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. Really?

    Hey Rudy- Correction: most liberals think job creators help the economy and most logically thinking people know you don't spend yourself out of a recession. Republicans have realistic solutions and the most logical one is to STOP the freeloaders from sucking the life out of taxpayers. Doesn't take too much common sense to realize you can only leech off the rich for so long; once they're reduced to welfare we will have a corrupt regime led by the Godless Collectivists ruling us. Get with the freedom program, man, and stop defending this Collectivist agenda which history shows us has failed over and over and over again.

    August 20, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. I built it Mr. President, NOT YOU

    Dude i cant wait for the debates. The funniest one will be Joe and Ryan Lmaoooo. You guys seriously think Joey can stand up there for 5 minutes without giving away 100 gaffes?

    August 20, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. maine liberal

    Mr 9/11 who has been the punch line for late night tv for 10 years questions the VP's balance now that is a question of balance

    August 20, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. Geoz

    Giuliani is the source? Oh yeah... I'm taking this criticism with all due (snort).. respect.

    August 20, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Really?

    @rs – and if you were running a company you would not like to "fire" some do nothing, goof off that could care less if he could earn a living but wants all the benefits a company offers? Yeah, that's what I thought and that's 1/2 the problem in this country. After all, with Obama's program, you don't even need to pretend you want to be employed.

    August 20, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Wayne

    We Republicans shouldn't be too harsh on VP Biden for fear he'll be dropped. He's one of the reasons–even though it is one of the minor ones– Obama won't be reelected.

    August 20, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. flatbroke

    Giuliani has his nerve commenting on Biden. The amount of governing knowledge. Mr. G has would fit on the tip of Biden's finger.

    August 20, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Really?

    My previous comments are directed at Rudy NYC and this is for him also. The 99% are going to have to pay a price for decades of government mismanagement and fraud by BOTH parties. That is the reality, and it's time for the slackers to do their fair share, also. If all the wealthy folks just say the he ll with it and move to S. America then you will see some chaos

    August 20, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. beevee

    if Rudy has balance Mitt Romney would have chosen him as a running mate. Even his own party does not think of tis Rudy guy as anything worth caring for.

    August 20, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "Godless Collectivists "

    Haha...you guys make me laugh so hard sometimes. It's like you live in a cartoon or something.

    August 20, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. bill.x

    Giuliani is a common ordinary thug who abused innocent people for political gain, before and while mayor of our great city. He is highly unstable and very mean spirited – and well-connected in very dangerous circles. That he should say that about Joe is not unexpected - Giuliani being a high-end pseudo-conservative troll from the east.

    August 20, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. JR

    If Bite-me is so sweet and innocent then why did they tell him to go home, stay home, and shut up??

    August 20, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Really?

    Hey Rudy- Correction: most liberals think job creators help the economy and most logically thinking people know you don't spend yourself out of a recession
    --------------------
    Guess what happens to an economy when most everyone stops spending? The economy recedes. Need proof? Look no further than Europe. They enacted austerity measures and it made their economies weaker. Less spending means fewer transactions, which means you have *negative* growth.

    Get real. The whole "job creator" argument is solipsistic dogma. Why do you think the RICH love it so much? DUH!

    August 20, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. California Gary

    Rudy is the last person that should be commenting on someone's mental balance.

    August 20, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. jpmichigan

    It is difficult to vote for Obama when he has shown over and over , he has no real plan to get us out of the mess we are in. Instead of increasing jobs in the private sector he has increased the size of government, the size of welfare, food stamp recipient's. More people find it better no to work , than to take any job to be come self-reliant, for it is more profitable to sit back an let the government take care of your needs. Obma's community organizing roots, have dectated his governing and leadership. After all he never really held a real job, state, local and federal government provided for him. I fear the fact that if any thing happen to Obama , Joe Biden would step in and he has shown he is not qualified to be President! It is time for a change!!!!!

    August 20, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Let's face it, for eight long years GWB and the GOP put CHAINS on the American people and since President Obama has been in office, the GOP/T have been putting CHAINS on the American people's prosperity and well being every step of the way. CHAINS CHAINS SHACLKES AND CHAINS. Oops...Sorry Patti Loveless. I just got carried away.

    August 20, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "If all the wealthy folks just say the he ll with it and move to S. America then you will see some chaos"

    Hahaha....this thread is a laugh a minute today.

    August 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "Instead of increasing jobs in the private sector he has increased the size of government,"

    Actually, government employment has falled significantly during Obama's first term. In fact, it's frequently been the case that public sector job losses counterbalance the private sector job increases, resulting in a smaller net number that gives the GOP their thin justification to point fingers at Obama for unemployment. In reality, not only has the federal gov't been shedding public sector jobs, but so have states and municipalities, the latter two being largely the work of GOPers who want those local and state job losses to do the counterbalancing I just described.

    August 20, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Saboth

    "This guy is like one gaffe after another, and he's a joke on late-night television." Yeah...that Romney, always sticking his foot in his mouth. I honestly wonder if he's remotely qualified to be President. Oh wait, you were talking about Biden. People with intelligence knew what Biden was talking about. Our corporate overlords want us shackled with credit card debt, mortgages, and loans out the ears. Recently, many people have been sent to jail for not paying their debts (which is illegal, but there's a way around that.). So yeah...he wasn't talking about black slavery, he was talking about indentured servitude, slavery, debtor's prisons and the like. There's more to history than black slavery.

    August 20, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. FLIndependent

    I listened to Guilian's remarks and they were dispicable – to say our sitting VP is unbalanced?? How much lower can these Repubs go?

    August 20, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. maine liberal

    from 1942 until 1961 the highest marginal tax rate was 86 to 91 percent on income above 400k.
    This same period saw the largest expansion in the middleclass, full employment and american exceptionalism, expanding economy, manufacturing and a strong labor movement and unions.

    The rich did not leave they stayed and got richer as did we alll.

    August 20, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Saboth

    @jpmichigan. Er...Obama has actually decreased many government programs and is saving $ by stopping fraud and wastefulness in government (which is where his 700 billion "medicare cuts") comes from. The deficit? Well, talk to GW Bush about that one. His 2 wars cost us trillions, and bailing out the country due to Republican policies cost us a lot. As for welfare...talk to the "job creators" on that one. Their wealth has grown 300% while ours stagnate. Why not use that money to hire or pay people? They are already paying some of the lowest taxes in our country's history.

    August 20, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Really?

    @Sniffitt – that's all you have: a nervous laugh?
    What do you call the Obama/Warren et al agenda? Ah, yes, Marx had a better word to describe it.

    August 20, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    As a matter of fact the Detroit Water Dept is about to be cut by 80%. Just think of the 1000's of jobs being lost. And yes we have a republican governor and they are also cutting teachers, police and firemen.

    OBAMA 2012!

    August 20, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    maine liberal

    from 1942 until 1961 the highest marginal tax rate was 86 to 91 percent on income above 400k.
    This same period saw the largest expansion in the middleclass, full employment and american exceptionalism, expanding economy, manufacturing and a strong labor movement and unions.
    -------
    Just wondering, "maine liberal"... did you ever attribute all of that prosperity to the fact that just about every industrialized nation was pretty much flattened by World War II and that the United States was pretty much the only nation on earth at the time that didn't have their cities and industrial centers put out of commission and could produce to the demand of the world? Just wondering...

    August 20, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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