Giuliani questions Biden's 'balance' as aides defend vice president
August 19th, 2012
01:34 PM ET
2 years ago

Giuliani questions Biden's 'balance' as aides defend vice president

(CNN) - Surrogates for President Barack Obama defended Joe Biden on Sunday from critics who say the vice president's comments last week at an event in Virginia show his unsuitability for the office.

Rudy Giuliani, the Republican former mayor of New York, questioned Biden's "balance" on CBS, saying he wasn't sure Biden would be able to step into the top role if the situation arose.

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"I don't think he's nuts. I'm just saying I wonder if he's got the kind of balance - probably what I should have said is the balance to be president of the United States," Giuliani said. "This guy is like one gaffe after another, and he's a joke on late-night television."

On Tuesday, Biden told a predominantly black crowd in Danville, Virginia, that Mitt Romney's regulatory policies would "put y'all back in chains," a comment that drew near-immediate condemnation from Republicans, who said Biden was inciting racial division.

Obama himself said in interviews this week that Biden was not trying to connote anything aside from an attack on Romney's stance toward Wall Street, telling People magazine that Biden "has been an outstanding vice president."

On Sunday, Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, offered a tough rejoinder to Giuliani, who also said earlier this week that Biden has "never been bright."

"I would like to point back to (Guiliani's) glowing introduction of Sarah Palin during the 2008 convention," Cutter said on ABC. "So if he wants to criticize the capacity of the vice president to take hold of this country, he should go back and look at those remarks and whether he still believes that they're true."

Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign adviser, made a similar argument on Fox News, saying Biden's remarks were no more "racial" than similar rhetoric from Republicans.
"No more race-baiting than when John Boehner says let's unshackle Wall Street," Gibbs said of Biden's remarks.

And Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, said on NBC "there's not a racist bone in Joe Biden's body," though he conceded that the vice president could have chosen a better word.

"I think it was an indelicate play on the Republican words of shackling the economy with regulations and shackling small businesses, and so it was certainly an indelicate choice of words," O'Malley said.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Mary

    Well, at least he is the VP. But the presidential candidate Mitt, the Twit gave us a sneak peek as to how he will behave. Has he agreed to take the required presidential medical exam? Or does he think he is "primadonna" and he does not have to take one?

    August 20, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. onestarman

    It requires a great deal of Balance to take a SWAN DIVE so the SOS can become VP in November

    August 20, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Dave

    I guess that paraphrasing and attacking the Presidents words isn't enough for the looney Conservadrones.

    August 20, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Pete

    Rudy = most overrated politician of all time.

    August 20, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. ObjectiveGuy

    Here's what is really going on. Obama knows that, with a strong running mate like Ryan, Romney is going to win the election by a landslide. Obama's running mate, Biden, has always been a weak link in the chain. They are setting this up to make it seem that Biden has a medical issue (I.e. early stage Alzheimers or dimentia, etc.), and will then use that as a gracious way for him to step aside, so that he can put Hillary on the ticket as his VP running mate. As much as she loathes Obama, Hillary might agree to the VP slot, assuming A) she'll have him bumped off so that she can take over, or B) it will put her in a good position to run in 2016 IF Obama wins again this year. It's all just more trickery from the "most transparent administration ever".

    August 20, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Willie Floyd

    There isn't a Rep. in this country who is worthy to polish the VPs' shoes. Reps. have never learned to accept the truth when they hear it.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    August 20, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Jesse C. Crandall

    Why are we speaking to Rudy Guilianni ? Is the news coverage so bland we must resort to an ex-mayor of New York city for opinionated commentary? Who cares what RG has to say! He is about as crediable as Donald Trump! Taking a survey, of our 50 states, how many ex-mayor's do you think are worth CNN's time & effort to seek out a crediable soundbite ? The answer is a short list.....very short ! Perhaps the number is two ! Mayor Correy Booker of Newark N.J. & Ex-mayor, ex-governor but active in the DNC is Ed Rendell ! That's it ! Guilianni shoud disappear into the vapors of 9-11 just like the nitwit who was in washington at the time....Bush #41

    August 20, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Mark

    Were it not for the liberal media protecting him, Biden would have been run out of town on a rail. His gaffes make Dan Quayle look like a genius.

    August 20, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Florida Joe

    At least our VP cares about the rights of Women.................These Repubs are disgusting

    August 20, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. mmanr1918

    not only Mr. Biden's balance , Mr. Obama have the worst of all economic balance in decades, and what about his secretary of justice Mr. Holder he is not down because his body hold-er him

    August 20, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Jack

    Oh Rudy please. Got away. You were annoying as mayor of NYC and you're annoying now. Your mayoral administration was fillled with thugs and crooks and your abrasiveness tore apart the city. You lived thru 9/11. That's not an accoumplishment. Every New Yorker lived thru it as did every American.

