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. Sue

    Hey Rudy, aren't you busy cheating on your current wife? Instead of making outrageous statements to get into the press why don't you do something useful to keep yourself relevant. Talk about a nut – Vote Giuliani NEVER.

    August 19, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Part of my very strong support for the President stems from my admiration for Joe Biden. He's an advocate for working people and a dedicated American. He speaks from the heart and covers the President's back when the "swift boat" attacks from the fat-cats hit Fox News. Where were the Republican critics when DICK CHENEY was the VP? Cheney should be in prison!

    August 19, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Blue

    I have to laugh at Rudy, here is a man that has made a career out of 9/11. He calls Joe off balance. It amazes me of what the GOP will come up with next. It keeps Rove busy to just stay ahead of his dumb acts of the GOP., and that includes Miit and Paul. Laugh Hard Rudy, you need it.

    August 19, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. cj

    when you point a finger...there are 3 pointing back at you

    August 19, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. gypsyalso

    "This guy is like one gaffe after another, and he's a joke on late-night television."

    is he talking about Dubya???

    August 19, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. MTATL67

    Republicans have now sunken to the level of calling their opponents crazy....nice.

    August 19, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. Karrie

    Joe is about as close the average guy as you can get, in spite of all his years in Washington. If he's guilty of anything, it's saying things a lot of us would like to but can't because of political correctness. Today it's called a gaffe.

    As for Guiliani, I'll be glad when the election is over so we're no longer subjected to the old dinosaurs who they drag out whose opinions are worthless. I don't really care what he thinks.

    August 19, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. trufaldino

    Biden should respond to the Repubs just like Truman. He'll tell them the truth and make 'em like it.

    August 19, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. draeamom

    This is utterly ridiculous. Why is anyone even listening to this man?

    Republicans have made it clear in this election that truth (Romney), decency (Mo. senator), and fairness (PA and other Republican led voter suppression -see vid of Repub leader acknowledging purpose of the law) have no place in this election.

    Regardless of where individual voters stand on issues, we should be ashamed that this is what our elections have come to.

    August 19, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. jkjune

    Poor Rudy, Poor, Poor Rudy, It's no good whatever comes out of your mouth

    August 19, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. rs

    Now THAT'S funny. Rudy "I wear dresses" Giulianai wonders about Biden????
    What are Republicans smoking these days?

    August 19, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Mick

    At least he's not lying about participating in the 2009 tax amnesty program that gave people like Romney a way out of prison for shielding and not claiming assets kept in Swiss bank accounts and other offshore tax shelters.
    Get real, Biden has been doing a great job. That's the problem with Republicans – they don't want to be judged on their actions but on what they say. That's why they're trying to disregards Biden's actions over the last four years and simply concentrate on a few of his not perfect words.

    August 19, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. mk1

    This coming from the party of Palin, Bachmann, Brewer, Santoram, DeMint, Gingrich, Perry, Walsh, West, and on and on. It would be funny if it weren't so scary. There is no question in my mind that if Romney wins, our country and the middle class in particular is in serious trouble.

    August 19, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. Indy

    Republicans thought Sarah Palin was qualified and ready to step in and be President so nothing more needs to be said about Republicans reaction to shackles/chains comment

    Shackles-Chains
    Tomato-Tomato
    Romneycare-Obamacare
    Potato-Potato

    August 19, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. BobInIrvine

    I think that Biden's statement, in its entirety, is accurate. Why are conservatards so angry? Perhaps because yet another piece of feces they threw against the wall didn't stick.

    August 19, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Iamnotfooled

    Gialiani is a has-been that has a personal vendetta against Joe Biden. There is nothing wrong with Joe. Is speaking the truth wrong? What about Romney? " I don't remember precisely what I said , but I stand by what I said". And Gialiani backs him up and says he's capable? LOL.

    August 19, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. CCC

    –"it's a FACT that President Obama and the Democrats have been instrumental in turning our country around."
    Are you serial?? Can you explain the "turning around" taking place.......because i am not seeing alot of return on the NObama's massive expenditures yet.

    August 19, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Joan

    VP Biden has more class in his little finger than Giuliani has in his whole body. He used the tragic events of 911 to gain his 15 minutes of fame. His unsuccessful attempt at running for president was a disaster and his main line was a "noun, verb and 911." Remember that. Any mayor would have done a fine job under that kind of incident. Mayor Bloomburg would have been equally effective. VP Biden is an honourable family man with a great wife and was devastated when he lost his first wife in an accident. Giuliani has s had a questionable marital history to say the least. It is interesting how the Republicans feel they can lecture and condemn others yet they aren't so squeaky clean.

    August 19, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. crazyvermont

    Joe's always good for a laugh but Rudy has it right when questioning his ability to take over as commander in chef. Least we forget, this was the guy telling the world where security would hide him in a time of crisis. Talk about a keystone cop moment

    August 19, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    Biden has proven he's a good VP. He's very suited to his office.

    Rudy, you aren't.

    August 19, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. works4me

    Yet you like Palin there Rudy? It's pretty clear he was talking about the financial chains we were all under. For those that think, that is. But if the GOP wants/needs to spin it...

    August 19, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. phoenx86

    Biden is certainly unbalanced, but he is more adequate for the Presidency than Obama.

    August 19, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. luckjoe

    Biden is white over 50 necessity for Obama...also, just happens to be a dufus loser.

    August 19, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. longtooth

    Seriously, does Giuliani's opinion matter? He was leaving office in New York City, his career over, when 9/11 happened. He grabbed the limelight and never let go. He couldn't be elected garbage-man in NYC.

    August 19, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. carlos

    republicans and conservatives lack creative thinking......bunch of ditto heads and unfinished high school, what can one expect from them?, total ignorance.......

    August 19, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
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