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. Paul Niemann

    When this guy says your one of the best–Who've got real trouble.

    December 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Glen

    @Vietnam vet please explain how you would excuse Barney Frank, a beloved Dem, whose responsibility is oversight of Freddie Mac and Fanie Mae. He refused to take the warnings of the collapse of these two organisations seriously and continued to praise them They were a root of this collapse. The Dems failed in their function of oversight as they were so busy lining their pockets and demonising Bush. Bush is gone, now it is time to clean out congress. Unfortunately the two biggest failures will survive – Pelosi and Frank which says a lot about the Dems

    December 12, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Steve

    How did the word get out? It was supposed to be a secret. Yes, the mainstream media are part of a giant conspiracy to keep silent any stories that go against The Truth (i.e., the truth as conservatives see it). They would prefer Fox News, which slants news with a conservative slant (i.e., The Truth). But I'm sure they don't rely just on Fox. There are also e-mail messages which people circulate to each other (no actual verification needed). The truth is reality the way I see it.

    December 12, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. agiman

    Dodd is corrupt.
    It is contemptible how he is protected by Obama as though his life depended on it.

    Get Dodd out of Dod(ge).

    December 12, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. UnWelcome Honesty

    Does Joe Biden ever stop saying stupid things that insult and demean the people he's supposed to be championing? LOL He has foot-in-mouth disease badly.

    December 12, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Debby

    Dodd has been lining his pockets for years. He needs to go and so does Barney Frank. The 2 of them have put us in more debt than imaginable.

    December 12, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Vietnam Vet– I am curious to how you state that the Repubs brought 9/11? I believe these plans were well into the works prior to the Bush admin. In fact, I know they were. And before you make a rebut, understand that I have served 21+ years Army w/ 3 wars, multiple conflicts. These were the inactions of an inept Congress and Senate to include prior administration. Make sure you have your facts straight before you make such a ridiculous comment as that. As for Sen Dodd, both Repubs and Dems that continue to conduct themselves in such manner need to be voted out and replaced with honest, hard working Americans. There is no room in this Country for those who continue to line their pockets while the people of this country continue to go unemployed and losing their homes at a record rate.

    December 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. quieteye

    So many here seem to think government spending and "spiraling into debt" is enough to vote Democrats out. Though most economists said spending by government preferably restoring infrastructure, etc. is option of last resort to prevent further collapse. (Oh – free market would have taken care of that – right?)

    - One who lived through depression talked of trading coal for heat with chickens, etc. And that without FDR a lot of people would have died. Yet FDR is despised by most "conservatives" for such government intervention.

    – I remember: Reagan busting budgets as California governor then President, RNC & Cheney advocating massive deficits OK as its only a fraction of GNP, Bush: "Economy is Sound", Gramm (aka Gramm-Leach-Bliey Act of 1999) : "...nation of whiners", McCain: "fundamentals are still strong"

    – And you think voting Republican, who largely sold their soul and seat to Wall Street, will correct our nation's problems? Aside from focused consorted power grabs by diversion, distraction, distortion, and tired talking point rhetoric – Republicans have yet to admit their responsibility and acts co-leading to where we are now. Voting them back in is (enter your term here) when logic is based on tribal affiliation and ideology (demonstrably in key ways failed) and little else of to show of merit.

    – Let the Dems clean up the mess – quit stalling, preventing and disrupting their job which is hard enough. When the job is addressed and given some time (say equivalent to 8 years of last Republican “governance” – if it still stinks THEN clean out both sides with the vote. It’s only a matter of time that autocratic capitalist China is going to steamroll us economically if we keep short circuiting ourselves with these internal, manipulative, ideological and divisive political wars.

    December 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Chris

    To all those Democrats accusing Dodd's detractors of being Republican thugs: as voters let's step away from this divisive partisan bickering and look for genuine leaders wherever they may be found. Personally, I'm sick of politicians when what we need are leaders.

    Personally, I'm Independent but I'll vote for either party depending on the person. Let's wake up America!

    In this particular race Dodd has to go for his corruption. Peter Schiff is one to watch for this race. Schiff predicted, years in advance, this economic recession and almost exactly why it would happen. This is the kind of mind we need to replace Dodd. He's on the Republican ticket? So what?

    December 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. dan

    Florence December 12th, 2009 11:39 am ET

    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.
    -
    I am an evil republican.

    I Think the only good democrat is a dead one. Thats why I finaly like the womanizer, killer, and liar Ted the Dead Kennedy.

    Wouldn't want to join that great democrat would you?

    December 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. OwnOpinion1

    Vietnam Vet– What world were you living in at 9/11? These individuals that carried out 9/11 were well into their planning phase prior to the Bush admin! Make sure you know the facts before posting such a ridiculous comment. As for the financial makets, the Housing market, to include a host of others, all Sen. & House members should be voted out of office. It doesn't matter if they are Repub or Dem. They all had their hand in the cookie jar. To listen to Joe Biden state that Dodd is a leading Senator and fighting for the American people to include Ct. is a joke, All of these reps need to depart their chambers and allow the American people to regain control of this country. These are the same individuals who are tearing the very fabric of which this country was founded upon by our Founding Fathers. We have lost to many of our young brave men and women to allow this to happen to our Country.

