September 9th, 2010
08:31 AM ET
4 years ago

Biden says Bush deserves 'a lot of credit'

(CNN) - While President Obama took a measured tone in referencing his predecessor during the Oval Office address on Iraq last month, Vice President Biden appeared to go considerably further Thursday in his praise of former President Bush.

"I've never known a time when you didn't care about what happened. We disagreed on policy. You deserve a lot of credit, Mr. President," Biden, looking straight into the camera, told Bush during an appearance on The Colbert Report Wednesday night.

"Mr. President, thank you," Biden also said. "You've honored these guys. You've honored these women. You've honored these troops."

The comments surpassed those of Obama, who, in his address announcing the end of combat missions in Iraq, thanked the former president for supporting the troops but refrained from crediting him for his role in conducting the war – specifically his implementation of the surge strategy in 2007 that is widely credited with improving security conditions in the country.

The move riled many Republicans who say the risky strategy - which both Obama and Biden opposed when they were presidential candidates during the early stages of the 2008 race for the White House - was vital to bringing about an end to the conflict.

Biden also tried out a new gig Wednesday night, delivering hot dogs to Iraq War veterans in the show's audience – a move that was played off as a surprise to the mock conservative talk-show host:

"Hey, hot dog guy!" Colbert yelled.

"Hey, man – to you, it's Mr. Vice President hot dog guy!" said Biden, revealing his face. "Read your Constitution, man," Biden continued. "I got two constitutional duties."

"I thought it was just breaking ties in the senate?" Colbert responded.

"No, the other was giving hot dogs to returning warriors," said Biden.


Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Biden is famous for his gaffes. Was he sincere? The rest of us (who don't smoke the dope) know Bush deserves a lot of credit and did not deserve the scorn and disdain heaped upon him by the Obama administration. They seem to always forget that the Democrats have held the majority in Congress since 2006 (When did that recession start?) and the presidency for just about 2 years.

    September 9, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  2. Clwyd

    Yes, Mr. President (bushwhacker) deserves credit for ruining the economy, giving deregulation to Big Business, deregulation of Big Banks, deregulation of Big Oil, deregulation of Wall Street, cuts to the FDA, starting an illegal war in Afghanistan, starting an illegal war in Iraq, a disaster in dealing with Katrina, encouraging huge increases in military spending for our military already out of control, and just being himself which is a negative! Biden, what is wrong with you, this man is a criminal and needs to be brought to trial for his crimes! Why else has he hidden after leaving office! What a disaster for America!

    September 9, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  3. mother and sister of soldiers

    Biden may be a goof but he had the class to admit where the credit should be given. Unfortunately, our president is an embarrassment to this country for his outspoken, devisive language used in a public forum which is not fitting of someone in his position. He needs to dump the chip on his shoulder.

    September 9, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Jesse in Maryland

    Thank you for your refreshing honesty and humility, Mr. Vice President. It's wonderful to actually see someone willing to give credit where credit is due, even if it isn't politically expedient. Maybe you could give some pointers to your boss?

    September 9, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  5. glib lib

    Yes we should give credit where credit is due. Bush's implementation of the troop surge is probably one of the singlemost reasons why we were able to end combat operations for U.S. troops in Iraq. But so long as we are crediting President Bush, let us not forget it was he who led us into this unnecessary, unfounded, and unwinable war in the first place. Yes, thank you President Bush, for only getting 4,000+ brave American troops killed!

    September 9, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. Patty2012

    Bravo to VP Biden. That takes class .

    September 9, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. Come back

    Wish we had someone like bush now, instead of the weak bunch of wind bags we have now.

    September 9, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. Brian in MD

    Biden trying to fool the electorate into believing that he actually meant that. Smells of desperation to get votes from right-leaning independents.

    September 9, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. Ed L

    Ya right. Bush deserves credit for

    9/11 attacks
    Bush War in Iraq
    Bush War in Afghanistan
    Lying about WMD
    Domestic spying
    Torture of war prisoners
    Secret government via CIA, Blackwater, etc
    Secret prisons
    Secret borrowing from China etc
    Destroying US economy
    Creating huge budget deficits
    Spending trillions of dollars on illegal wars
    WAR CRIMINAL

    September 9, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    I give Bush all the credit for destroying our economy, getting us into two illegal wars, illegally invading a country we weren't at war with, creating a bigoted frenzy against gays and lesbians, violating the Constitution, getting a lot of people killed when they shouldn't have been, ignoring the warning signs leading up to 9/11 - yeah, I'll give Bush the credit for that.

