Biden jokes he’s ‘made it to the presidency’ in tribute to nation’s firefighters
May 10th, 2013
04:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Biden jokes he’s ‘made it to the presidency’ in tribute to nation’s firefighters

Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden honored firefighters and public safety officers Thursday evening, telling them “you are always, always there.”

Biden, who formerly served as chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus while in the Senate, also took a moment to tease the friendly crowd about his presidential ambitions, joking that the press “likes to point out that I ran for president twice but I never made it.”

“I want you to know that in 2004, I made it,” Biden said. “I’m a president emeritus of the Delaware Volunteer Fire Association. So I have made it to the presidency.”

The vice president also touted a forthcoming initiative from the Obama administration aimed at improving access to federal funding for families of fallen public safety officers.

“Families of fallen public safety officers have had to wait much, much, much too long for federal benefits that all of us at that table and me have fought so hard to make sure existed,” Biden said.

“That’s why I’m proud to tell you that on Monday – I don’t want to steal his thunder – but a guy’s been working around the clock to fix this. The Attorney General of the United States will have an announcement to make fixing that problem, finally,” Biden said.

Among the many groups of public safety officers to whom Biden gave personalized shout outs were the first responders who battled the deadly blaze caused by a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

“When the call went out, volunteers went out.  ... They suited up and they headed out, put on their equipment and they jumped.  They jumped into the fray,” Biden said.

“Even then, some of the fire trucks ablaze, even then in the midst of the chaos, they held their ground. They contained the blaze within three hours. They never quit. They never quit. They never quit.”

Nine of those volunteer first responders were killed by the blast.

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. GatorDude

    Joe's cool, but he doesn't have the brains of Cheney. Obama still uses Cheney's energy policy. Obama also still uses many of Cheney's GWOT policies. OTH, Joe wants you to fire a shotgun out of your window when you hear a noise in the middle of the night. . .

    May 10, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    "Hillary Clinton 2016 by a LANDSLIDE"... Not AGAIN! ZEight years of the present disaster, followed by another Socialist Progressive? No way.

    May 10, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. woe is us in the usa

    respectfully sir – you have no idea about the world .
    and you are way off base .
    kenny what's the frequency ?
    area 51 calling you -
    jb go home !

    May 10, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. zandhcats

    Biden is a great politician,he's honest and speak from his heart. Unfortunately, most voters don't have intelligence to vote for him. If he runs he'll lose again, sad.

    May 10, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Larry in Houston

    BTW, the email that Boehner claimed used the phrase "Islamic terrorists" yesterday? didn't.

    you need to read up – before you respond – listen before you talk – (or type) some of your comments show that you're off base –

    May 10, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Dick LaTrick

    Joe is too emotional for me, so his vision is skewed .. but I think he is a good guy all the same, just not president material like GW.

    May 10, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Dick LaTrick

    I certainly don't mean GW was president material! that was a structurally wrong statement.

    May 10, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Data Driven

    Well, Ancient Texan, unless the GOP suddenly gets smart and nominates Christie, Clinton is precisely what you'll get. Christie is the GOPher who could concieveably beat her - bank on it. Pity your team doesn't like him anymore.

    May 10, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. ted

    Both Dick Cheney and George Bush need to be presented with subpoenas for war crimes trials in the Hague. Those two are criminals.

    May 10, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. dd

    Here I thought that Biden was going to turn Obama in to the Justice Department for the killing of our Ambassador in Libya. Biden could easily be the US President if he told the truth and outed the corrupt Democrat from Illinois.

    May 10, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    ""Hillary Clinton 2016 by a LANDSLIDE" Heaven forbid, eight years of the present disaster, followed by another Socialist disaster. No way."

    Oh come's the GOP/Teatrolls' wet dream. They'll have the armed undereducated southern whackadoos trying to secede and threatened armed rebellion in a heartbeat if she's elected...the fact that she's a woman would lead them to believe that she'll buckle and can be trod upon and won't slap them down for it. Just watch. The pseudo-militia weekend daycamp warriors all across rural southern and Midwestern states have already been kicked into high gear by 5 years of GOP/Teatroll demagoguery and McCarthyist rabble-rousing. They'll be bombing fed buildings and ordering all federal agencies/officers out of their states on penalty of imprisonment within 6 months of her inauguration.

    May 10, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    What I find ironic is that Mr. Issa and the GOPT are beating a dead horse over Benghazi and trying to shift blame on Mrs. Clinton, questioning her leadership skills and decision making as a means of deterring her from running for office in 2016. Its the same right wing fear mongering tactic they used to discourage Ms. Rice from campaigning for the Sec of State position. But you know, when GWB ran for re-election in 2004, never once did democrats in congress ever brought up the 9/11 attacks on our homeland or the illegitimate Iraqi war. And neither did his opponent John Kerry!

    But of course, Mr. Romney and the GOPT made sure to politicize the Benghazi tragedy during the last election and now they GOPT continue to do so to discourage Mrs. Clinton from running for office. But I blame the democrats in congress for remaining silence for four years and allowing the right wing extremists to infiltrate our congress and nation with their blatant bigotry, racism, lies and fear mongering tactics for political gain. But the GOPT tried to suppress the minority vote in the last election and it backfired in historic proportions as minorities remained in line for hours to cast their vote. And beating a dead horse over Benghazi is only going to make it more easier for Mrs. Clinton to win by a landslide.

