A favorite Biden catchphrase: 'God-awful'
Vice President Joe Biden in Miami earlier this month.
June 27th, 2012
04:05 PM ET
2 years ago

A favorite Biden catchphrase: 'God-awful'

(CNN) - The economic recession. China's one-child policy. The "sands of Iraq." The Bush-era tax cuts.

What do they have in common?

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Vice President Joe Biden has called them all "God-awful."

And he used the phrase multiple times at a campaign speech on Wednesday in Dubuque, Iowa, including when criticizing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"I think his foreign policy is right out of the Cold War and his economic policy is just doubling down on the eight years of the last administration that put us into this God-awful mess in the first place," he said. "I honest to God believe that is the fundamental difference between us."

The economy has "created over 4 million of those private sector jobs," he continued, but "we've got a long long way to go to dig us out of that God-awful hole we were pushed in."

Earlier this month, he told the U.S. Conference of Mayors coming into office in 2009 was "like walking into a meat grinder."

"You, among any group of elected officials, have seen up close and personal the incredible impact of this God-awful recession we inherited - all of us inherited, Democrats, Republicans, president, congress, governors, mayors," he said at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "We all began in 2009, I'm not going to go about who is responsible, who is at fault or why it happened."

It's a phrase he's used before - many times - to describe more than simply the economy.

He vividly recalled the heat of the Middle East when speaking to veterans at a White House dinner in March.

"More than a million of you strapped on desert boots and walked across those God-awful sands of Iraq, with temperatures up to 135-140 degrees, averaging about 117 degrees in the summer," he said.

In April, the former Delaware senator described tax cuts in an appearance on MSNBC.

"What goes through my mind is that was the same argument sitting on the Senate floor, listening to George Bush make when he put that God-awful tax cut through for the super wealthy without paying for it," he said, arguing that what followed the tax cuts was "slower job growth than any time in 50 years."

The MSNBC host asked him about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, "You think this is an instant replay?"

"This is an instant replay," Biden said. "All this God-awful additional tax cut, the Romney rule wants to put in there, another $250,000 a year tax cut for the average person making over a million bucks, on top of the Bush tax cuts?"

And in early June, he recalled at a high school graduation in Miami, Florida the late 1960s, when "Dr. Martin Luther king was assassinated in Memphis three months before my graduation day. There were riots in many cities in America, including my own. Wilmington, Delaware was burning."

"As a young public defender, I still imagined, with my generation, that we could heal this God-awful situation. That we could rise out of the ashes, and maybe find a way out together," Biden said.

His use of the phrase also isn't new this spring.

"The insurance industry [spent] hundreds of millions of dollars to make the health care bill out to be this God-awful tragedy," he said in a July 2010 interview.

In 2006, he used it to describe the war in Iraq as well.

"We put our U.S. soldiers in the most God-awful position they can be put in," Biden said. "We put them into a situation without any plan as to how to occupy a country."

Also see:

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Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Eric

    "...I'm not going to go about who is responsible, who is at fault or why it happened." So he won't take any responsibility for anything that has happened in the last, almost four years, but he'll do everything he can to place blame somewhere else.. typical Obama administration..

    June 27, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    The Bush-era tax cuts.
    Vice President Joe Biden has called them all "God-awful."
    ==============================================

    Doesn't he mean the OBAMA TAX CUTS???? Hey Crazy Joe, if they were so "God-awful" why the heck did your incompetent boss Obama make them his own?!!!

    If you think they are so great, then start taxing EVERYBODY like you were in the 1990s!! What's that? You say you don't want to hurt the "fragile economy" and send us into another recession? BUT JOE!! YOU SAID THEY ARE "GOD AWFUL"!!! If they are "God awful" how can they keep the country OUT of a recession?? Doesn't that make them DARN GOOD??!!!

    June 27, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. California Gary

    This is a God-awful story if I've ever seen one!

    June 27, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. austinbuckeye

    horse's ass is a term that comes to mind , often, when Babblin' Joe is brought up.

    June 27, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Get over it people . He's Catholic not Mormon !

