President Joe Biden authorized $500 million Tuesday to evacuate Afghan citizens, but he argued against assisting in the evacuation of South Vietnamese refugees as a young senator.
When the North Vietnamese marched on Saigon in 1975, thousands of South Vietnamese citizens — many of whom had connections to the U.S. — asked for assistance in leaving the country. (RELATED: Impossible To Fact Check ‘In Real Time’: Misleading Biden Presser Diverges From Reality On The Ground)
Then President Gerald Ford called on Congress to authorize funds to evacuate 2,500 American citizens and their families along with about 175,000 refugees — and Democratic Delaware Sen. Joe Biden was one of the loudest voices in opposition, according to The Atlantic.
In an April 14, 1975, meeting between the president and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden said, “I feel put upon in being presented an all-or-nothing number. I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out. I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.”
Ford pushed back, arguing that “our tradition is to welcome the oppressed.”
“I do not believe the United States has an obligation, moral or otherwise, to evacuate foreign nationals,” a young Sen. Joe Biden said in 1975. https://t.co/arPpgipY8q
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) August 20, 2021
“I do not believe the United States has an obligation, moral or otherwise, to evacuate foreign nationals,” Biden repeated his position in remarks a week later. “The United States has no obligation to evacuate one, or 100,001, South Vietnamese.”
Biden doubled down on that position in 2012 when he spoke at the funeral for the late Democratic South Dakota Sen. George McGovern in 2012.
.@AnnieLinskey : “2 weeks before Saigon fell in April 1975, Joe Biden was among senators summoned to WH for top-secret briefing on crisis Vietnam” https://t.co/zTgPo7Y1aD
Biden told that story 10/25/2012 McGovern funeral:
“5 weeks later helicopters taking off roof…I was right” pic.twitter.com/RIA0IK5jnJ
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) August 16, 2021
“It was decided we were not going to sustain our presence,” Biden said. “And about five weeks later, helicopters taking off the roof. I mean, it’s not because of me. That was the plan. … I remember walking out of there thinking, ‘I was right.’”