December 12th, 2009
12:52 PM ET
6 months ago

Biden: Dodd is 'getting the living hell beat out of him'

Biden: Dodd is 'getting the living hell beat out of him'.
Biden: Dodd is 'getting the living hell beat out of him'.

Washington (CNN) – Joe Biden praised Sen. Chris Dodd Friday, but conceded his good friend - one of the Senate's most vulnerable Democrats - is "getting the living hell beat of him."

The vice president made his comments at a fundraiser for Dodd Friday in Hartford, Connecticut. Dodd had been scheduled to accompany Biden at the fundraiser and at event earlier in the day to announce nearly $4 million in federal stimulus funding to replace an aging fire station in East Hartford, but stayed in the nation's capital to work on health care reform legislation and other Senate business.

The five-term senator, who's up for re-election next year and fighting for his political life, was replaced by wife Jackie Clegg Dodd.

The vice president heaped compliments on his fellow Democrat, calling him "the single most gifted legislator in Congress, now that Teddy Kennedy's gone."


Biden spoke of Dodd's dual roles for much of this year leading both the Senate Banking and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees at a time when financial reform and health care reform are among the most pressing matters facing Congress.

"Chris Dodd is the first United States senator that has simultaneously chaired two major committees in a moment of genuine national crisis," Biden said. "And had he got either of those jobs wrong, the consequences for America would be dire....

"Chris is getting the living hell beat out of him, the living bejesus beat out of him," said Biden. "Why? Because he's being a leader. This is going to be a hell of a race and it's an uphill race, but Chris Dodd will prevail."

In a sign of Dodd's sinking political fortunes, the Cook Political Report this week moved his race from "toss up" to "lean Republican."

Dodd saw his approval ratings plunge late last year and early this year, following last year's Wall Street and banking industry financial meltdown, Dodd's involvement in the AIG bonus controversy, and questions about mortgages he obtained from a VIP program.

Dodd's poll numbers inched up during the spring and summer after bottoming out earlier this year. But his approval rating slipped back again in a Quinnipiac University survey released last month. The poll also indicated that by 53 percent to 39 percent, Connecticut voters don't think Dodd deserves to be re-elected next year. According to the survey, Dodd is trailing his two potential Republican challengers in hypothetical 2010 general election matchups.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Chris Dodd • Joe Biden
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Jellybean

    Bye Bye Dodd.

    December 12, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Jamey Columbus

    Get rid of all thugs in office, republican or democrat. Dodd failed bigtime with oversight of fannie mae and freddie mac, this isnt partisan its failure.

    December 12, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. docmartin

    Not surprising that Biden would say something so incredibly stupid like that about Dodd. Dodd was one of the main people responsible for letting the banking financial "meltdown" happen in the first place. Republican thugs have nothing to do with his poor poll ratings- IN HIS OWN LIBERAL state!

    December 12, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Dennis

    Dodd deserves it. He is as much to blame for the financial collapse as anyone. It is time he was thrown out of the Senate.

    December 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Scott Skinner

    .. hey, Joe, ya think there's a reason he's gettin the hell beat out of him?? maybe it's cause he's doing things that his constituents aren't paying him to do! i.e. socialist medicine, ignoring the need for jobs, being Obama, Reid and Pelosi's puppet? Biden, the only reason you're VP is that Obama couldn't handle Hillary working so closely to him. You're next to get the boot.

    December 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Florence

    When the choice is between the bad and the worse, we have to go with the bad; that’s why even a bad Democrat is always better than any Republican, since most Republicans are evil.

    December 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. ken chicago

    Well, the economy is in shambles. The Democrats are going to put the nation further in debt. They are going to make every American suffer with high health care taxes and unbearable energy taxes. Middle class families will be freezing next winter! Farms will be shut down and food will be scarce. Obama and the Democrats have crafted a plan to kill the nation. Dodd is one of their buddies. We need to get rid of at least 100 Democrats to save the the country. But next year maybe too late!

    December 12, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. wbn

    It is sad but true that liberal members of the Senate and House of Reps will take the blows for Obama's takeover of banking, business, health, and industry. People are getting sick of this turn deep into socialism–which both leaves people worse off and the government spiraling into debt. However, Obama will get his after four years. The liberal media have selected, elected, protected Obama, but more common people are seeing the truth and not liking it.

    December 12, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. Vietnam vet

    The Republicans brought us September 11, 2001, two wars, the colapse of the financial markets, the colapse of the housing market and they want to get elected. On way.

    December 12, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Carl, Seneca, SC

    Please explain to me why the US taxpayer has to buy the city of Hartford a new firehouse.......WHY!!

    December 12, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. jim

    If you don't live in CT then you don't know Dodd has gone from a "good" senator to be shown as a corrupt or an incompetent senator. The head of the banking sub-committee didn't know he was getting a "sweetheart deal" for his mortgage is either corrupt or incompetent. He really didn't know his interest rate was better than market rates? Then he stonewalls the local paper saying he didn't need to answer to them or the people of CT. Really? We elected him and WE PAY his salary. He most definitely must answer to us....but I guess when you are five term senator you are above your constituents....then again maybe not.

    For all you hippie liberals and radical rights i am and INDEPENDENT I VOTE BOTH ways. So throw your conspiracy theories out the window about this comment.

