Biden blasts Republicans' strategy as 'blaming the victim'
March 18th, 2011
10:17 PM ET
11 years ago

Biden blasts Republicans' strategy as 'blaming the victim'

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden blasted Republicans during a fundraiser in Philadelphia on Friday, comparing their approach to the budget battle to the mentality of "blaming the victim" of a rape.

The remarks came as he appeared at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) event with former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, then a Republican, who co-authored the Violence Against Women Act with him. Biden referenced the act in his comparison to Republicans, saying that before it was passed, "there was this attitude in our society of blaming the victim."

"When a woman got raped, blame her because she was wearing a skirt too short, she looked the wrong way or she wasn't home in time to make the dinner," Biden said at the DCCC event, according to a pool report. "We've gotten by that. But it's amazing how these Republicans, the right wing of this party – whose philosophy threw us into this god awful hole we're in, gave us the tremendous deficit we've inherited – that they're now using, now attempting to use, the very economic condition they have created to blame the victim – whether it's organized labor or ordinary middle-class working men and women. It's bizarre."

National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) spokeswoman Joanna Burgos responded to Biden's comments saying, "It's incredibly tasteless and offensive for the vice president to stoop to this level just to score political points. As much as Vice President Biden should retract this specific statement, he should apologize for comparing our country's dismal economic situation to such horrid acts as violence against women."

During the event, which was held at the Franklin Institute Science Museum, the vice president was also critical of Republicans who have lobbied for large cuts in discretionary spending.

"Republicans believe if they drastically cut discretionary spending, only 14 percent of the budget, and continue the tax cuts for the very wealthiest among us, that the free enterprise system will step into the vacuum and allow us to lead the world in the 21st century because it will have generated such enthusiasm and will create high paying jobs," Biden said. "Folks, there's no evidence in American history and there's no evidence in other major industrialized economies that that formula has ever worked in the midst of a gigantic recession."

Biden, who has been the lead negotiator for the budget talks, sat down earlier this month with Republican and Democratic leaders, White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Budget Director Jack Lew to hammer out a deal which would reduce spending and fund the government. Following the hour-long meeting, Biden released a one-sentence statement, saying only, "We had a good meeting, and the conversation will continue."

But the negotiations have not yet led to a deal, and this week Congress once again passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded temporarily while leaders attempt to reach an agreement to fund the government for the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends September 3.

House Republicans are increasingly split on the issue of spending. Many conservative Republicans are seeking deep, immediate spending cuts and have resisted a deal with Democrats. When the House voted earlier this month for the two-week funding authorization that expired Friday, only six Republicans opposed, while on Tuesday, 54 voted against the new three-week extension.

The White House has urged passage of a bill to avert a government shutdown. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement, "with the wide range of issues facing our nation, we cannot keep funding the government in two or three week increments."

Filed under: Budget • DCCC • Joe Biden • NRCC
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. G Foster

    Everyone and their brother predicted this would be the outcome in Congress after the November elections. You don't resolve political issues with non-compromising attitudes. So in my marriage I am supposed to say "I compromise no longer," and this makes me right? Sure. Why does the Tea Party think they have divine imperative to reject all ideas but their own? Silly people.

    March 19, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. Frank

    Biden speaks the truth. From the GOP perspective, it is the fault of the poor for being lazy, the unemployed for being lazy, government for handing out money to people etc etc. The concept of the greatest good for the greatest number has become simply the greatest good for the top 1% who donate to political campaigns.

    March 19, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    ["Republicans believe if they drastically cut… ]
    […discretionary spending, only 14%...”] will come out of the butt
    But they will “…continue the tax cuts for the very wealthiest” jerks
    "Folks, there's no evidence… that that formula has ever worked…”

    I wish I was wealthy so I can say that I rather WIN THE FUTURE for America instead of getting TAX CUTS I know I do not deserve!!!

    March 19, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. Jon in Madison

    Biden is comparing this to blaming a rape victim for a rape? He has a lot of nerve to compare any level of politics to something so heinous as blaming a rape victim for a rape. Get a clue Biden. This is not how a consensus is built.

    March 19, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. a in austin

    Tell it like it is Joe – sometimes, the truth hurts. It's time Main Street stood up and demand corporations pay and be responsible for their fair share.

    March 19, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. The reality is...

    "... But it's amazing how these Republicans, the right wing of this party – whose philosophy threw us into this god awful hole we're in, gave us the tremendous deficit we've inherited..."
    Everyone knows, well, I guess everyone except this arrogant guy, that it was both parties (including the liberal left-wing) who got us into the devil awful hole we're in. Guess he's in denial about Barney Frank and Chris Dodd's blunders ( not to mention his own!)

    March 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Jeff in Virginia

    We need more of this from Biden.

    March 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. tim

    Your exactly right Mr.Biden,the Republicans and their racist spin-off,are gearing up to punish the middle class and underprivilaged in this country,for the "Huge mistakes they have made in the last 15 yrs. Why in the world,would somebody want to vote Gop!!!!!! Obama is not to blame? He is trying to fix their mess!!!! Selective memory is so obvious with Gop,they think people are stupid,"OH they,ll forget!!!!! I don,t think so! Run Sarah Run,that will assure our country will be safe from idiots voting Gop and their buddies in the Teapot!!!!!!

    March 19, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Super Dave

    Ahh, these sage words of wisdom coming from the same jack-wagon that wanted to divide Iraq into three different countries. Yes, the same moron that asked a criple to stand up. And who could forget gaffin Joe making references to wacthing Roosevelt's fireside chats BEFORE t.v. was in the majority of people's houses. Remember Gaffin' Joe's comments about convience stores and India indians? Yeah, this is a guy that has my confidence when it comes to making intelligent choices. Sheeesh! Go ride a train Joe! Maybe the conductor will let ya ring the bell on your new little choo-choo!!

    March 19, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
1 2