November 2nd, 2009
05:54 PM ET
13 years ago

Biden stumps for Owens, takes dig at Palin

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden stumped for Owens Monday."]

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden challenged Republican voters in New York's 23rd congressional district to teach conservative "absolutists" a lesson in the special House election Tuesday by voting for the Democratic candidate in the race.

"We aren't asking you to switch your party," Biden said at a rally for Democrat Bill Owens in Watertown, New York Monday morning. "We are just saying join us in teaching a lesson to those absolutists who say no dissent is permitted within your own party."

The comments come a day after Republican Dede Scozzafava, who withdrew from the race Saturday amid heavy pressure from conservatives - endorsed Owens. Many high-profile Republicans, including Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Dick Armey, have already thrown their own support behind third-party conservative candidate Doug Hoffman.

Related: Scozzafava campaigns for Owens

In his remarks at the rally for Owens, Biden elicited boos from the crowd when he mentioned Palin, Limbaugh and Armey.

"The idea that Rush Limbaugh would handpick [the] successor is kind of unusual," Biden said of the popular conservative radio host who has heavily backed Hoffman over the national party's choice of Scozzafava.

"I would have thought the last person I would bring up to the North Country is Dick Armey," Biden continued, pointing to the former Texas congressman and current chairman of the conservative group FreedomWorks. "He's a decent guy, but he represents a view so alien it seems to me to the pragmatism to the North Country. Sarah Palin, a former governor - her views are real and consistent with Armey's and Limbaugh's and Dick Cheney's."

"This is a different ideology," Biden continued. "This is different than anything I've known in my 45 years of being familiar with this district. You know, they may not have any room for moderate views in the Republican Party upstate anymore, but let me assure you, we have room, we have room."

Later in his remarks, the vice president couldn't help but return to the subject of the former Alaska governor when the issue of energy came up.

"Sarah Palin thinks the answer to energy is 'Drill, baby, drill,' he said, leaning into the microphone. "It's a lot more complicated, Sarah, than drill baby drill."

A just-released Siena College poll suggests Hoffman holds a 5-point lead over Owens, while 18 percent of likely remain undecided.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin fired back at Biden Monday. "As the vice president knows, I have always advocated an all-of-the-above approach to American energy independence," Palin wrote in a note on her Facebook page. "There's one way to tell Vice President Biden that we're tired of folks in Washington distorting our message and hampering our nation's progress: Hoffman, Baby, Hoffman!."

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Filed under: Joe Biden • NY-23 • Popular Posts
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. no shows

    from local reporting - big crowd!

    "250 people gathered (50 of them are with the media); Watertown has a population of 30,000"

    November 2, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Merrick

    The only lesson I have learned from Biden is you can be dumb as a box of rocks and still be Vice President.

    November 2, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Sniffit about a GOP circular firing squad. The banishment of heretics will bite you in the bum neocons...guaranteed. Hoffman may well still win...after eating a few kittens with those giant yellow teeth of his...but, given the already existing leanings of upstate NY, don't think for a second that it's some massive litmus test regarding national sentiment towards the Obama administration or the progressive liberal agenda. Get real. It's just your average run-of-the-mill rural conservative area voting against its interests...again. Nothing to see there.

    November 2, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Carlos, THAT one

    CONS ervatives are the pestilence in this society (word too big for you repugnants?) look it up in the dictionary if you have ever seen one

    November 2, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. typical white person

    "The idea that Rush Limbaugh would handpick [the] successor is kind of unusual," Biden said of the popular conservative radio host who has heavily backed Hoffman over the national party's choice of Scozzafava.

    The LOCAL party picked her (no primary race) and Hoffman went in independently before Limbaugh ever mentioned his name on the airwaves. So the above statement is wrong on all counts.

    CNN – you should send your interns back to journalism school so they can learn how to do follow-up research on statements made by political hacks. This is why CNN is DEAD LAST in ratings.

    November 2, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Adam

    Lanae, good luck trying to please all those groups.. We'll stick with simply believing in something and letting people vote for us because they believe what we do.. You can have the RINO's!

    November 2, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Mike in MN

    Does Biden ever know what he is talking about. Hoffman decided to run on his own as a conservative because Scozzafeva was a liberal. Hoffman is not running as a Republican and was not chosen by Republicans, he is a third party. Many conservatives including conservative Republicans support Hoffman's conservative values. It's a free country. You can run as a third party if you want too and voters can support any candidate that most fits their values. The Republican party did not kick out Scozzafeva, in fact the RNC endorsed her. She quit on her own, no one made her. She quit when she saw the poll results that indicated her values did not represent very many voters in her district when they had a choice of her or a conservative candidate. The voters in her distirict rejected her, not the Republican party.

    November 2, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. katiec

    I cannot imagine any intelligent person letting theirselves be guided by the Limbaughs, Becks, Palins of this world.
    How can anyone support these dispicable messengers of hate,
    anger, fear mongering and lies?
    Or the radical religious right who claim such purity yet resort to sewer tactics, whose only goal is to destroy our president, consequently our country, obstructing any and all actions to benefit the American people?
    Who put party and winning at any cost over our survival?
    Who have totally ignored what they were elected to do and that is
    represent us and our country?
    Wake up America, they led us down the road to destruction these last eight years and will continue to do so.

    November 2, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. James

    Joe didn't even know where his favorite diner was or that it had been closed for 30 years. Campaign Joe, campaign!

