst, called Brennan a “punk” for the tweet, while actress Mia Farrow called him “not even human,” and New York Times women’s health columnist Dr. Jennifer Gunter called him a “ghoul.”
Other Twitter users noted that this was not the first time Biden’s relationship with his children has been used as a source of mockery on Twitter.
Back in July, Republican National Committee spokesperson Steve Guest tweeted a photo of the Democratic presidential nominee with his sons — the late Beau Biden and surviving Hunter Biden — when they were children. Hunter Biden wore a hat bearing the colors and logo of the Washington, D.C. football team, known at the time as the Redskins. Grant mockingly asked Biden if he was still a Redskins fan. The tweet was later deleted, as multiple Twitter users pointed out the photo was nothing more than a father spending time with his sons.
In July, a RNC spokesman mockingly tweeted a photo of Biden and his dead son as a boy. Today, a Trump campaign spokesman mockingly tweeted a video of Biden visiting his son’s grave. pic.twitter.com/3v15U4eWe7
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) September 6, 2020
Other users mentioned the juxtaposition of someone affiliated with Trump mocking Biden while the president himself is embroiled in a controversy over purportedly calling deceased American soldiers “losers” and “suckers” as he canceled a visit to a Paris-area cemetery that houses the graves of American men killed in World War I.
“He’s in a cemetery. You know, those places where Trump won’t go?” wrote one user.
Andrew Weinstein, chair of the Democrats Lawyers’ Council, noted that while Biden was visiting the graves of deceased family members, Trump was playing golf.