October 27th, 2012
06:38 PM ET
1 year ago

Biden swaps 'i' with 'o' in fresh gaffe seized on by Romney camp

Lynchburg, Virginia (CNN) – It was a simple swap of an "i" with an "o." And yet, a fresh gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday caused the Romney campaign to essentially accuse him of being absent-minded and invited snickers from the Twitter-sphere.

It happened at a campaign rally in Lynchburg.

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The vice president opened his remarks to 1,500 people packed into an armory by praising Virginia's Democratic Senate nominee Tim Kaine.

"I want to tell you, it's good to be in a state that's going to be represented by Tim Kaine," Biden said. "What a guy! There is a decent honorable man. That man has more integrity in his little finger than most people have in their whole body."

Yet in the next breath, Tim Kaine became someone else.

"I'm a big Tom Kaine fan. A big Tom Kaine fan," Biden said.

Moments after the speech, the Romney campaign pounced.

"Vice President Biden forgot the name of his own Virginia Democratic Senate nominee and he wants voters to forget about President Obama's failed economic policies and lack of a real agenda for a second term," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement to reporters.

"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering real change for a real recovery, with 12 million new jobs, rising incomes and a stronger middle class," Williams added.

Those taking to Twitter were equally unforgiving, many of them overlooking the fact that Biden got Kaine's name correct the first time around.

"Obama accuses Romney of 'Romnesia' but it's Biden who calls Tim Kaine, 'Tom,'" tweeted Republican strategist and CNN Contributor Ana Navarro. "Someone's got amnesia for real."

Kaine is embroiled in a close - and bitter - battle with Republican opponent George Allen for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Jim Webb.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith chided Romney's team for drawing attention to the gaffe.

"Once again, Mitt Romney's campaign is showing their focus on the big things- like one letter in Tim Kaine's name," Smith said. "If they put as much time and effort into their policies, maybe we'd finally have an answer for how they'd pay for $5 trillion in tax cuts weighted to the very wealthy."

Biden devoted the majority of his speech to repeated slams against his Republican opponents. Chief among them: Biden accused Romney and Ryan of being on the wrong side of women's issues, and of pushing a tried - and tired - economic plan that hasn't worked in the past and won't work in the future.

"I've never seen two candidates for the highest office of the land who are more negative about the state of our country, about America's prospects for the future, more negative about the willingness of the American people to take responsibility for their own lives," Biden said.


Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Tim Kaine • Virginia
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Wanderer

    Romney didn't remember what he said in the primary, he will not remember what he is saying today after the election. He forgot his position when he was in the primary, he will change his position after the election. That was why he could only keep saying 'me too, me too' in the final debate. His campaign, so far, can only say few words ‘failed economic policies’ because his campaign could not remember what the economy was like when Obama took the office almost 4 years ago. I don’t think Romney and his campaign understands the difference between -10 and + 6.
    -10 indicated the economy was like 3 years ago
    +6 indicated the economy is like now.
    (Sliding scale from -10 to +10).

    October 27, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Steve

    With all of the non stop campaigning that both tickets do, it is only human to slip up on a word, name, or place once in a while. Romney, on the other hand, forgets that he was pro-life just very recently during the primaries, now, he says that he is all about women making their own decisions. He wants to do what he can to overturn Roe vs Wade, but he smart enough to keep his mouth shut about that right now. There is a huge difference between a syntax error and a blatant lie.

    October 27, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. Christopher

    Wasn't it Romney who was just saying a couple days ago that Obama was running a small campaign cause he was pointing out Romney's changing positions? If that is considered a small campaign then his is a miniscule campaign.

    October 27, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. REDFIRESTORM

    biden calls romney absent-minded –was that based on derivative analysis? (wink)

    October 27, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. Art Newton

    Tom instead of Tim. Switching positions on every issue depending on the crowd you're speaking to. Yeah, that's equivalent. You can smell the flop sweat of desperation from the Romneyites.

    October 27, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  6. Challabee

    How can Romney, who introduced Paul Ryan as “the next president of the United States” when the entire world was watching talk about Vice President Biden’s misplacement of “I” with “O”. Is this hypocrisy, Romnesia or both?

    October 27, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    ... and so, what's your point? Everyone screws up someone's name at one time or another ... didn't Mr. Romney introduce Paul Ryan as the "next President of the United States" on board the Wisconsin?

