Biden: House Republicans "Neanderthals"
September 13th, 2013
09:34 AM ET
10 months ago

Biden: House Republicans "Neanderthals"

Washington (CNN) - Touting the success of the Violence Against Women Act, Vice President Joe Biden described those in Congress who slowed the renewal of the measure as a "Neanderthal crowd."

"I'm going to say something outrageous," Biden said at an event at the vice president's residence in Washington Thursday night to celebrate the 19th anniversary of act, which is designed to protect women from domestic violence.

Biden, who took a leading role in the mid-1990's in drafting the legislation when he was a senator from Delaware, said "surprisingly last year we ran into this sort of Neanderthal crowd," to laughter, adding that "I'm serious, I mean, when you think about it, did you ever think we'd be fighting over 17 years, 18 years later? To reauthorize this."

The act (VAWA) had been swiftly reauthorized in previous years, but House Republicans in the last Congress opposed portions of the Senate reauthorization bill and held up the measure for a year. One of the things they opposed was a part of the bill that would have expanded access to certain visas for non-citizens who were victims of domestic violence.

After last year's election defeats, where the GOP's hopes of recapturing the White House and the Senate were damaged in part by a weak showing with female voters, House Republicans in this year's new Congress supported the reauthorization, after the portion of the measure calling for expanded visa access was dropped.

Biden said having more women in the Senate helped overcome GOP opposition, saying "it makes a difference whether there is women in the Senate," to applause from those in the audience. "No, no, it does. It does man. The bigger the number the better our chances. Because they go and look all the rest of those guys in the eye and say, 'Look. This is important to me'."

The vice president's comments come just days before he heads to Iowa Sunday to headline Sen. Tom Harkin's steak fry, a major annual Democratic party gathering which has a rich history of attracting presidential hopefuls. Biden is considering whether he'll make a third run for the Democratic presidential nomination. He launched unsuccessful bids in 1988 and 2008.

Joe Biden courts presidential speculation with Iowa trip

In his comments Thursday evening, the vice president discussed his getting ahead of President Barack Obama in May of last year in supporting same-sex marriage.

As Biden announced federal grants to the first ever LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) victim services institute, he said "I promise I will end this in a second but to make sure victims get services regardless of their sexual orientation. And that was even before I went off script. Certain things I promised I wasn't going to keep my mouth closed on, OK? So I make no apologies for jumping ahead on the issue of uh, um, marriage. But think about it, for the first time we said, hey wait a minute now, you know, this is a violation of the law. You know these were major strides."


Filed under: 2016 • Joe Biden
soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. CMML

    So Biden thinks that roughly 45% of his constituents are Neanderthals? That's great Joe. Do you realize that you are the Vice President of the United States, not the Vice President of the Democrat party?

    September 13, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. chieftrainer

    "I'm going to say something outrageous," Biden said

    Joe, do you really need to repeat yourself?

    September 13, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. CMML

    Does anyone find it at least a little bit hypocritical when liberals refer to the GOP as the party of hate and intolerance in a post that spews hatred and intolerance?

    September 13, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. just saying

    Data Driven
    I think this is a problem in our national politics: people moving in and out of key jobs at what seems like an 8-month rate. For example, Obama has had 4 NEC directors, and he's been President for 5 years.
    A lot of these top jobs should be 4-year commitments. It's hard to see how Zients will have an impact if he moves on next year, which would be a likely prospect. Important posts like these should not be train stations on the gravy-train ride to more lucrative positions in the private sector.
    -–

    it is called incompetence. they leave because they are failures. have you looked at the economic results over the last 5 years? the country is in steep decline with an ever shrinking work force. the last thing we need are failures in these positions for 4 years. it is bad enough we have been stuck with obama. we need to add a recall amendment to the constitution to correct these types of failures.

    September 13, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. coyoteliberty

    This from the Vice-President of an administration that has refused to fully implement the unanimously passed by Congress Federal Prison Rape Prevention Act for FIVE YEARS and that, as one of it's first official in-power acts, was to shelf a civil rights investigation started under the Bush administration into abuse of female inmates in certain Southern and Midwestern state prisons so they could divert resources to preventing states like Arizona from enforcing Voter ID and Border security laws.

    There is a lot of talk about a Republican war on women and Republicans being "neanderthals", but the FACTS is that the Obama administration is letting female inmates – mostly women of color – be free choice targets for sexual predators wearing a badge.

    September 13, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Will S

    That's an insult to every Neanderthal!

    September 13, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. CHUCK

    Hey Joe..quit ridiculing primitive man..

    September 13, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. truth huirts but reality bites

    So says the Neanderthal that advised people to go out and buy shot guns and fire them into the air. Illegal in most places. The shocking level of immaturity displayed by both Obama and Biden is appalling. What is even worse is that you see many in here applauding such immaturity and bad behavior. Democrats like you Obama and Biden do not respect other people, their opinions, their viewpoints and call then names. We must stop electing third graders to the highest levels of government or nothing will ever get done because of this type of immature behavior.

