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. Malory Archer

    dave

    What Biden seems to have lost is that no one actually listens to him anyway.

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

    Obviously you do and he struck a nerve, or you wouldn't be here commenting.

    September 13, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Hector Slagg

    Oh Shucks,
    And all this time i thought Joe was the intelligent one in the White House. Oh wait, Joe is the Intelligent one in the White House! Sorry.

    September 13, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. CMML

    @Malory Archer – Did I say anything about the 47% you are projecting my friend.

    And why is it that when a question like this is asked the Democrat's first response is to deflect and attack? Here's an different answer you might have used.

    "you're right, he and Obama really need to focus on the people before their party just as we wished Bush would have done."

    September 13, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    Donna: "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"

    Whom do you think is up to the task of putting aside childish behavior and/or are equal to leading this great country of ours domestically and internationally?

    September 13, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. CMML

    @Skarphace – Again I am amazed at how Liberals can never answer a question –

    Liberals on this and other sites spew venom and hate towards republicans yet refer to the GOP as the party of hate. If you believe that Republicans are the party of hate then you shouldn't be surprised that others in the party will defend GOP hate speech (at least they are being consistent with your perception of them).

    But according to liberals, the Democrat party is the party of equality and tolerance – where is that in their speech?

    September 13, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. Free_Radical!

    I see where Biden makes reference to the voting members of the Republican Party in congress as "neanderthals," but I can't see how any of that is a reference to all Republicans. I get the feeling that people here are looking for some sort of similarity to Romney's 47%, but I simply don't see the connection in this case.

    September 13, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Tony D

    Joe Biden is supposed to be 70 years old. Statements like this are what come out of a 7 year old. He is demonstrating horrendous judgement by making such statements. He is demeaning himself and his office by making such statements. To say it is uncivil language and behavior is an understatement.

    Somebody like this should never be allowed to hold our high offices. He should tend his resignation immediately. He is not serving this country properly with these sorts of remarks. He is the sitting Vice President and not some far left lunatic attack dog, or is he? Mr. Vice President, might I suggest you show some class in the future and refrain from these childish out bursts? The American people deserve better.

    September 13, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Skarphace

    Andy: Better Neanderthals than Progressives.

    Really? It is better that we go back to a time when men got mates by hitting them over the head with a club and dragging them into a cave then we progress to a time where women can actually feel safe walking our streets? No wonder you are against the VAWA.

    September 13, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. lisa

    Why didn't Biden just draw a red line between him and the "Neanderthals" ? It worked so well for his boss. I guess the VP is too busy helping with Syria.

    September 13, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. bombastus

    Calling Republicans Neanderthals? Sounds like a complement.

    September 13, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Evelyn Connaway

    In answer to Joe Biden – Republicans politicians are lower than any tribe of people that has been on our earth.

    September 13, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. just asking

    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.
    ---

    those are liberal and democrat descriptions. to use the liberal and democrat phraseology, 47% of americans are tax free riders. that was the phrase used for people who were abusing the healthcare system.

    so we will use your languagae and description going forward, agreed? people who pay no federal income tax are tax free riders.

    September 13, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. tommy P

    I know. If we send Biden to insult Putin then we'll get respect. Do past American Leaders and other world leaders treat their own like this. I wonder why we are looking, as Putin put it, less than exceptional. Where else can the world watch a reality show live. With our leader and co-leader needing to take public opinion polls before taking action. Of course this is all from the 2 Leaders that promised to bring transparency to the government. Yet the only transparent thing we have is our Intelligence agency documents and programs on world display and our allies. Oh to be far we do have some transparency from these to self proclaimed Kings of the America's. Every time a new spending scandal breaks they can't cover all of them naturally. Better higher more government works to cover the tracks better.

    September 13, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Skarphace

    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).

    Huh? You clearly live in an alternate universe.

    September 13, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    CMML

    @Malory Archer – Did I say anything about the 47% you are projecting my friend.

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

    No my dear. You commented that he called 45% of his constituents neanderthals, to which I responded, "This from a guy whose ilk believes that 47% of Americans are deadbeats. I was just pointing out the irony and hypocrisy of your post, and you knew that. But of course you chose to play obtuse for the beneift of the other nonthinkers of your ilk on this thread. Thanks for that – it makes calling you out sooooo much easier!

    September 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Ron Davis

    Neanderthal crowds? What would you call someone who insights racial tensions to win a election? "They want to put you all back in chains." The republican party is the one that took those chains off!

    September 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. vinster76

    how does Biden walk and talk at the same time without assistance and direction?????

    September 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Winston Smith

    That's an insult to neanderthals, dead or living.

    September 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. tiz

    Biden continues to be irrelevant.... just go back to your room and sit in the corner, Joe.

    September 13, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    CMML

    @Malory Archer – Did I say anything about the 47% you are projecting my friend.

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

    No my dear. You commented that he called 45% of his constituents neanderthals, to which I pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of your post by responding, "This from a guy whose ilk believes that 47% of Americans are deadbeats. You knew that, but you just had to attempt a snippy little comeback, didn't you? I have news for you babe – you failed miserably, but thanks for playing!

    September 13, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Donna

    Lynda/Minnesota
    --
    Donna: "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"
    -–
    Whom do you think is up to the task of putting aside childish behavior and/or are equal to leading this great country of ours domestically and internationally?
    -–

    I still have not decided and am open to any and all callers, EXCEPT supposedly mature adults that cannot have a debate or exchange of ideas or view points, without resorting to name calling. Because at that point, nothing productive can come out of the discussion. Pissing contests never produce meaningful results. I wish somebody would explain this to Mr. Biden. He should have learned this many years ago.

    September 13, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. rla

    This from a guy whom I would NOT buy a used car from..... What a joke

    September 13, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Malory Archer

    Ron Davis, it's really difficult to take you seriously. If you're going to attempt to impress people with big words, at least learn to use them properly. The word you were looking for is "incites". You're welcom.

    September 13, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    tiz

    Biden continues to be irrelevant....

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

    He's more relevant than you'll ever be outside your own little mind.

    September 13, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Malory Archer

    rla

    This from a guy whom I would NOT buy a used car from.

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

    I wouldn't buy a used car from ANYBODY.

    September 13, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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