January 26th, 2010
04:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Vice President downplays Massachusetts loss

 'The reports of our demise are premature,' Vice President Biden told Democratic insiders Tuesday.
'The reports of our demise are premature,' Vice President Biden told Democratic insiders Tuesday.

Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden told Democratic insiders Tuesday that the loss of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat last week stung but was not a fatal political blow. Biden also downplayed the notion that President Obama ever had a reliable 60 vote super majority in the Senate.

"The reports of our demise are premature," Biden said at a Democratic National Committee meeting, according to the pool report. "It's time everybody take a deep breath. Take a deep breath. Let's put this in perspective. Yeah, we took a hit and the frustration was aggravated by the fact that Teddy's seat was lost.

"That makes it sound more profound than it is. Yes it's had a practical impact, but I'm not so sure what a blessing 60 votes was. When we had 60 votes there was the expectation left, right, and center that we could do everything we wanted to do, which was never realistic. Never."

Biden's appearance before the DNC's National Finance Committee/National Advisory Board meeting in Washington came one day after his son, Beau, announced he would not seek his father's former Senate seat. The elder Biden held that seat from 1973 until he resigned to be vice president.

Biden also sought to shift some of the responsibility of governing to Republicans, who now have 41 votes in the Senate – enough to launch a filibuster – thanks to Scott Brown's upset win in Massachusetts.

"[T]hey are going to have to be accountable as well," Biden said.

And despite the recent spate of bad news for Democrats ranging from Brown's victory, the uncertainty of health care reform, Beau Biden's decision to forgo a Senate run, and retirements in the House, Biden vowed that the Obama administration will continue to push forward with its agenda.

"We're not backing off a single thing we believe in," Biden said.


Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Enough

    Well you couldn't expect him to be honest, now could you? The Democrats loss is a great thing for America. Obama, Pelosi and Reid needed to be stopped from sinking this country futher into debt. We gave the Democrats a shot to do it their way..........what a HUGE mistake that was.

    January 26, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Kevin in Ohio

    Can you spell D-E-N-I-A-L, Joe??????? The people sent a loud and clear message..... and you and Obama are deaf.

    January 26, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. gt

    he must be in denial.....

    January 26, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Mike Syracuse, NY

    I can understand this position. With Brown's election Obama became a lame duck President. Lame ducks typically accomplish nothing. Since Obama already has accomplished nothing, being a lame duck doesn't matter.

    January 26, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. revolution

    Do you mean Biden even knew there was an election???

    January 26, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Shameful

    People PLEASE! Once again the Republicans are using scare tactics to get their way. They know nothing else but fear and that's why we are kept constantly in war when they are in control. They want us to live in fear, to weaken us, DO NOT fall for that trick.

    Regardless of who the POTUS is, it would take him/her, years to fix the mess the Repubs put the world in. Obama and Company are doing the right things. Compare Bush's last 4 years to Obama 1st year and you'll see the difference.

    No minority should vote Republican!

    January 26, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Buck Wheat

    Sr, you are a FOOL!

    January 26, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. File under "Sarcasm"

    You tell em, Joe! You don't have a Senate or House seat to lose as Vice President like a lot of your colleagues who are looking over their shoulder at Independents and Republicans gaining on them rapidly.

    January 26, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. lou

    Joe,thank god it is you who is vice president and not that fox newscaster ,quitter. I see John Mac may not even win his seat back let alone have steered us through this horrible time. Thank you for saving America, Mr president. Though we are not there yet,I have not forgotten how bad it was 1 year ago.

    January 26, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. lifelong democrat

    Biden cannot downplay it enough than Obama can. My party finally acknownledged anger of the American people. This November election has nothing to do with party affiliation, but MORE to do with survival of United States of America. The American people will take their country back and there's NOTHING my party can do about it but just watch some seats in both houses vacated by party members.

    There's no cajoling, feel good speech can put humpty dumpty together again. I've never seen people of this country so angry, I mean so angry they can't talk about it anymore, they're gritting their teeth. Americans will not let my party get away with it, they'll punish my party SEVERELY, they've awakened the sleeping giant.