    This inadvertent name slip by Vice President Biden is NOTHING compared to the awful, racist remarks by John Sununu about General Colin Powell.

    October 27, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. dreucalypt

    Biden is clumsy perhaps, but he's completely authentic, unlike Romney.

    October 27, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  9. john oh

    Here is something to think about if you are considering voting for Romney as president:

    Your lifetime risk to develop invasive cancer as a man: 44% (almost 1 out of 2 odds) Statistics from Cancer org.
    Your lifetime risk to develop invasive cancer as a woman: 38% (over 1 out of 3 odds) Statistics from Cancer org.

    Cancer does not care what political affiliation you have or what color your skin is. Just think about that for a while, and then think about the fact that Romney wants to remove protections for pre-existing conditions and bring back lifetime caps on insurance benefits...

    Do you really want to have to flip that coin?

    Obama/Biden 2012 – With a healthy, educated, and secure workforce, America will prosper.

    October 27, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. Ed1

    Biden more than anyone else should know by now just shut up open mouth insert foot again and again.

    Don't worry your Boss understands he can't get his fact right either.

    October 27, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. DocHollywood

    Yes, Biden makes verbal gaffes, but one thing you can say for him that you cannot say for Romney. Biden has character and he doesn't change his position like a revolving door the way Romney does. I'll take Biden's honesty and gaffe prone statements anyday over Romney's "I'll be anything you want me to be to get elected" position.

    October 27, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. Robert

    I haven't seen this before although I'm sure SOMEONE has thought of it, but c'mon...why isn't this guy's nickname "Joke" Biden? If there was EVER a person less qualified to be President, both intellectually and emotionally, I've never heard of him/her.

    October 27, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. Micah

    This guy is a symbol of the joke this administration is. What a epic failure!

    October 27, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  14. Ken

    Hey Mitt – instead of focusing on a vowel, how about some details on your $5 Trillion tax break that you want to give to your wealthy friends. How much will we the middle class have to cough up? We know that you were bought by the Adelsons and the Kochs – but how much is it going to cost US??????

    October 27, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Romney is desperate.....he has to seize on a miss spoken word by Biden....when a candidate trys to make a big deal out of something so small is an act of desperation! Romney is trying to spin his situation into trying to let people think he is winning. No way! Those that have been rejected by the repblicans, which is most of the people in America, will go to vote....no one is polling their feel for whos the next President of America!

    October 27, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  16. Mark Lopez

    Romney called Paul Ryan the next president of the United States in his own introduction speech, but they criticize Biden on this? Come on people, stop the hipocrisy and focus on issues and content.

    October 27, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  17. Namec e b

    Think about this people. Obama wins this country should be one heart beat away from Biden being our Pres. This scares the hell out of me.

    October 28, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  18. Woman In California

    Willard is such a small person but in just a few days, we have the power to send him back to his "unemployed" status in the Cayman Islands FOREVER. One can only hope.

    Obama/Biden 2012 for ALL Americans.

    October 28, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  19. Xaba

    American presidents are the same. A real president wil come a president who wil stop this war madnes. Every American is guilty of murder.

    October 28, 2012 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  20. Dar

    And this guy could be our President if something (God Forbid) happened to Obama??????????????
    I could just hear him now: Fire the Nukes now!!!!! Oh crap, I meant fire the new guy!!! Sorry China it was a mistake, I do that all the time. WHAT why are you firing back at us, it wasnt my fault!!! It was Bush's fault.

    Bird of a feather flock together prople.
    Romney/Ryan, I will take my chances with them, thank you very much.

    October 28, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  21. Dejavu65

    Give me some real news, Nice try but Romney needs more help than this!!

    October 28, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  22. bassman

    And our media was so worried that Sarah Palin would be VP.

    October 28, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  23. stevetall

    That's all you got?!? This is a Romney campaign talking point? The vice-president refers to a guy incorrectly and this demonstrates that we need to go back to the failed Republican agenda of the past? Don't make me laugh.

    October 28, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  24. Thomas

    Old McDonald had a farm EO EO I

    October 28, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  25. Mark Taylor

    At least he isn't "forgetting" the commitments made to the various groups he's appealing to. Romney is a living example of Relativity. His policies are always relative to who he happens to be addressing and they conflict from one group to the next.

    October 28, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
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