December 12th, 2009
12:52 PM ET
3 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. Aaron-Chicago

    I'm a liberal dem but Dodd needs to go. He completely screwed up with the bailout legislation and letting the AIG guy give the company bonuses. It's time to let someone new and fresh take over. He'd be smart to announce his retirement and avoid going down in flames.

    December 12, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. wayne

    Way to go Biden help all you can,every time you talk his poll numbers go down!!

    December 12, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Mike in Montana

    I somewhat disagree with Vice President Joe Biden. The senator now, that is getting the 'hell' beat out of him is our own Senator Max Baucus. Senator Max Baucus is getting beat up on many fronts with the new health care reform legislation bill, (with or without the 'public option') and the greedy corporate health care and pharmaceutical companies giving money to Senator Max Baucus and a member of his staff having strong associations or ties' with them. Then throw in his messy divorce and another young lady Melodee Hanes who is affiliated and working in Senator Max Baucus' office and now living with him. He also gave her a $14,000 raise and tried for a important appointment (job) for her in his own state of Montana. The one that is getting the 'hell' beat out of him is 'not' Senator Chris Dodd.., it is Senator Max Baucus and his home state constituents of Montana, who are calling this "Baucus-gate".. Mike in Montana

    December 12, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. frank

    South Carolina, Florida and all the other southern states get the most of the federal tax dollars, while Northern and West Coast states get less than they give. I wish al these southerns would keep quite, or give back the money the feds give you (because your state's incompetence.

    December 12, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Fitz in Texas

    You know "Average Joe" there are times in life when people get what they deserve and for someone as crooked as Dodd he's getting off pretty easy.

    "but conceded his good friend"......you're know for the company you keep. Nuff said.

    December 12, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Bluto Blutarski

    Chris Dodd is the Senator that represents the interests of the Wall Street Banks, Investment Houses, Insurance Companies. He may be (in name) the Senator from Connecticut but in reality he represents the interests of the F.I.R.E sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate). The problem is that if he loses the election, he will be replaced by a Republican who is ALSO in the pocket of Wall Street. As far as the Wall Street fat cats are concerned the political system in the U.S. is such that if the result of the coin toss is Heads, Wall Street wins, and if the result is Tails...Wall Street wins too.

    Term limits will not do anything to change the fundamentals of the U.S. political system

    December 12, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Dale

    Don't worry, senators like Dodd will still receive their high payed government pension when voted out of office so don't feel sorry for any of them if they loose their jobs next year.

    December 12, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Scott, Tucson

    Don't worry Joe, you and your boss would be facing the same hell come 2012.

    December 12, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. roughing up people who dare oppose the health care

    ok Tim, I'll ask, show us some evidence, don't just accuse, post a link on this blog or refer to another publication

    I would like to see more than just right wing accusations

    December 12, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Mike

    What do Republicans offer next year?? NOTHING....No platform whatsoever, except saying NO to the Democrats ideas...This is not going to get Republicans elected nor should they be. The GOP is a disgrace after leaving this country bankrupt from 2 wars and a financial collapse last year! Thank you George (dufus) Bush!!!

    December 12, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Bud

    Chris has worked hard for the people of Connecticut over the years. It would be hard to find a more dedicated Senator. Republicans are desperate to win seats. I hope people will remember that it was the Republicans who caused our current economic mess. And it makes NO sense to put them back in charge. I will be voting for Chris Dodd.

    December 12, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Ex-Democrat

    It's called a "self-inflicted" injury. The top 3 beneficiaries of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were Dodd, Franks, and Obama (Moe, Larry, and Curly). It was them that blocked strict regulations Bush tried to enact; remember the Democrats that controlled Congress since 2006. He'll at least have a low rate mortgage that his friend at Countrywide got him. Did anyone forget about his AIG bonus amendment to the TARP Bill?

    December 12, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. i love democracy

    like she said it either bad or worse and the repubs are worse w/ all the big business lobbying and all that hoopla id rather have obama and his "socialism" than republicans and there cronisms and elitest ways but some of your comments show that many of you have no moral standards when helping the poor get on there feet is a problem and feeling all blacks ares still thugs and welfare queens GET A F"N LIFE and help the world because teaching is the best way to cure ignorance

    December 12, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. KB

    I can definitely understand all the anti-D sentiment here, especially when expressed by people frustrated with a broken political process that is currently lead by Democrats. What I don't get is how those same people see Republicans as their saviors, when Republicans have controlled the executive and legislature of this country for more than 60% of the past 30 years. I don't have a problem with a strong central government, as long as it's good government. And I believe that good government as an attainable goal, but not as long as politicians (Rs and Ds alike) are more beholden to the moneyed interests that paid for their campaigns than to the people that elected them.

