Toward the end of the conversation, Biden raised Johnson’s remark to dismiss it, saying Johnson would soon learn more about Vilsack’s record. It also wouldn’t be prudent to have that fight before the Georgia runoffs, he said, before adding that police reform should also be avoided. “I also don’t think we should get too far ahead ourselves on dealing with police reform in that, because they’ve already labeled us as being ‘defund the police,’ anything we put forward in terms of the organizational structure to change policing — which I promise you, will occur. Promise you,” Biden said.

“That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police. We’re not. We’re talking about holding them accountable. We’re talking about giving them money to do the right things. We’re talking about putting more psychologists and psychiatrists on the telephones when the 911 calls through. We’re talking about spending money to enable them to do their jobs better, not with more force, with less force and more understanding.”