January 26th, 2010
04:11 PM ET
4 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. JES

    Why not if the Dems would have won they would be yelling at the top of their llungs.

    January 26, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Indy

    Lifelong Democrat:
    You are just too funny trying to pretend you are a Dem. How many times do you have to say "my party" to try and fool people.If you were actually a lifelong democrat you would be a democrat until you are no longer alive, that is what lifelong means.What else could Biden say ? He said what you would expect, and they are going to keep fighting for everyone like they have been doing with no thanks or help from opposition.If they don't fight the Republicans can continue with the lies and anti American, no solution plans they have tried and failed at for decades.I have still not heard one solid position from republicans that would help anyone but big business and big pharma.If you want to have the government run by big corporations the the republicans are your people. If you dont want health care reform then vote republicans. If you believe that lying and no action means you deserve to terrorize the country agasin then vote republican.Its really quite simple if you want big business to rule you the republican party is the way to go.

    January 26, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Dar

    Joe, Joe, Joe, you need to keep your month shut if you feel any of you have a chance 2010/2012.
    Your party is scared and nothing you say is going to change the outcome in the next elections. WE ARE SICK TO DEATH OF YOUR LIES. You have learned well from Odumbo, yup, two peas in a pod.
    The American people know what you both stand for now and we are going to fix it. Enjoy the last of your term because your fired after that. You and Odumbo both can wisper in your ears how good you were, because nobody else is going to.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 26, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Jeff from Chicago

    I never knew what an idiot Biden was until he got in the national spotlight. Him and obama make a good pair, "Dumb and Dumber"

    January 26, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I have to agree with the VP on this one. The expectation that they would be able to do anything with a 60 vote majority was never realistic, never. I think he nailed it.

    January 26, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. JohnP

    Biden's an idiot, in 2012 he can finally go away for good. Along with many other democRATS.

    January 26, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Reggie

    Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Reid are to BLAME for the loss!!! They have ruined the election chances for most dems. If a dem can win in Mass, where can they win...

    January 26, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. Minnesotaconservativedem

    Having run for office and won 6 times. No candidate ever takes a vacation six weeks before an election. Mass voters couldn't care less about National Health Care – they already have it!! Hold the Dems in Congress feet to the fire to do what they were elected as Dems to do!!

    January 26, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Fitz

    Yeah yeah yeah people, all that is wrong with America is because of Democrats. Republicans, BUSH (8) years had nothing to do with selling us down the river. Reagan/Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy had nothing to do with it. Sure continue blaming Obama/Pelosi/Reid. Scott brown won, big deal. All Democrats need to do is like someone said, get rid of the DINO's. Big business rules

    January 26, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. MadDogDad

    I have to agree with the VP on this one. The expectation that they would be able to everything they wanted with a 60 vote majority was never realistic, never.
    My hope is that at some point in the next three years the dems will stop blaming the republicans, stop fighting among themselves, and get something done. That would be a change I could believe in!

    January 26, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. I don't think so

    He might have but his son sure didn't! The fact Beau Biden dropped out yesterday and chose not to run for his father's seat says it all. Dems are running for the hills.

    January 26, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. billy123

    I agree when you have Senator Libermen and Senator Nelson there was never 60 votes for Health Care Reform. Look at what happen to the Public Option:

    January 26, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Just when I thought Biden couldn't possibly be a bigger buffoon, he goes and proves me wrong.

    January 26, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. La Chatte

    It's over for the Dums, Joe, and because of their inability to get anything whatsoever accomplished, they'll be handing it back to the Repugs. I guess that's what happens when people want change so badly that they refuse to look at the reality of the candidate they vote for. Americans are nothing if not naive. Rah-rah rallies in stadiums, hollow rhetoric, promises of all things to all people, and the lack of a spine doesn't exactly describe an experienced leader, now does it? We've got the equivalent of a teenager whose behavior in office was entirely predictable.

    January 26, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Robert Moore

    The only message from the Massachusetts senate election is that long term memory loss is pandemic among Massachusetts voters.

    January 26, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. stevegee

    November 3, 2010
    Vice President downplays Nationwide losses

    From CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
    Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden told Democratic insiders Wednesday that the loss of control in both Houses of Congress stung but was not a fatal political blow...

    Déjà joe

    January 26, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. margy

    It is time to stop the life long chair that this democrats they think their own in the S. Ted k was not a king! America if we don't like the work of Obama and their people who are not doing well, Let's get them out! Obama can not fool us any longer! He is Incompetent!.

    January 26, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. Jane/Seattle

    Aside from what I personally think of Joseph Biden, he is correct on this one point. The American people need very badly to explore this culture much more DEEPLY. To do so would expose the true causes, collusions, and all things negative about how this Marriage of government and corporate power is working together to support Fascism. Read this book: Naomi Wolf's "The End Of America: A Letter Of Warning To A Young Patriot"!

    The "incremental" change in our laws (that so many say is important)since Ronald Reagan has brought us to these crippling condition we now find ourselves enmeshed in. America's Addiction To War and Capitalist Power/Wealth is the chief Cause in the Results we now must live with or Change. The Supreme "Activist" Court decision to allow unfettered corporate election-raiding is one of the final nails in our collective coffin. Read the book.

    It was absolutely essential that GWB be installed by this court in order to enact the kinds of policy that we now find cemented in place. Naomi Klein's book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism" is an absolutely Must Read for anyone who wishes to fully understand what continues to be enacted upon America. Thom Hartmann's, "Threshold" holds many of the solutions. Peace

    January 26, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. chris l

    I almost forgot we had a vice president. He seems to only crawl out from under his rock on special occasions when Obozo lets him. Then when he opens up his mouth and the vomit comes out, Obozo punishes him by forcing him back under his rock.

    January 26, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. MatthewDetroit

    Biden.... the guy is a moron but a funny monkey..

    January 26, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. MatthewDetroit

    Vice President – said they were shot at in Iraq and that bullets flew over his head......hahahahaha liar.

    January 26, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. greenfish

    Right wing nut jobs are uninformed, offensive and apparently harbor violent tendencies. Such class among the ignorant.

    In any event, Joe the Biden is right. The message from MA is the establishment is at risk, and this includes entrenched republicans such as McCain (now facing a challenge) and Boehner (huge credibility gap...clearly the party of NO).

    Everybody just breathe and get something done.

    January 26, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. mike

    let me see a republican in boston is going to change things what weed
    are you smoking you stupid uneducated have no job person the only
    plan you have is to make me more money buy not doing anything at all
    you see as you sit in front of the TV watching dancing with the stars I am
    making money and your not there is going to be the have and the have not and your house will be the next I will be buying at auction

    January 26, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    There goes those crazy right wingnuts jumping to conclusions again. It might be too early to give the country back to the republican culture of corruption base on the 100,000 vote difference in MA.

    January 26, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. MatthewDetroit

    I love how people make excuses for all of his lying...

    January 26, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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