    June 27, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. cinci

    to all of these right wing posters–let's see how you all feel if romney gets in the white house.
    do you really think he is going to care if the teachers, police officers, and first responders
    keep their jobs. Not to mention all the profits his friends will make when they cheaply outsource
    pirvate sector jobs? Let's see how you talk then. Go ahead and believe that garbage about
    free market and de-regulation. Just look at Bain and the record and then tell me you want to vote for romney.
    Romney won't care if you become the new poor-he thinks you will be taken care of.

    June 27, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    The VP lie:
    "What goes through my mind is that was the same argument sitting on the Senate floor, listening to George Bush make when he put that God-awful tax cut through for the super wealthy without paying for it," he said, arguing that what followed the tax cuts was "slower job growth than any time in 50 years."
    ==============================================================================================

    The FACT:
    Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
    2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
    2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
    2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
    2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
    2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
    2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3

    Obama and Biden could only DREAM of achieving these BUSH unemployment figures!!!

    Read it and weep lefties....

    June 27, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. cali girl

    Well well, telling it like it is. The GOP is good at giving the middle finger to American people.

    June 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    He's right. The Bush administration put us in this god-awful mess.

    June 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. jerry

    obama picked him out of a very populated field...well he is a dumb older white guy, so figure it out and then tell me obama is not a racist.hahaha

    June 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    The only thing that is "God awful" is Crazy Joe Biden's decent into dementia and senility right before our very eyes. And this guy is a heartbeat from the Presidency?!! Now THAT is GOD AWFUL SCARY!!!

    June 27, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    Why is it that the Grand Obstructionist Party and its lemmings refuse to accept blame for getting us into this economic mess in the place. The Bush tax cuts were continued because Obama did have the votes in Congress to get them repealed, so now all the right wing nuts (fair, Bend, myopicview, etc) are saying they are Obama's ??? Typical Repug. Blame everything but 40 yrs of supply-side, trickle-down, COMPLETE and ABJECT FAILURE of economic policy. That's what got us into this mess – that and TWO ILLEGAL UNFUNDED Dubya wars, and a TARP bailout. Typical "deficits don'r matter" Repug response. The $3T that the wars cost (and continue to cost) were kicked down the road by the GOP, inot Obama's expenses. Yes, folks, other than the stimulus plan, the massive Obama spending the Teapugs complain about is MORE THAN HALF to pay for Dubya's wars !!
    When are these right-wing MO-RONS gonna realize that it's time to quit digging when the hole is filing with water !!

    June 27, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    The VP lie:
    "What goes through my mind is that was the same argument sitting on the Senate floor, listening to George Bush make when he put that God-awful tax cut through for the super wealthy without paying for it," he said, arguing that what followed the tax cuts was "slower job growth than any time in 50 years."
    ==============================================================================================

    The FACT:
    Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
    2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
    2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
    2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
    2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
    2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
    2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3

    Obama and Biden could only DREAM of achieving these BUSH unemployment figures!!!

    Read it and weep lefties....
    **********************************************************
    TARP was Bush's idea, remember? The fact remains that Bush only saw a net gain of only 2 million jobs in 8 years. The only thing that matters are the numbers at the end, so read it and weep, righties. You screwed up, for over 3 decades, and you can't admit it.

    June 27, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. sonny chapman

    Joe does use that phrase quite often, but God Help Him, it's part of his vernacular.

    June 27, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. SafeJourney

    Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Who ever you are ^, do you really think people are going to believe your garbage. no one give a flying *** what you have to say. Your words are meaningless you simpleton

    June 27, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Chipster

    There are people losing their homes and unable to feed their families – that's a depression for them. The middle class is experiencing reductions in their paychecks and benefits – that's a recession for them. The wealthiest people in the country are getting huge tax breaks but their businesses are struggling to survive because the middle class no longer has the resources to buy their products. The economy has been called a Great Recession by some and a Lesser Depression by others. We're losing our middle class and slowly becoming a 3rd world country.

