Biden: 'We'll Be Telling People, Don't Build in These Places'

By Susan Jones | September 5, 2019 | 5:22am EDT
Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Iowa State Fair on August 8, 2019, in Des Moines. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

( - Former Vice President Joe Biden, now running for the Democrat presidential nomination, told a CNN town hall Wednesday night that the government will tell people in areas vulnerable to fire and flooding, "don't build in these places."

"The people who are already there are going to be in real trouble," he added, as insurance companies refuse to do business with them.

Biden made the remarks in response to a question from CNN's climate change enthusiast Bill Weir, who told Biden:

"It seems reasonable to assume that at some point insurance companies are going to stop covering places that are vulnerable, even in fire regions...But if that happens, it could tank real estate values and it could gut out property values and the tax base that so many communities depend on.

"So as president, how would you be honest with the American people when it comes to the dangers of this, without feeding into this kind of an economic spiral?"

"Just like I did at home," Biden responded, noting that where he lives is "three feet above sea level."

"Three feet above sea level in the southern part of the state, the whole Delmarva peninsula. And guess what? We know what's going to happen if we don't make significant change. And so we'll be telling people: Don't build in these places here."

Weir asked Biden, "But what about the people that are already there?"

"The people who are already there are going to be in real trouble," Biden said. "They're going to be in real trouble, because you're right. Eventually what's going to happen is, you're going to have insurance companies come along and say, I can't insure that, because the prospect that that is going to be blown away is overwhelming.

"And so we have to, you know, be in a position where when we build back, we don't build back to normal, we build back to what is necessary. And so there's a whole range of things that are going on now in terms of, you know -- anyway, I'm taking too long. Sorry."

Biden, after the first Democrat debate, was criticized for cutting himself off during a discussion on civil rights by saying, "Anyway, my time is up. I'm sorry."

And once again on Wednesday night, he cut himself off when he ran out of things to say.


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