The former vice president was confronted by left-wing members of his party about his record on climate issues during the event.
Rebecca Beaulieu, 24, of the group of 350 New Hampshire Action, asked Biden, 76, about a fundraiser he attended at the home of Andrew Goldman, who helped found a natural gas company.
‘So my question is, how can we trust that you’re going to act on climate on the climate crisis if you’re still attending fundraisers that fossil fuel executives are attending?,’ she asked him as two protesters stood behind her holding a sign that read ‘2050 Too Late.’
Joe Biden took the hand of a young female protester to promise her he would end the use of fossil fuels
Rebecca Beaulieu, 24, asked Biden, 76, about a fundraiser he attended at the home of Andrew Goldman, who helped found a natural gas company
Biden has said fossil fuel use can be ended by 2050.
The former vice president defended his record and then walked over to Beaulieu to take her hand.
‘Kiddo,’ he said to her, ‘I want you to just take a look, I want you to look into my eyes. I guarantee you, I guarantee you, we are going to end fossil fuel and I am not going to cooperate with them. Before 2050 God willing. No it can’t be done by 2030. No, not one single person is arguing it can be done by that. But it can be done by 2050. Maybe 2045? And is the science increases, we may be able to move more quickly. But we have to we can fundamentally change things in the next 10 years, though, so that we set a path? I promise you, I promise you. Okay.’
Beaulieu told reporters afterward she was surprised by Biden’s holding her hand.
‘I just wasn’t expecting that,’ she said.
‘But I hope that he takes the climate crisis as seriously as he tried to make it seem and that if he’s going to keep moving forward with his plans, he needs to reevaluate because 2050 is too late,’ she added.
She also said she found it patronizing that he called her ‘kiddo.’
‘Just a little patronizing, because I want to be an adult at the table when it comes to conversations about climate, and what we’re going to do about it, and I don’t want to be like someone who’s sitting on the sidelines waiting for other people to act. I’m also like actively doing something to try to combat this climate crisis as it stands. Being called a kid is a little patronizing when I’m trying to do so much work,’ she said.
Beaulieu said she’s worked for 350 New Hampshire Act – a progressive group that promotes the use of clean and renewable energy sources and to phase out polluting and non-renewable energy source – for six months but has been involved with climate issues since high school.
Biden has come under attack for his attendance at a fundraiser on Thursday night for his campaign at the Manhattan home of Goldman, one of the founders of the Texas-based natural gas company LNG Western.
Tensions have been felt throughout the campaign between Biden, a more moderate Democrat who leads in the polls for the presidential nomination, and the left wing of the party, which was energized by Trump’s election.
Biden has faced pressure from the left to move toward their side of the spectrum on issues like climate change.
The former vice president on Friday reiterated his pledge not to take contributions from fossil fuel companies, a promise that nearly every candidate in the Democratic field has made.
‘We all signed a pledge saying we would not accept any funding any funding or from any executive or anyone involved in the management of any energy company. No one is involved the managing the energy company,’ he said of the his attendance at the fundraiser.
‘He founded a fossil fuel company,’ one of the protesters yelled of Goldman.
The climate protesters were from the group 350 New Hampshire Action
Another protester was spotted at Biden’s rally
‘He did found a fossil fuel company. He does not run it all. And by the way, if you have a 401k, do you have any investment in an oil company? Does that disqualify you to be engaged?,’ Biden responded.
‘I have never taken money from the industry,’ he added.
Biden’s campaign argues Goldman is not a fossil fuel executive.
Senior Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders wrote on Twitter on Wednesday ahead of the fundraiser: ‘Andrew Goldman isn’t a fossil fuel executive. He’s not involved in the day to day operation. He’s not on the board of the company, nor the board of the portfolio company.’