    June 27, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    @ Obama 2012 ……..
    I appreciate your hard working, your goal to send Obama back to Chicago, First you need candidate Past 2 week Romney suspend his campaign. ( he is not talking , I agree with Rush Limburg)

    June 27, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. I Can See Why You Left Out 2009

    Dear Republican poster: I am surprised you posted 2008 when employment began to rise under Bush, but I can see why you left out 2009.

    With the complete picture, you can see where the Bush policies actually ended up taking the country:

    2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 8.9 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9

    Yes, I know that Obama took office in late January 2009, but you can hardly blame him for the downward numbers seen here in 2009 as evidence of the shape the Bush policies left this country in. I hope you didn't expect the unemployment numbers to drop the minute he walked into the Whitehouse front door, did you? Yeah, right, you did. And that, my friend, explains exactly your level of education and how the economy actually works. Typical Republican to expect change overnight after you guys ran the country into the ditch.

    June 27, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Larry L

    Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America,...blah, blah, blash

    Obama and Biden could only DREAM of achieving these BUSH unemployment figures!!!

    Read it and weep lefties....
    ------------------------------------------------
    Since 7.5 million jobs were lost BEFORE President Obama took office I'd say Bush screwed the pooch in mismanaging the great economy Clinton left behind. It looks like changing you name didn't help you form a logical thought.

    June 27, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    The Real Tom Paine
    TARP was Bush's idea, remember? The fact remains that Bush only saw a net gain of only 2 million jobs in 8 years. The only thing that matters are the numbers at the end, so read it and weep, righties. You screwed up, for over 3 decades, and you can't admit it.
    ==========================================================================================
    Gee, and here I thought Crazy Joe was the only Democrat sliding into dementia! I'm talking unemployment and you respond with TARP???!!!! Oh yeah, you can't argue the US Dept. of Labor stats I posted so you pull out the old Obama Smoke and Mirror Show.

    And the over FIFTY (FIVE ZERO) straight months of economic growth under George Bush don't matter??? Yeah, how convenient to just throw them out and deny REALITY!! Another Obama trick, just like tossing out all of his first year numbers. Total deceit and dishonesty, typical of the left.

    And why go back only 30 years??? Let's just go back to the beginning of time so Obama doesn't have to explain what a complete failure he has been over the last four years?!! Again, the old Obama Smoke and mirror show!!!

    Honestly, you clowns are fooling nobody but yourself. It's fun showing you for the liars you and Obama and Biden are!!

    June 27, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Drew

    The party of half-truths and lies (GOP) needs to straighten up or hit the road. The sad part is there are moderate Repubs but they have lost their party to the wack jobs.

    June 27, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    I Can See Why You Left Out 2009
    Typical Republican to expect change overnight after you guys ran the country into the ditch.
    =========================================================================

    But the Democrats have controlled most of the government for the last SIX YEARS?!!! DEMOCRATS RAN THE COUNTRY INO THE DITCH!!!!

    Here are the FACTS:

    Whitehouse Senate House
    2007 Republicans Democrats Democrats
    2008 Republicans Democrats Democrats
    2009 Democrats Democrats Democrats
    2010 Democrats Democrats Democrats
    2011 Democrats Democrats Republicans
    2012 Democrats Democrats Republicans
    D = 4 R=2 D = 6 R = 0 D = 4 R = 2
    D = 14 R = 4

    June 27, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Niuhc

    "TARP was Bush's idea, remember? The fact remains that Bush only saw a net gain of only 2 million jobs in 8 years. The only thing that matters are the numbers at the end, so read it and weep, righties. You screwed up, for over 3 decades, and you can't admit it."
    ------------------------------------------
    That dog won't hunt. You (the general "you" no one in particular) need to stop making "apples and oranges" comparisons.

    June 27, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. Niuhc

    @SafeJourney

    Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Who ever you are ^, do you really think people are going to believe your garbage. no one give a flying *** what you have to say. Your words are meaningless you simpleton
    -----------------------------------------------
    And with your post, you have no credibility and thus, no one will pay attention.

    June 27, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Niuhc

    @I Can See Why You Left Out 2009
    And you are neglecting the fact that dems took over congress in 2007. Unemployment started rising shortly after Pelosi and Ried got their heads together.

    June 27, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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