    December 12, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. GW

    They used to shoot traitors in the past. Anytime an elected offical like Dodd puts their political agenda above their duty to serve the people, they are traitors to the voters that elected them.

    December 12, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. Spike

    Why are Federal dollars being spent on a local firestation? That is what local taxes are for. I don't ask people from ohter states to build a local firestation in Florida. Vote all the idiots out. Get the Federal government out of our lives.

    December 12, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Tim

    Republican thugs?

    That's why we have SEIU members (you know, the organization that drafted the health care bill) physically roughing up people who dare oppose the health care bill. Oh, you didn't hear about that? Probably because the mainstream media (yes, you too, CNN) deliberately shelved the stories coming from all over the country.

    Ceelie, you appear to only see what you want to see. Sad...

    December 12, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. KO

    Lead with great reforms, are you out of yur mind? You are in denial about what these people are. Controlers bro, communist, we know better then you, GOD hating, greed mongers. But the worst of them namely Obama want your rights, and a more streamlined way to your back. You work we play you do what we say all day every day cause you don't have the mental where with all to take care of your self. Go back to mars America haters.

    December 12, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Margi in Ky

    Chris Dodd along with Barney Frank pushed and pushed for lighter and lighter mortgage regulations. If you are in foreclosure send them the keys. Had it not been for the pressure to fund shakey loans we would not be in the mess we are in today. Of all the bonehead mistakes made over the last 9 years these two lead the pack of the biggest and coastly mistakes made in Washington

    I underwrote mortgage loans for 12 years prior to auditing sub-prime mortgages. To say that all the auditors were appalled would be such an understatement. We keep hearing Dodd and Frank had ramed these guidelines. Of course the banks and feds fell right in line and Chris Dodd got his "special" mortgage, that you and I did not get.

    So should he be re-elected – NO and not just NO but HELL NO.

    December 12, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. dave d

    I remember Dodd saying clearly on camera that he had "NO KNOWLEDGE" of how certain verbage that allowed enormous bonuses to executives of bailed out banks got into a bill, and passed the blame to others,..(I think it was the treasury dept.), then it turns out Dodd DID put it in there. Then when he could no longer deny the proof he did it, he again try to shift the blame saying someone else ASKED him to put it in.

    Obviousl, it was of course very bad for taxpayers and very good for his Bank and Wall St friends and contributors.

    It shows real strength they way they all take turns "taking 1 for the team" when it comes to ripping us off, so I'm sure they will pull all the strings possible to get this loyal thief and liar re elected.

    Oh, and he others didn't know they were getting sweetheart mortgage loans from Countrywide (one of the major players in the mortgage crisis).

    They will pass a 700 billion $ bailout plan to help their friends without ever reading the bill that is filled with big loopholes, and little safe gards for repayment...but when it comes to passing any bill that might help taxpayers, they want to read it, chage it, and debate it until it goes away.

    Polygraphs for all , and average taxpayers get to make up the questions. Liars will go to jail and have to forfeit all their bribe money, including the freezer money

    December 12, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. i care

    Lead with great reforms, are you out of yur mind? You are in denial about what these people are. Controlers bro, communist, we know better then you, GOD hating, greed mongers. But the worst of them namely Obama want your rights, and a more streamlined way to your back. You work we play you do what we say all day every day cause you don't have the mental where with all to take care of your self. Go back to mars America haters.

    December 12, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Jeremiah

    Dick Cheney was evil, And Biden is just dumb and worthless. Dodd fits into the same category.

    December 12, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. paul oregon

    dodd caused his own problems by lying about pay bonues.
    sen .tom harkin has just commented the same gaff. LYING allowing
    insurance co. to put caps on annual benefits. then stating he didnt know how this loop hole got into this watered down health care bill. i would not want to be any dem. that is up for re-election in nov.2010. i never expected my own party to throw me under the bus. one thing i do have is a very long memory.

    December 12, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Philip Castengera

    We should not feel any sympathy for Senator Dodd. As a five term Senator he has overstayed his welcome by four terms. He has never been held accountable for his contribution to the financial mess last year and it should be no surprise that his own constituents don't want him back in office.

    December 12, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Dodd's wife has a powerful resume that would make Palin look more like the idiot she is and worst yet the Republicans support her. John McCain went as low as one could go when he picked Palin and due to her lack of professionalism she talks about him like he's the idiot.

    December 12, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. tom

    The reason Dodd is doing so bad is that his constituency doesn't want him there any more. Plain and simple. No secrets here. So please take the millions that he is going to waste and spend it on helping people out of work. Dodd will no doubt get some kind of ambassadorship. Either way he will still be on the public dole.

    December 12, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. lou

    DUMP ALL OF THEM IN 2010. America needs a break and this crop is far from the best we can do as a Nation. The last thing we need is one life long politician telling us how to think about another life long politician. Dumping all of them over the next few years WILL bring about the CHANGE NObama was supposed to have. YOU CANNOT BRING CHANGE WITHOUT CHANGING THE political players.

    December 12, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Helen

    I hope Dodd's home state throws that crook out of congress. As head of the senate banking committee, Dodd is directly responsible for the financial mess this country is in right now. And it was not stupidity. No, it was avarice and abuse of power.

    December 12, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
1 2 3 4 5