June 28th, 2010
12:42 PM ET
12 years ago

Biden: Byrd was 'a tough, compassionate, and outspoken leader'

During an event in Kentucky, Vice President Biden paid tribute to Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, who passed away early Monday morning.

(Read Biden's remarks after the jump)

Remarks of Vice President Joe Biden as released by the White House

"As we used to say in my years in the Senate, if you’ll excuse a point of personal privilege here for a moment, a very close friend of mine, one of my mentors - a guy who was there when I was a 29-year-old kid being sworn into the United States Senate shortly thereafter; a guy who stood in the rain, in a pouring rain, freezing rain outside a church as I buried my daughter and my wife before I got sworn in, Robert C. Byrd. He passed away today. He was the - we lost the dean of the United States Senate, but also the state of West Virginia lost its most fierce advocate and, as I said, I lost a dear friend.

“Throughout his 51 years, the longest tenure of any member in Congress in the history of the United States, Robert C. Byrd was a tough, compassionate, and outspoken leader and dedicated above all else to making life better for the people of the mountain state - his state, the state of West Virginia. He never lost sight of home. He may have spent half a century in Washington. But there’s a guy - if anybody wondered - he never, never, never, never took his eye of his beloved mountain state. And we shall not - to paraphrase the poet - we shall not see his like again. And the Senate is a lesser place for his going."

Filed under: Joe Biden • Robert Byrd
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. doug

    Biden, Obama, Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Menendez, Reid and the rest will carry on his GRAND tradition.

    June 28, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Barack.Hussein.Obama-America's-Benevolent-DICTATOR

    Very nicely stated. Somebody must have written it for Biden.

    But quite honestly, FIFTY ONE YEARS in office is FAR TOO LONG. Career politicians have been, and will continue to be, the downfall of this country. He should have retired years ago.

    June 28, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. BeverlyNC

    What a sad day to lose such a great legislator and patriot who loved and defended the Constitution.

    Senator Byrd was a great man who loved this country and it's so disappointing to see what Congress has become – mainly from Republican hate, political game-playing and no interest in doing the People's business. They have disgraced themselves as they pander to the rich white wealthy class and the largest corporations who abuse the People and have nearly brought down our economy, our whole middle class, and our standing in the world.

    Senator Byrd was one the last great Senators who know they are there to serve the PEOPLE and did so with great dedication, selflishness, and love for our government.

    Rest in peace our dear friend. You have served our country with distinction, honor, and integrity.

    June 28, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Rush Limbaugh marries ambulance chaser,and were still laughing

    At least he wasnt a coward and switch parties in 64.hahaha

    June 28, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Yeah, 'a tough, compassionate, and outspoken leader' who just happened to get a kick out out of sending billions of dollars of taxpayer money back to his friends in West Virginia, i.e., a thief.

    June 28, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. John G

    Robert Byrd was a bigot. These previous posts show how pathetic and hypocritical democrats are. If Robert Byrd was a Republican, he would be vilified and would probably have been forced to resign from the senate. Byrd filibustered the 1964 Voting Rights Act and opposed the army segregating, Byrd was a Grand Wizard in the KKK.

    June 28, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Shane-LAS VEGAS

    God rest his soul. Now he is with his wife. I hope on this day that people will put their flags out to remember the service Sen. Bryd did for our country. My thoughts and prayers are with Byrd's family and colleagues and also for the people of WV

    June 28, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Judging by Bidens comments he must never have asked for a tax decrease, otherwise he would have been called a "smartass" by this hairplugged jerk that the corrupt, inept union toady president selected as his partner in crime. For CNN people who don't know what I am talking about, watch FoxNews.

    June 28, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. mjm

    Byrd was a compassionate racist? Save it.

    June 28, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    So are you Joe!! So are you.

    June 28, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. feet-first....

    Washington politicians should not overstay...this is one reason why Washington is broken too many do-nothings.......okay byrd rest in peace........................................................................................................!

    June 28, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. AR

    Compassionate? The guy was a hardcore racist till the day he died. I don't have a PROBLEM with racism. But for Democrats to pretend that they have a monopoly on racial victimization and then go and vote for this guy for half a century is kinda ironic. He "renounced" his racism a few years BEFORE saying that he'd sooner see Old Glory trampled than fight beside a Negro. The guy was a RACIST. Be honest.

    June 28, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. La Piovra

    Howl, dogs, a wolf has died tonight- Mowgli, on the passing of Akela

    June 28, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. gary

    most people that spent years in the Ku klux klan are exactly that mr biden. What a moron! senator Byrd was the knig of pork. in latter years his long winded screeds and ramblings were rather embarrasing to listen to. I am generally charitable in death but this one is a little tough. bet you this gets deleted!

    June 28, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Wake up America!

    Byrd was also a former klansman! Let's see if CNN even mentions that anywhere.

    Could you imagine if he were a republican? He probably would have been pushed out of office years ago if that were the case. But all democrats get passes these days.

    June 28, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. ToldUSo

    Who Believed blacks should remain slaves.

    June 28, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Scott

    Why won't any of the liberal news media say what Byrd really was...a Supreme Leader of the KKK.

    June 28, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    God Bless you Senator Byrd!

    June 28, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. wisest one of all

    The KKK has lost one of its greatest members.

    June 28, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. Cheryl

    I remember well Robert fighting for us on the senate floor against the big money that doesn't care about the little person. CSPAN is something all should watch especially on important issues, I sure learned a lot who was on our side and who was not. It never ceases to amaze me how people can believe in others that are not in our corner, he was an exception like a few I can think of.
    No, I am not a democrat but I do look at intent on all sides to see who really is trying to help the American people.

    June 28, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Dennis

    Byrd was the poster boy for porkbarrel spending.

    June 28, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. ehwilson429

    Biden has an IQ of 90.
    as such he should be kept in an enclosed area and make NO statements.

    June 28, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Leave it to the Neo-Confederate ignorant nutcases to cheer at the death of someone whom spent their entire career as a public servant. Real class act.

    June 28, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. kapechi

    Byrd was just OLD. NOT a leader by any stretch of anyone's imagination. the KKK needs a new leader now.

    June 28, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. seebofubar

    Hey Doug,
    You mean the grand tradition of being a GRAND CYCLOPS in the KKK? In a letter to a friend he wrote that he would rather die a thousand deaths than to serve next to a black man while in the military. This man was a disgrace to our nation, a true southern democrat, a racist.

    June 28, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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