July 3rd, 2007
09:36 AM ET
10 years ago

Biden slams Bush in Iowa swing

Biden campaigned in Iowa Monday.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CNN) - Joe Biden kicked off his Fourth of July swing through Iowa with a harsh rebuke of the Bush administration’s conduct on international and domestic fronts.

The 2008 Democratic hopeful railed against the president’s decision to commute the prison sentence of former administration aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

“That is what you might call tone-deaf or brain-dead. One of the two,” Biden told the Iowa City audience. “When the war is going to hell in a handbasket , when our leadership around the world is literally on the balls of its heels instead of engaging in any uniting effort to bring the country together what does he do? He takes one of the most controversial political stands he could do to enrage the country. This is an administration beyond redemption in my view.”

To the delight of the assembled crowd, Biden also said he thought the “House of Representatives could, if it chose, find reasonable grounds to bring articles of impeachment” against Vice President Dick Cheney. An aide said the Delaware senator was not advocating that such steps be pursued given the time and energy it would take away from larger issues like Iraq.

The war dominated Biden’s remarks as he walked and talked to roughly 50 members of the local gay community and others that gathered on a pleasant summer evening outside of Givanni’s restaurant in Iowa City. He called the war a “boulder in the middle of the road” that is preventing work on other issues like education from getting done.

Biden acknowledged his sometimes singular focus on Iraq, but when a woman asked him why he had not yet unveiled a universal health care plan, he said it was not because he did not have one but because of the present reality on the campaign trail.

“If I put it out now in the doldrums of the summer when I’m the guy that they’re saying may break out of the second tier it’ll end up on page 7 of the New York Times. It’ll end up on page 15 of the Washington Post. . . . They think the game is being played where the money is,” he said.

A Biden aide told the Ticker the campaign raised between $2.4 million and $2.5 million this quarter – quite a difference from the astronomical numbers being reported out of the Obama and Clinton campaigns.

“If I raised $20 million tomorrow I would be in the top tier immediately,” Biden said. “I must tell you I find it obscene that you have to raise $35 million a quarter to be able to compete. . . . The truth of the matter is the folks with the money want to marginalize the early primaries and caucuses so you can go straight to wholesale politics, but I haven’t heard anybody in Iowa, and I’ve been around a lot, asking me about how much money do I have before you vote for me. You’re asking me about my ideas,” he said to applause.

- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

Filed under: Iowa • Joe Biden • President Bush • Presidential Candidates • Race to '08 • Scooter Libby
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Rachel, San Diego CA

    Joe Biden calling the President brain dead. As if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black. Biden is an idiot.

    July 3, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Jerry Gertiser

    I don't think impeachment will ever fly. I think they should all be tried for war crimes once out of office.

    July 3, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Austin, Evergreen Park, IL

    It's too bad Biden's occasional gaffes keep a lot of people from taking him seriously, becasue he clearly knows the issues and is right on more often than not. This is a smart, if not brilliant, guy who just needs to stop "colloquializing" so much – if he can stop punctuating conversations about Iraq with big grins and statements like "c'mon, man, this stuff ain't rocket science" (this is the stuff that makes people think he's phony), he might actually be able to make a move for Edwards' spot among the "Big 3" Democratic candidates.

    July 3, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. MC, Sugar Land TX

    Dear Rachel – please back your words, Biden has.
    I live in former Tom Delay country. The rat won't come back to Texas. We voted DEMOCRAT to send a message. I called the White House to express my concern and some snot-nosed intern said "is that all?" ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
    Mr. President, please note: this is your warning. The American People and millions of people around the world know you are corrupt and only worry about your agenda. 2008 There WILL be a new direction....

    July 3, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Notbyngit

    What else has Biden done?? He's been in Congress for like ever..

    July 3, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Hateful speech is such a turn-off. It doesn't take any talent to criticize and is not a leadership quality.

    July 3, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    Wow, this corrupt administration lets Libby go, Biden calls them on it – and all you other posters can do is slam BIDEN? No wonder Bush gets away with so much.

    July 3, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Jon, Folsom ~ Ca

    Joe Biden slams the Bush Administration?? NOOO!! Really?

    Is there ANY democratic candidate that doesn't slam the administration?

    July 3, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Lee, Washington DC

    Biden's comments are right on point. The bigger question is where are the holier-than-thou Republicans on this issue. They should be outraged that this administration has placed itself above the law. All this commutation does is set the Republicans up for a huge defeat at the polls.

    July 3, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Ann Brunswick ME

    Grow up, Biden, and take responsibility for yourself!

    July 3, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Kevin Cho TIpton, Naples, FL

    For those of you looking for Biden's accomplishments, look at at his Iraq war exit strategy, the ONLY VIABLE ONE ON THE TABLE, supported by both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

    Also, look at the COPS program he basically single handidly got through into law and got thousands upon thousands of public safety members onto AMerica's streets.

    Look at his violence against women legislation, it's not that hard to see that Biden has had a long history of policy merits that has garnered him the support of millions across the country and world.

    July 11, 2007 05:39 am at 5:39 am |