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. Gaffe done deliberate...

    Joe's job in the Obama's campaign is..."Gaffe and distract form issues" Ridicule is another DEMS distraction...

    August 19, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    Fun to read all the Fox and GOP talking points transcribers here ... they'd be arguing policy, but they know they'd lose because all their policies are PROVEN FAILURES and it's a FACT that President Obama and the Democrats have been instrumental in turning our country around.

    August 19, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Mama for Obama

    I think Joe Biden is AWESOME! As a liberal Catholic, I like his values. He is a deeply moral man which is more than I can say for Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan. The Republican Party would have us ALL in chains to Wall Street and Corporate America. Republicans worship money at the expense of people. Give em hell, Joe!!!

    August 19, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Paul

    Oh, Rudy, you only show how much of a small man you are when you say such things.

    August 19, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Ideas, Ideals, not ideologies

    Seriously? The first thing I notice here is blind condemmnation or blind support depending on political leaning. However, those of you slamming Biden are not honest. Someone wrote that Joe was speaking in front of a Black audience. To that person I say go back and watch the video. Joe's statement had nothing to do with race. Most of those criticizing the VP would vote for Ron and Rand Paul who are probably the only people elected to federal positions who have publically supported segregation. So, let's tamper down our false outrage and put his statement back in context. If we let wall street run wild again especially with our social security money none of us will retire.
    Giuliani soound ridiculous talking about "balance" given his recent past. New Yorkers know him too well. That's why he can't get elected to any office in the state.

    August 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. joyce

    Joe has a lot more in his head than Rudy ever had.

    August 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Debra From Georgia

    And this comes from the man that speaks a noun, a verb and 9,11

    August 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. G Smith

    Joe is great! He is no BS guy!

    Just when you think the GOP can't go any lower.

    Rudy I used to think you were a guy of class but now you have crossed a line and are in the gutter with the other GOP low lifes.

    August 19, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    I don't know. I've heard a lot worse from FOX and Company and we all know how Rudy loves going on FOX News.

    August 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. RonDonaghe

    Geez, anyone can misspeak, and this little tidbit could have the connotation that Biden's critics want it to have, but "chained" or "restrained" is precisely how the common person might feel by the rich and the banks and the credit card interest rates of 20 or more percent when the banks lend money to banks for less that 2 percent.

    August 19, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. fastrack

    Let's see. Biden's gaffes or Romney/Ryan's lies. Yeah, I'll take the gaffes; at least they aren't deliberate.

    August 19, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. 22X Richer

    VP Biden has always been unhinged. He's on the ticket precisely to make idiotic comments which takes the spotlight off the president.

    August 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. toucheami

    Biden needs to find his rocker...he is off it! And to think he is only a heart beat away from the presidency, scary...I know I am not going to vote for that ticket.

    August 19, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Evergreen

    Speaking as a black person, we are capable of determining when a remark is meant to offend and when it is just a poor choice of words. However, it is amusing to see republicans outraged on my behalf.

    August 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. connieb

    from low class to no class. Go play with Palin Rudy, you go together well.

    August 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. gt

    joe is every ones crazy uncle... we will hold are breath when he speaks,,,,joe got to go...

    August 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Rudy was totally supportive of Granny Sarah Scorpion wasn't he? He was sure she could step into the presidents shoes wasn't he?

    August 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. rconatser1

    I think having a guy like Joe Biden is refreshing. He says what he thinks, whether he's putting his foot in his mouth or not. He's not fake like the GOP politicians. Genuinely, likeable guy.

    August 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. Sarah

    What was Romney claiming last week about -Obama- running a "negative" campaign? Nobody on the Obama team has even hinted that either Romney or Ryan are mentally unbalanced. What hypocrites.

    August 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. amlcpamaine

    Just another vote for Joe Biden's awesomeness. Obama couldn't have a better, more competent person for the job.
    Guiliani's a joke and the GOP "leadership" has cartooned the party to the point of visciousness. If they had some ideas that would help those other than the 1% it wouldn't be so bad, but they don't - so they have to lie and cheat to keep their ignorant sheep in line.

    Biden gets it - and they don't.

    August 19, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. GeeeBeee

    Rudy G. – Your record doesn't stand out except for the great job you did of showing up and supporting NY's first responders on 9/11; Don't you think it is time for you to stop using it as political currency? Our VP Biden has vastly superior foreign policy knowledge and experience that Romney (who used his dog as a hood ornament) and Ryan (his VP fish killer). I question Ryan and his "noodling", normal people don't want to reach into a live,spawning catfish and pull her innards out and call it fun! And how about that VP generating and getting a law passed lifting taxes on those very expensive arrows he uses for hunting animals. Oh, yes, he did that for his own self interest! Leave Biden alone, you couldn't fill his shoes. Sounds like jealousy to me.

    August 19, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Bayousara

    Debra, just a little correction–when speaking about humans, we say "who," not "that."

    Rudy shouldn't make any comments about anyone else considering his affair while married to someone else a few years ago.

    August 19, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. sayquitter

    Democrats: Stop being wimps!.
    What vp Biden said is nothing to apologize for. In fact it is the truth and that's the way any dem worth his or her salt should rebuke the republicans lies and subterfuge. Enought of coddling the enemy when they don't think twice about being bullies. I ask O'malley, Wilder and any other apologist if they asked Mitt and his team to apologice for calling Obama a hater and resentful and dividera. Enough of wimping out, if you don't have the b@!!s to fight back, shut up!.

    August 19, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. LOGIC N LA

    If you hear the entire quote, then biden's remark was not as bad as it sounds out of context. Romney/ryan made a comment about unchaining America- Biden responded with saying they would put is back in chains. The fact that is was a black audience may have been a bit insensitive, but they uderstood the remark.

    August 19, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Romney and Ryan are going to cater to the Super Rich and Powerful people and that will put all the middle class and poor in CHAINS.....they will let the Banks make their own rules and Romney will follow what ever these rich Billionaires tell him to do......

    August 19, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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