    May 10, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. bear

    Since the State Department refused to release copies to congress and would only let people look at them the email which said "islamic extremists" was reported to Boehner by the staffers who went through the material as saying "islamic terrorists". MIght have been an honest mistake. Might not have been.

    Once Boehner said "islamic terrorists" the State Department released a copy of the emal to the NY Times. The timing of releasing an email to the press that previously could not be shown to congress, might be suspicious. Might not.

    May 10, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. The Other Bob


    @ The Other Bob
    An AWB and mag restriction being pushed by this clown are attacks on our 2A rights, public safety officers being citizens just like everyone else in this great nation. My statement still stands.
    Then you stand among the ignorant. I'm LEOs just love citizens armed with semiautomatics carrying high-capacity magazines when they arrive at an active crime scene. Spare us.

    May 10, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I like how Mr. Issa and company alleged that the Benghazi attacks were planned and carried out my a militant group. Yet, the intelligence in question cannot lead us the the name of the group or their affiliation. Of course no militant group claimed responsibility for the attacks as is usually customary of al-Qaeda. And neither did this group ever bothered to abduct and hold Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans hostage as a bargaining chip as is usually customary of al-Qaeda. And prior to the attacks, both Egyptian and Libyan demonstrators took to the air waves and the streets on 9/11/12 and demanded condemnation of the islamic web video from our consolates and because they did not get such condemnation, they attacked the consolates. The only difference is that in Egypt the military was able to foil the attacks and protect our consolate there because Egypt was still stable but in Libya where the country was recovering from war, the situation there was completely different.

    But if there was indeed some sort of lapse in intelligence that Mrs. Clinton did not get as to a "planned attack" or the imminent danger of the Americans, then shouldn't that intelligence have come from the Pentagon with specifics? Then who was in charge of the Pentagon when the attacks ensue? Well, no one other that republican David Petreaus! So you see there was a "COVER-UP" of the Benghazi attacks after all, only it was Mr. Petreaus who was covered-up under the sheets with one woman while the other woman had unlimited access to classified information from his computer. But of course, republicans are judged by a different measuring stick. They can do no wrong! What a screwed up country!

    May 10, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. AmericaStand

    Not so cool when the administsration and State Dept left four Americans to die while the whole country watched the attack live on the news. New details about the Obama administration's initial story-line on the Benghazi attack are raising additional questions about top-level efforts to downplay terrorism, with one report showing a State Department official pushed to delete a section that could have been used to "beat up" her department. The fresh reports have surfaced two days after three whistle-blowers testified on Capitol Hill about the Benghazi attack. One of them sharply challenged the administration's decision to describe the attack out of the gate as a protest gone wrong.

    ABC News reported Friday that, despite administration claims that the flawed description reflected the best intelligence at the time, the talking points that led to the statement were revised 12 times. Initial versions, as has been previously reported, contained references to Al Qaeda that were later deleted. But the latest excerpts show how State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland pressed the CIA to scrub references to the agency's prior security warnings. According to ABC News, the original paragraph read:

    "The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa'ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador's convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks." But Nuland wrote that the lines "could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned ..."

    May 10, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. Ben Jones

    Clinton and Obama are going down. Look for indictments and Joe Biden as President. God help the United States of America.
    Benghazi is bigger than Watergate. The White House LIED and people died.

    May 10, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Bud

    I voted for Obama, but Joe is an embarrassment, a disaster, a joke. It is scary that someone like this holds this office.

    May 10, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Joe

    I love Uncle Joe.

    May 10, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    John McCain made the same comment during the election last year in claiming that Benghazi is bigger than Watergate. However, I like how McCain ommitted the 9/11 attacks on our homeland that took the lives of over 3000 Americans and an illegitimate Iraqi war that took the lives of over 4000 U.S. troops and an Afghan war that was deliberately and recklessly abandoned and prolonged for the invasion of Iraq. Well, the 9/11 attacks on our homeland are bigger than the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the war atrocities of the Bush administration that have resulted in the deaths of over 1million Iraqi civilians in an never ending civil war are the worst war atrocities since Nazi Germany. Bigger than Watergate? Please!

    May 10, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. gotdayumit

    This doofus has to be one of the dumbest cluckers ever to walk the hallowed streets of DC!

    May 10, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. gotdayumit

    to Bud posting above me...the fact that u voted for Obama, knowing that this clucker Biden could supercede him if Obama was offed or died, proves that u are a moron! Obama, BTW, is not much smarter than O'Biden!

    May 10, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @ Bud

    If Joe is an embarrassment, then what was Dick Cheyney who you know, failed to prevent the Twin Towers from collapsing on 9/1, failed to prevent the Pentagon from being attacked, failed to prevent our jumbo jets from being used as WMDs, failed to uncover WMDs, failed to stabilize Afghanistan, failed to restore America's image, trust and credibility, failed to prevent the great recession from occuring and yet says that he has "no regrets whatsoever and would do it all over again? I think Joe has done a good gob helping to clean up Cheyne's mess and don't you think its Cheynes who is the big embarrassment?

    May 10, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Truth

    How about all the victims of Major Hassan at the Army base, when do they get their deserved assistance? Oh that's right, because Hassan is a muslim, obama didn't consider this a terrorist attack, which it was. He labeled it "workplace violence". An American "president", who sides with muslims. Way to go, America.

    May 10, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Holdthe Profanityfool

    Hillary 2016? You'll be sorry. Very sorry.

    May 10, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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