    January 26, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Larry

    When are these morons going to get the message that they were elected to represent us, not play juvenile political games with each other for their own gain.

    We have the vote, and voters are mad!

    January 26, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Well, he's welcome to downplay anything he wants.....but come November, he won't be brushing it off all that easy.

    January 26, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Hugo

    Prediction:
    Obama will blast big business, Wall Street bankers, blame Bush for our economic situation, declare Stimulus a success and drive the market to all time record lows. The tail is wagging the dog and it is far past time to rid ourselves of these elitist politicians, vote out nepotism, cronyism and the established rank and file that have done nothing for our country other than serve their Corporate and special interest masters. It is now time to put common sense folks back into Government where it has been quite lacking for some time now.

    RAT KILLING TIME 2010 AND 2012!

    January 26, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    If this guy looked like limbaugh he would have never won. That nude photo probably brought out all the closet conservatives, mainly the oppressed women, to vote.
    This is NOT about the President. Coakley ran a very bad campaign.

    January 26, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Danny J

    The second most powerful man in the United States, and he ignores the American people altogether. Say it ain't so, Joe!

    January 26, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Mark

    Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!! Or is it LOL!!!!! I do not think this is the time for spin, especially one that is "IMPOSSIBLE" to swallow. Take the message loud and clear buddy or November is going to be the day from hell for Democrats.

    January 26, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. all the news that's fit to omit

    Biden you moron, just like the rest of you nitwits JUST DON'T GET IT, it was NOT "Teddy's seat".

    My hope is that you fools keep ignoring Ma, Nj and Va and keep trying to shove stuff that we don't want down our throats as November "be a comin soon'".

    The president is going to "pivot his message" was said by his own people and guess what sheep, he is "pivoting" based on nothing but polling numbers.

    Some style with a lack of substance is on it's way and thankfully, MOST of us "aint" buying what the liar is selling.

    January 26, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. mikl

    His record is perfect–He is wrong again. I want to talk to him in 2010 and 2012.

    January 26, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Joe...YOU take a deep breath.......

    you're going to need it in November.........

    January 26, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Doraine Gordon

    Joe is absolutely right. We had a super majority of 60 but we didn't have 60 votes. Too many blue dog Republicans in the Senate disguised as Democrats. I guess they sure fooled the people into thinking they were Democrats when they never were. You don't know who to trust these days. Just like Brown in Mass. He has people thinking he is an Independent when he is just as big a Republican as you can poissibly get. It is no wonder we can't get anything done. Too many Liars in Washingto nowadays.

    January 26, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    Actually, not only could the Democrats do whatever they wanted to do, they did. They passed some of the hugest partisan spending bills ever to come out of Washington, all in their first year. This is why Teddy's seat was lost. Their huge bills have so far been dismal failures. They were getting ready to pass an extremely ugly, expensive, ineffective health care bill that Americans did not want. Thank you again, Massachusetts voters!

    January 26, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    In a sense he is correct, it was not a fatal blow. it was however, a wakeup call. One that he still doesn't get. I wonder what the excuses for Nov 2010 might be? All this proves is they are out of touch and they still deny it!

    January 26, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. David

    So it wasn't a blow to the Democratic Party, to lose what has been a Democratic Party seat for 30+ years? Really?

    Uhm. Okay.

    *wonders what is in his kool-aid*

    I am neither Repbulican nor Democrat, and I was shocked that a Republican won that seat.

    Perhaps I am the one out of touch with reality in government.

    Dang. Hadn't considered that before.

    January 26, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Rush was not quite right. Obama AND Biden FAIL!

    January 26, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. all the news that's fit to omit

    Marie MD, I took great pride in voting for Scott Brown and as a fellow veteran who volunteered and served to give "people like you" the ability to voice your opinion, your welcome "honey".

    IGo buy some cheese "honey" it goes well with whine.

    Olbermann says "repeat after me, it is not about the president, it is not about the president".

    Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh actually it is.

    January 26, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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