    November 2, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Matt

    The Vice President spent his time talking about why people shouldn't elect Hoffman instead of why they should vote for Owens. This is a bad strategy and is something the Dems need to get away from.

    Because it worked for President Obama (reality is that more people were casting a vote against George Bush than for President Obama...even in his speeches and debates, he talked about GW half the time) does not mean it should become the party line. The Dems are getting awfully close to alienating the American public again. Now more than ever, this country needs a centrist third-party that can cut through the garbage spewed on both sides of the aisle. Isn't there any third-party candidate that could have a legitimate chance at winning federal office?

    November 2, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "This is the party that many in the media have stated is not unified, in disharmony, no real ideas. Are those divisions NOT dissent in within the party."

    They're not. What you're actually seeing is the majority of the GOP become alienated by extreme right-wing conservativism like that espoused by Limbaugh, Gingrich, Coulter, et al. The idea that a black progressive liberal completely spanked them in 2008 was anathema and has motivated them beyond all reason to cull the GOP herd for fear that anything on the liberal agenda will come to fruition, thus helping the American people and making the liberals look good, which they just plain can't allow if they want to return to power. Thus, anyone with anything resembling a moderate leaning or a willingness to compromise and move forward must be burned at the political stake. That's not representative of several factions disagreeing...particularly when all the moderate Republicans seem more than willing to bend over and take it sothey can continue to drink from the RNC election fund trough.

    November 2, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Great news, NY Republicans are now voting Democrat because they are smart.

    November 2, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. Mike in MN

    Biden's an idiot. If the voters in NY23 supported Scozzafeva's values, she would have done better in the polls. The voters in the 23rd district are choosing Hoffman and his conservative values over Scozzafeva. The RNC did not make her quit nor did people like Palin or Pawlenty or Limbaugh make her quit. She quit because he voters in the polls were rejecting her and choosing Hoffman who is running under a third party. When Hoffman wins it will be because the voters in the 23rd district chose his conservative values over the liberal Owens and Scozzafeva. Owens and Schozzafeva gave voters little contrast to choice between. When Hoffman was added to the picture, voters flocked to the conservative choice over the two liberals. The people decided, not the Repubican party.

    November 2, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. rachel

    Yes Joe right because dissent among democrats is so welcome that's why democrats are trying to have an all out war with the blue dog democrats on healthcare cause dissent is so welcome in the the party. Maybe the blue dogs should teach the liberals a lesson. I think the repbulicans and the conservative are gonna take it. People dont like one party forcing their views on the majority.

    November 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Tony

    Biden is unbelievably dim. This country has twice the amount of conservatists as liberals. And the numbers are growing by the minute with this administration's rush to re-distrubution of wealth and freebies to the pour. Hard work, morals and innovation are what made this country great. LEAVE MY WEALTH alone and give those that "need help" jobs. A trillion dollars is a terrible thing to waste. NO TO SOCIALISM!!! Come on 2010 and 2012, time for some REAL CHANGE!!!! This is the worst administration in the history of the US, and it only took 8 months to figure it out.

    November 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Sooze from Kona

    The Republican Party has fizzled out. They are disappearing faster then the polar bears. They don't want to move anything forward. What did they do when they had the majority. Lie to the American people and take us into a war that we had no business being in! Who do they have Sarah the quiter, Rush the druggie, John Boehner the bottled tan, each is worse then the next.

    November 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Jay

    Is Biden the Democrat's Palin? That's what it seems like when you read these blogs.

    November 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Isabelle

    Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Biden says, "Teach a lesson to those who say no dissent is allowed in their own party"?

    Well that's an interesting comment coming from an administration that won't allow dissent anywhere. Just ask FOX news.

    November 2, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. TangledThorns

    Biden is a clown with no clue nor solutions. Sarah Palin is a real leader and will prove even more so tomorrow!

    November 2, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. GH

    "Let's face it....What really upsets the Dims and extreme left is that people like Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity, far from inciting hatred, have merely exposed the hypocrisy, lies and double-standards of the left." Yes, they've exposed all those things alright - of their own party.

    November 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Conservative

    I am conservative. No I don't hate people because of race, religion, or economic class. I spend money I earn, not money I don't have. I work hard every day to EARN my way to the top. I do not expect the government or anyone else for that matter to take care of my health, education, or success. I take responsibility for my actions, not blame someone else. I understand that life is tough, not everything will go my way. I pray. I believe in God. I respect people that respect me. I help those that are less fortunate as much as I can. I love my family and work hard every day so my 2 daughters can live in a world better than mine. I am conservative.

    November 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. New Yorker

    Biden says "teach a lesson to those absolutists who say no dissent is permitted within your party". What a joke and hypocrite! The present regime in which he is a member attacks anyone who doesn't agree with their agenda. Go home, Biden, and stop flaunting your hypocrisy.

    November 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. shmeckel

    What a great reason to vote for someone. Don’t vote for the person that represents you best, no, vote democrat because I don’t like Rush and Palin. What great advice; we should always act out of spite.

    November 2, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. MKE

    to joe "the bell ringer" biden
    we, as republicans, learned our lesson in 2008: moderate repubs like john mccain are good to have around, but do not make the best leaders of the party. 2010 is going to be a reckoning for the left. enjoy your majority while you still have it.
    -conservative hispanic voter in milwaukee

    November 2, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. USA

    you say high profile and you cited Sarah Palin. I am one too because I amsmart than her.

    November 2, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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