    September 13, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. EldRick

    Touting the success of the Violence Against Women Act, Vice President Joe Biden described those in Congress who slowed the renewal of the measure as a "Neanderthal crowd."

    I takes one to know one, as they say...

    September 13, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. SpencerRifle

    Because someone doesn't agree with him he has to call them names? What is he, 8 years old?

    September 13, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. billmosby

    Stop hating on Neanderthals, they lasted a lot longer than our species has existed so far. And they had less gun violence, too.

    lol

    September 13, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. humtake

    Wait...what's this? A Liberal resorting to name calling when he doesn't get his way? No way. Next thing you will tell me is that a Republican doesn't give money to a bum he passed in a street.

    September 13, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Jimjones11111

    I really don't think republicans are hurt by Kerry's comment since most republicans believe Adam and Eve were the first humans and that Neanderthals are fiction.

    September 13, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Truth . . . – Respect? Ever read the posts by right wingnuts or tune in to Fox domestic terrorism? You then will get what respect is like when your agenda is to shut down the government and can't get your way.

    September 13, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Skarphace

    Biden could have phrased his criticism better, but he wants headlines. He feels that if he does not get as much attention as other 2016 hopefulls, then he will have less of a chance in his run for POTUS. Unfortunately for Biden, he doesn't have much of a chance either way. He just isn't Presidential material, and this is coming from a centrist who is registered as a Democrat.

    September 13, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. al

    Why would Biden compliment the republicans? Frankly they are not as advanced as the Neanderthals were. The republican party has become the party of no, the party of intolerance and the most anti American group of people I have seen in a long time, The American Nazi party is more American than the current Republicans. It is a real shame that a once proud and noble party has become so useless and so anti America and anti people.

    September 13, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Skarphace

    CMML: Does anyone find it at least a little bit hypocritical when liberals refer to the GOP as the party of hate and intolerance in a post that spews hatred and intolerance?

    What I find hypocritical is Republicans who will criticise Democrat politicians when they say something controversial, but will stand by Republican politicians no matter what they say. At least you see many Democrats here criticising Biden for his remarks, just like we criticised Weiner for his actions. So much for hypocrisy on the left.

    September 13, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    Now now, Handsome Joe – that comment is an insult to Neanderthals everywhere. A more accruate description would be a steaming pile of elephant excrement baking in the Florida sun in mid-August.

    September 13, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Dick Delson

    I sometimes think Republicans are living in another country. Obama was elected President twice. Respect him and respect the office.

    September 13, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. dave

    What Biden seems to have lost is that no one actually listens to him anyway. Obama selected him, only for job security, as not even the most anti-Obama person actually wants to see Biden as president.

    September 13, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Malory Archer

    Jimjones11111

    I really don't think republicans are hurt by Kerry's comment since most republicans believe Adam and Eve were the first humans and that Neanderthals are fiction.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except SOS Kerry didn't make the comment; VP Biden did. Honestly, I realize it's 5 p.m. SOMEWHERE in the world, but unless you're there you should really lay off the sauce so early in the day.

    September 13, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    coyoteliberty

    This from the Vice-President of an administration that has refused to fully implement the unanimously passed by Congress Federal Prison Rape Prevention Act for FIVE YEARS and that, as one of it's first official in-power acts, was to shelf a civil rights investigation started under the Bush administration into abuse of female inmates in certain Southern and Midwestern state prisons so they could divert resources to preventing states like Arizona from enforcing Voter ID and Border security laws.
    -------------
    The breathe and scope of the lies told by those on the right is staggering. The Federal Prison Rape Prevention Act was initially sponsored by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and signed into law in 2003. The law has been in place and enforced for nearly a decade. The rest of your fairy tales are not worth dignifying with a response.

    September 13, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Donna

    We have endured 5 years of Obama name calling and demonization, then wondering why people won't work with him. Heck, he is even out there insulting the leaders of other countries (Israel, Russia and I am sure others)

    We will have to endire another 3 years of Obama name calling and demonization, and nobody wanting to work with him.

    Do we really want Biden in the Oval Office to continue this ridiculousness with this type of childish behavior? Sorry, we need to do much better than elect people like this to lead this country. It is severly affecting not only our domestic affairs, but has now started causing proiblems with our foreign policy.

    September 13, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Debbie

    Here we go again with the self proclaimed party of tolerance. Keep spouting the democratic talking points...Many of us have woken up and are not falling for it anymore.

    September 13, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Malory Archer

    CMML

    So Biden thinks that roughly 45% of his constituents are Neanderthals?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Said the guy whose ilk thinks 47% of Americans are deadbeats.

    September 13, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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