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. GIBBS

    biden's a donkey.....get it!

    November 2, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Dave

    The caption "Biden stumped for Hoffman Monday." on the pic appears to be incorrect.

    November 2, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. DC Observer

    Joe Biden just isn;t very good at trash talking against the GOP. Never has been, never will be.

    Biden has more problems in his own party - Iraq – Afghanistan – Gitmo – Health Care – Jobs – Banking Reform – Iran Nuclear – Palestine and Israel – Pakistan and militants – North Korea. If I were Joe or barack, I'd just go to office every day and put my head down and work for the people who elected you, and just stop the school yard taunting - It is so unbecoming of a VP

    November 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Bill

    Has anyone else noticed the picture with the caption "Biden stumped for Hoffman Monday", appears to show VP Biden standing in front of campaign signs reading Bill Owen on them, or that it's inconsistant that the VP would be 'stumping' for the oppositon?
    Just curious. Would be nice to see a contraction for that as well.

    November 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Michael

    Anyone see Sarah Palin's reply to Biden yet (on her Facebook page)? Hilarious.

    November 2, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Tony

    Your caption says that Biden is stumping for Hoffman. Isn't Biden stumping for the lib dem Owens? I hope that this isn't an intentional effort to confuse voters!

    November 2, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Glen

    Biden has certainly proven why Palin would have been a far superior vice president. Go for it Joe, you are an incredible asset to the Republican Party

    November 2, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. alpha_nu_916

    "patriots" like proud member . . . party of no & obama/biden=one & done, please god seemingly think that some ultra-conservative movement will sweep america.
    americans, for the most part are moderates, & really detest both radical sides of the spectrum. for these closet neo-facists to think that this platform will win the day in the next couple of elections shows the depths of their insanity.

    November 2, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. RickM

    Joe Biden is lucky to draw a crowd of 200 people in NY 23. Sarah Palin on the other hand is drawing 15,000 – 20,000. The Veep may actually be hurting Owens by criticizing her.

    The caption under the picture is right Biden really is stumping for Hoffman with remarks like that.

    November 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Billy in VA

    The Republican party apparatus is how Scazzafava was nominated in the first place. THERE WAS NO PRIMARY. How unfair is that? You want to give people options, which is why that other guy jumped into the race. If he hadn't, it would have been two Democrats or liberals running against each other. What kind of choice is that, and I mean if you're not a hardcore liberal or Democrat? If you are I am sure you think that the choices are just fine!!! Ha ha, which is what Biden was saying.

    November 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Tom

    Republicans will lose and lose until we (yes, I am a Republican) separate our own church and state.
    Kick the Religious fundamentalists out of our party and put them back in the church where they belong.
    Let the religious wackos, in any party, learn that fundamentalism isnt the way of the world.

    November 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Bob in Sewanee, Tennessee

    The Republicans are so far out on the limb that "W" Bush has sawed almost completely through for them that they may all fall off before the limb actually breaks. They should step back and examine how far out of step they have become. Thank you George and Sarah.

    Neither Palin or Biden will decide–leave it up to the voters. If they want more right-wing Republicanism, they can vote it in.

    November 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. JK from FL

    I can just imagine the thought process of a GOP'er in this district...."I'm a republican so I'm NOT going to support the candidate of my party, because I just love having people with common sense (read independent here) laugh at my intellect."

    November 2, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Terry from West Texas

    The Conservative opposition is not a loyal opposition. They oppose anything and everything the Administration does because they want the Administration to fail. This will hurt a lot of ordinary Americans, but non-Conservative collateral damage is quite acceptable to America's Conservative leadership. I hope that these close races go against the Conservatives. If they don't, the Conservative noise machine will crank up the volume to a deafening roar.

    The goal of Conservatism is more wealth for wealthy Conservatives and more power for Conservative leaders. To Conservatives, the shrinking wealth and security of the middle class is insignificant. Losers always suffer – they reason – in the game of life. That's the law of the economic jungle. If the losers are kids or handicapped or pregnant women, then so be it. The lower class is not part of the Conservative calculation at all. They are garbage and can be ignored.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me hundreds of times over sixty years and I must be a Conservative voter.

    November 2, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. J.A. Murphy

    Joe Biden is NOT "stumping" for Hoffman the Putz!!

    November 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. Paul , St. Louis MO

    Who are the 18% undecided? If these people were Republicans who were going to vote for the Republican where do they go now? The third party and conservative leaders have run the Republican out. Do these voters now reward them by voting for the Conservative Party or do they follow the lead of the Republican candiadate and vote for the Democrat who is closer to their isssues than the Conservative? 18% is a big undecide vote the day before an election.

    November 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Eric in Cali

    Conservatives are still the majority in this nation...and liberals think we're "crazy" because we want to protect unborn children from being murdered, defend marriage as it has been for...ohhhh..forever, and we don't think that pandering to truly evil dictators will make the world a safer place.
    Call us backwards, religious fanatics and "abolutists". Most of the country just calls us right.
    And most of the country is sorry we went so far left with President Obama.

    November 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. Tex

    Haha you GOPers are sad... I only offer my sympathy.

    November 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. OldUncleTom

    Before this election, I did not know that NY-23 existed. By 2 weeks after the election, I expect to go back to my blissful ignorance of upstate NY politics. While entertaining, in its way, far too many people are reading far too much into this rural area's significance.

    We have congressional districts like this in California also; we don't, however, pretend they matter.

    November 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Ted Tartaglia

    Good for Joe!

    Rush Limbaugh and his cohorts, Sarah Palin, Dick Armey, Hannity, Beck, Boehner, McConnell and Gingrich, are the ones focused on harming the United States. These religious, right-wing fanatics care only about power and forcing their agenda on all Americans. In their perverted minds, they cannot accept the defeat handed them by the voters in the last election. They are in full denial of reality and are bordering on total delusion or perhaps some form of dementia.

    People who slavishly adopt the ravings of Limbaugh and Boehner, because they cannot think for themselves, should consider abstaining from voting all together.

    Our founding fathers may have had it right when they believed that a goodly percentage of the American public are not intelligent enough or are so badly misinformed that they should not be permitted to vote for their representatives.

    November 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Skiritae

    Yep! This should be an interesting place by tomorrow evening!

    Dems want to paint this as a lose-lose for Republicans, but it won't work. Conservatives (regardless of party) are about to demonstrate that they are now wise to all of the Obama-crap.

    I can't wait to see what Axelrod's face looks like next Sunday on all the talk shows. Maybe he won't show up. Nah.... he can't help himself.

    November 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. AXH

    Get this whack-job out of here!
    Biden is a joke!
    Go ahead and let him keep talking...keep putting his foot in his big mouth!

    November 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Paula

    This election is being held to replace a Republican who stepped down. Though the Democrats would love to pick up another win, this is in no way a reflection on how the country thinks of President Obama. If I understand correctly this is a predominately Republican area. The fact that a Democratic candidate is only behind by 5 speaks volumes.

    November 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. AJ

    Sure Tell Republicans to vote Democrat so they too can screw up America. The Democrats have shown America that Pelosi's Un Americans are her own party. Lies, Deceipt, and back stabbing!! Just look at Deeds from Virginia. WE THE PEOPLE are better than that.

    November 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Grrr-awful-o

    Ok, all of you who wanted to follow the lead of Joe Biden, let's go! LOL!

    November 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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