Authored by: Matt Palumbo
In what’s the millionth case of “whataboutism” in our modern political discourse, a viral video from the left-wing publication “Now This” claims that any right-wing concern over Sarah Huckabee Sanders being refused service at a restaurant is hypocritical. After all, according to the video, a Republican did the same thing in 2012 and refused Joe Biden service.
And the supposed result? Praise from the Right.
While there is some truth behind the NowThis narrative, this is a classic case where our liberal friends can’t tell the difference between and apple and an orange.
So what happened?
To give a brief summary: Joe Biden was campaigning in Virginia for Obama’s re-election in 2012. Biden had suggested a cookie shop called “Crumb and Get It” as a location for a campaign stop, but the owner, a man named Chris McMurray, politely refused, citing political differences. Specifically, McMurray cited disagrement with Obama’s then-recent “you didn’t build that” remark.
So how is this different from what happened to Sarah Huckabee Sanders?
Joe Biden Was Not Specifically Refused Service
In fact, Biden was not refused service at all. McMurray never even caught sight of Biden, because Biden never entered his store.
In reality, a female Biden staffer entered to store to get permission to stop there to host a campaign event. The staffer informed McMurray that Biden’s entire campaign staff and security detail would be present in the store, and there would be countless reporters. McMurray says that “after much thought, I respectfully declined. The exchange was very kind. It wasn’t at all heated. It was not at all hoarse. Even when she departed, it wasn’t at all ill-mannered. They were very nice. I told her no offense to the vice president, and she received that. We just had a difference of opinion politically.”
And when it came to those who were affiliated with Biden, they were not refused service. A number of members of Biden’s Secret Service detail entered the store to purchase cookies – and one thanked him for standing up for himself and saying no.
That’s a heck of a lot different than what happened to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Not only was she personally asked to leave a restaurant, according to her father Mike Huckabee, “a little known part of this story, is that after Sarah and her husband left and the family relocated to a restaurant across the street, the owner of the Red Hen then organized an effort to go and scream at them from the sidewalk at the other restaurant.”
McMurray politely declined to host a campaign stop – and then served everyone associated with that campaign who wanted something.
While Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused a meal, Biden was refused a location for a campaign stop. Refusing someone a meal and refusing to grant a platform to spread political views you personally disagree with are two completely different things. There is zero evidence to suggest that McMurray would’ve refused service to Biden as a customer (as evidenced by the fact that he served Biden’s security detail).
Now, are the Republicans showcased in the NowThis video celebrating McMurray’s decision but condemning those who refused to serve Sarah Sanders hypocrites? Absolutely. But those at NowThis, and even those Republicans they’re criticizing, have the story wrong.