    September 9, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  11. R.I.P. Damon

    Classy move, Mr. VP. It's sure to have the lunatic fringe on the left up in arms

    September 9, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  12. Hunter of the lib hunter

    I am not sure why the president who lied and started an unfunded unnecessary war which cost over 4000 lives and almost 40,000 wounded (not to mention the hundred thousands of Iraqs that were killed) deserves any credit, but it is just like Joe to be gracious. I would hope that the wingnuts would start being gracious to President Obama and Speaker Pelosi for not pursuing war crimes for the Bush/Cheney allowing torture on POWs.

    September 9, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  13. Billy, NYC

    Unless there is something about the justification of Iraq war that we the citizen are not told by our Presidents. I am still upset about the lost of 4000+ young men and women in the war; families are forever broken in this country and in Iraq because of the Myth of WMD. Did we find it yet? Absolutely not. While BUSH tried to sell Iraqi Freedom in the Middle East, many dead soldiers' families are forever griefing their lost children in this unjust war. How could BUSH go to bed at night knowing that he has blood in his two hands? Until the day all troops come home from Iraq, then the healing will begin.

    September 9, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  14. Tim in Ohio

    It's about time that Bush gets the credit he deserves. As time goes on, he'll be seen as a very strong and decisive President.

    September 9, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  15. james s

    That's was a good one Mr. Vice President on breaking the tie in the Senate. How funny was that? I don't think anyone will ever forget that one. Should I say the Tea Party bright and shining star. Maybe when Pigs fly!!!

    September 9, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. johnnyhouse

    They need to talk to someone.

    September 9, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  17. reality check

    I love Joe Biden.....what a refreshing change from Cheney. But I just wish he and President Obama would stop pandering to the right, with their praise for Bush. Everyone knows that had Bush not ordered those massive mobile shredder trucks to the White House in the final days of his presidency, he would be on trial now. Bush did a good job destroying the evidence and the paper trail, and no one investigated the millions of pages of shredded documents. But it will all come out someday...someone from the Bush Administration will sing when their conscience gets the best of them, and maybe they made copies.

    September 9, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  18. Jasmin-NY

    Joe, I agree with your honor to what George W Bush had done for America.

    September 9, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  19. Give me a BREAK

    Sack this idiot. Bush got us in this huge blanking mess. I am so glad i voted for Hillary Clinton. You would never hear her or her VP say that Bush deserves credit. Give me a break!

    September 9, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  20. munchmom

    First smart thing he or Obama have said in the 2 year debacle we now call the Obama Administration/Presidency! Took them far too long, but hey, they finally got smart!!! Thank you Mr. Bush, from me too.

    September 9, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  21. All the news that's fit to omit

    Well put and exactly right Mr Biden.

    You are a bigger man that the "president", who lacks and gravitas, guts or scruples to admit he was wrong.

    Just like Fonzie from years ago who couldn't say the word wrong, the "president" lacks the same fortitude.

    This "president" jumped the shark months ago just like Happy Days did (therefore the term "jumped the shark" was born).

    My fellow veterans deserve hot dogs and respect and to be taken care of LONG BEFORE ONE ILLEGAL GET'S A DIME OF MY MONEY.

    Good job Mr. Biden

    September 9, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  22. bob

    The Democrats don't have 2 brain cells to rub together. They criticize everyone, but have no real intelligent ideas themselves. Then when they screw everything up they try making nice to everyone they said was wrong. This time they do it with the hopes of not getting crushed in the November elections. Ha! Is that your plan Obama? I can't believe I ALMOST voted for this fool.

    September 9, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  23. Brenda

    Classy move.

    September 9, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  24. greta

    biden put his mouth in the right place this time, but wil his boss agree with him though?

    September 9, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. Sae

    That quote is kind of edited there, and missing some context, It's not so clear in this article that he was talking specifically about the troops the whole time when he said that Bush cared, and that he deserved credit (for that).

    I'm sure someone will come along and supply the whole, actual quote, in the comments

    September 9, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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