    When you first ran for mayor you were against abortion rights. You lost. Then you came back and said you were for abortion rights and won. What does this say about you?

    August 20, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Sue

    Speaking of being a joke on late-night TV, Trump wears the crown for that "honor"!! I've never seen anyone so totally unaware of how he is viewed by people (at least, people with a brain!).

    August 20, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Sniffit

    "Here's what is really going on. Obama knows that, with a strong running mate like Ryan, Romney is going to win the election by a landslide. Obama's running mate, Biden, has always been a weak link in the chain. They are setting this up to make it seem that Biden has a medical issue (I.e. early stage Alzheimers or dimentia, etc.), and will then use that as a gracious way for him to step aside, so that he can put Hillary on the ticket as his VP running mate."

    Wow...you really took the Neighborhood Trolley to Make-Believe on this one, huh? Say hi to King Friday for me.

    August 20, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. sally

    Why does CNN always get quotes from has beens like Guilliani or a wash up candidate> Republicans hav called Obama and race baited since Obama has been in office we get nothing from CNN about that. But let Biden or a Democrats say soemthing that's true but uncomfortable for whites to hear, they must be unbalanced. Outraged because a Republican is upset. SMH at the hyprocrisy

    August 20, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. ob1

    Biden is acting like he is on medication. Perhaps painkillers that often make one speak a bit more off the cuff. He could not step in as presdient based on his past two year track record. that would be scary. PS I am an independent voter. so please don't beat me up as a GOP'er. Something is not totally right with Biden.

    August 20, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. John

    Must be hard for Giuliani to feel irrelevant and insignificant nowadays. He can talk and babble as much as he wants. The truth hurts. The only people who listens to you when you are old and retired is your own family. Oh... I almost forgot his caregiver; he will listen to Giuliani intently especially when he needs the Ben Gay or the Aspercreme. You will gain more unilateral respect by staying out of the limelight. A classic example of what a big ego does to a person. Live and learn kids. Humility is the key to dignity and self-respect.

    August 20, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. MNTaxpayer

    Since when is 'balance' a requirement for VP? Was Palin 'balanced'? was Cheney 'balanced'? GWB? Spiro Agnew? Dan Quayle? Hubert Humphry? Gerald Ford? Al Gore? LBJ? name one who was.

    August 20, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Poor Rudy, he still thinks he's important!

    August 20, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. rs

    Keeping It Real-
    At least Mr. Biden is consistant. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan changed their positions every single day last week and through the weekend on Medicare. BTW- Mr. Romney is not immune from idiocy in public: "corporations are people my friend", "I like to fire people", "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel". Sound familiar?

    August 20, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Nix the Food Stamp President

    If Biden was Republican we all know the media would be going through his school records and anything else to shore up that he is an idiot. With Biden thats not necessary as everyone already knows it but of course he is completely protected by MSNBC, CBS and the rest of droolers for Obama.

    August 20, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. keeth

    Rudy is trying to be relevant again. Biden could school him in a minute.

    August 20, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Jesse C. Crandall

    Vice President Joe Biden.....is a remarkable guy ! He is the best possible running mate for the best active president of our time ! All the cockroaches that come out of the cracks each time a powerful person speaks, just to ridicule & embarrass, should be immediately, crushed! VP Biden, speaking last week was asked a question about the economy, the banks on Wall Street etc; his answer referencing chains, was used correctly, in the right context to put an exclamation point on his answer ! The idea that the Vice President would use the "put you back in chains" and mean EXACTLY THAT......IS LUDRICIOUS ! ANYBODY WHO WOULD ENTERTAIN THIS THOUGHT IS SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES, & SHOULD TAKE THEMSELVES OFF TV IMMEDIATELY ! YOU GO GO JOE, YOUR AWESOME ! DON'T STOP BEING YOU !

    August 20, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Former Dem

    Yap little Joey boy has lost it completely. He made him self and Obama look pretty stupid. I cant believe the black audience didnt chase him down the street and make him apologize for his racist comments.

    August 20, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  24. Tomcat

    Ghouliani profitted monetarily big-time off the injured and decease of the tragic 9/11 event. This guy will say and do anything for the media spotlight. Joe Biden was right: Noun + Verb + 9/11 = Giuliani

    August 20, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. chra09

    when did republicans become the pc police?

    August 20, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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