    Further, since many of the "hot-button" issues are red herrings that actually affect tiny percentages of our population, we have an electorate that would gladly vote in a candidate who's clearly in bed with the financial industry that got us in to this mess as long as they pledge to overturn Roe v. Wade (or "protect marriage," whatever that means). I'm sick of it all, voters and politicians alike. Any word on when that colony on the moon will be livable?

    December 12, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Allie F.

    Chris Dodd is an embarrassment and a totally corrupt politician. He, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuckie Schumer are putting thier personal gain and self dealing above the wishes and desires of the voters. These hubris, delusional individuals have long forgotten they serve at the pleasure of the voters!!!!

    These idiots are spending us into total bankruptcy; one that will last for generations! Ernstwhile, they are giving themselves raises, continued to pack the pork in every bill, and demonstrate a total lack of fiscal responsibility. It appears it is about "their" entitlements! The egregious healthcare bill and cap & trade will impose enormous financial strain on every American. Now, they want to raise the deficit by almost $2 trillion!!! Who is paying for all of this.

    RE-ELECT NO ONE. TIME FOR TERM LIMITS. TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE IN WASHINGTON, DC!!!

    December 12, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Patti

    wbn – by more "common" people do you mean more uneducated people? Because if you were educated you would already know that the Bush administration is the one that put us into debt – not Obama! good grief – he has not been in office one year yet. All this socialism bs propaganda by the radical rights – do you even know what socialism is? I think maybe its when the insurance companies reap in premium profits on the healthy and dump the sick on society – or its when Halliburton and Blackwater get rich and dump the rest of the bill on the taxpayer – when greedy airline execs file bankruptcy,dump their pension plans and slash employee pay then reward themselves the next year with millions of dollars in bonus money. funny how its a kind of socialism we have had the last 8 years that only dumps on the middle class and not the rich. Now that we have someoone who wants to help the middle class you are screaming socialism. go read a book.

    December 12, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Ron G.

    Whether Republican or Democrat we need to throw out Dodd and all other politicians that are bought and paid for by special interest groups. It's time for the people to speak!!!

    December 12, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. MikefromWV

    Why don't we vote out "all" politicians who have sold their votes to all the special interests, instead of voting what is right for the "whole" country. Why is this so hard for Americans to understand? Both parties are wrong in many areas.
    Those of us who seem to take satisfaction from name-calling and throwing baseless insults should be ashamed of themselves. Both parties have screwed all of us into the ground.
    Who is wrong?? Those who cater to the health industry; those who sell their votes to those in the banking/finance industries; those who grease the wheels for trial lawyers, etc.
    We have allowed all of this for decades. Wake up America!! It is we the people who are at fault for everything that is going badly in this country.

    December 12, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Vietnam Vet– What are you thinking? Republicans brought 9/11, are you high? And yes before you ridicule, I have served 21+ years with 3 wars and 3 major conflicts. 9/11 was in the planning well before the Bush administration. Pull your head out of the clouds.... As for Sen. Dodd, all Dems and Repubs who have been bilking the American people for $$ Billions each year need to disappear in 2010 & 2012. They are tearing the very fabric of this country apart not to mention the Constitution. In case you Dems have not read, the Senate just passed the test vote for an additional 1.1Trillion ( yes, that is Trillion), not to mention the almost 2.3 Trillion they will need to fund Health Care if it passes. I hope you all have deep pockets, and if you do don't worry when the tax cuts expire in 2010, you will be empty.

    December 12, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Gerard

    Are people really complaining about $4 mil for a firestation when we had +$100 mil each for the bridge to nowhere and the airport to nowhere in Alaska?

    December 12, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. taking one for the country

    Dodd is a true patriot, working for the American people, it is a shame you do nothings smear his name anonymously and live off the public taxes

    Republicans, go find a job and amount to something

    December 12, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Elmer

    Gifted ...in DC – speak is able to raise reelection funds from Wall Street bandits (and more than everyone else from AIG) and with a straight face convince the public that it has no effect on his behavior!!! Bull and the public now knows it

    December 12, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Max

    Dodd had his days but now it's time to go. He is the perfect reason for term limits. For the good of the party he should step aside and hope another Dem can keep the seat. I will not vote for him ever again.

    As previously stated polls show the Dems are in trouble in 2010. They were elected to stop the wars and fix the economy. But that is not what they are doing. Bailouts and Troop build up???

    Now this health insurance reform has put the nail in the Dems coffin. And I thought Republicans were morons.

    I am a registered independent.

    December 12, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. Ceelie

    People seem to quickly forget who exactly put us why we are today.......Republicans fooled many for the past eight years. Let's not forget what they did to America.

    December 12, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Joe Hanson

    Dodd is a victim. Poor baby...

    December 12, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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