    December 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. LOW DOLLAR

    The way to clean up Congress is a national referendum for TERM LIMITS and a LINE ITEM VETO. We, the people, must do it because our Congress won;t.. AND do not compare elections with term limits, because the incumbent has a huge advantage.

    December 12, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. unemployed by Obama

    Hey Biden, why dont you spend some more money and put us farther in debt, You guys are all A HOLES, REpublicans and Democrates alike, spend and spend, 750K for Harkin and Grassley, I will help anyone running agaist these two Iowa wastes to make them both UNEMPLOYED.

    December 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Bev

    Thank you citizens of Connecticut for seeing the light!!!!

    Vote out the fraud/crook Dodd-and make our country proud!!!!

    December 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Slider

    The Chimp is being shown the exit door.

    December 12, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Slider

    @ 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."

    If you actually take the time to review the authorizations for the wars passed under the 107th Congress you would find that the Senate was under Democrat majority status.

    But that would mean you would actually have to, you know, research things, and apply some critical thinking.

    Good luck with that, V V...

    December 12, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. JP

    How quickly people forget that the worst days of this economic nightmare was Republican's doings....Things have done nothing but pick up over the last year. How badly do you think things would have been had McCain won....Luckily, most of you hoping that the Repub's will come back to power in 2010 are just fooling yourselves. GB/Cheney, and Rove are still fresh in most of our memories.

    December 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. joe kiloz

    Could it be because he passes laws that he doesn't observe and gets special .favors and loans from the industry he regulates ? What a DUFUS

    December 12, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. JK Ashburn, VA

    It would be worse for Dodd if he were in prison where he belongs. Having done to him what he has been doing to the American taxpayers for a generation.

    December 12, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Jeff

    If you all truly want change, vote against ALL incumbents. Vote 'em all out.. This attitude of, 'Congress is corrupt buy my guy is OK', has got to go. Once this is done, keep voting against incumbents. Maybe then we can continually replace them before they figure out how to game the system to line their personal pockets.

    December 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. buckwheat

    If he had been kicked out 20 years ago along with Barney Frank there would not have been a mortgage crisis.They could have headed it off many years ago long before Bush.No government can survive but so long with Democrats in it. Charlie Rangle is still kicking high with no apparent problems after the allegations of tax evasion. You wanted change and you got a third world government so live with it. After the health care bill is passed and everyone is guaranteed insurance for life it will be possible for a 16 year old girl to have a couple children out of wedlock and survive the rest of her life on public funds. If a raise is needed have another. The perfect world is where no one works but survives from public assistance.

    December 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Steven Richards

    A year is a long time in politics. There are many things that will happen in 2010 that will have a huge impact on the up-coming elections... passage of health care legislation and unemployment rate among them. The people who we hearing from the most are filled with rage are mostly right wingers and Republicans.

    Clearly, many Americans are very concerned about the status of things, including independents and even Democrats. But, when push comes to shove, most voters are going to find it very hard to vote for hard right wingers, those who got us into our current problems after a disasterous 8 years of power.

    It is going to be critical that Democrats offer possitive solutions and acheivements in order to counteract the hate filled antics of the right. The right offers no serious or substantive solutions other than returning to their old and disasterous policies of tax cutting and dergulation. Their lack of any ideas on any of the important issues facing our country other than doing all they can to defeat any Obama or Democratic proposal will only inspire the ill informed and hate filled people. These the the people who are the back bone of the Republican party or the "tea baggers" who are alienated and respond to the stupidity of people like Sarah Palin. I doubht at the end of the day that they represent the majority of Ameircans

    Yes, Dodd is in trouble now. When election time comes in 11 months things are very likely to be different.

    Steven R

    December 12, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. buckwheat

    I would like to see every politician in Washington thrown out and have four year limit with no benefits except what our taxpayer citizens get.Let the crooks live on social security and medicare as we do and no one will grumble.If this health care plan is passed put them on it. There is not a politician there that has stayed out of jail for 12 years that isn't a millionaire.

    December 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Dodd is just the first of many, come 2010. At least if the Dems keep voting to waste trillions of dollars when most Americans think this biggest problem facing the country is the deficit. And if they keeping trying to impose their health care scam on a country where more than half of us don't want it. And if they try to inflict their imbecilic cap-and-tax rip-off on us.

    Any of the above will start putting Democrat Congressman on the unemployment line–all of them will hand Congress back to the neo-cons. The one good thing about that is at least the neo-cons will promptly rescind all the money-wasting.

    December 12, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Joe M

    Obama. Dodd, Reid, Barney Frank and Pelosie all belong in orange jump suits and in prison. They are common thives..

    December 12, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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