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. Republican'ts

    Let's see, since Nov the republicant have gone after Unions, Gays, Lesbians, Muslins, Plannned Parenthood, NPR, and they are on track to dismantle and screw up your Society Security. They will make it sound so righteous, so American that you boomers will fall for it just like you have been doing since Nov. What you really did in Nov was cut your own throats in the twlight of your lives. No Jobs, no job bill, but a yell of lot of job cutting. They are coming for you gray beards next...ain't nothing you can do about it!!! You will reap what you have sown!

    March 18, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Joe is the real American. He speaks the truth and strongly supports the working class of America. The Republicans must be afraid of this person.

    March 18, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  3. Lisa Mitchell

    Bizarre is a perfect word!

    March 18, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  4. Eve

    spot on Mr. Vice Presidnet

    March 18, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  5. Biden Is an Idiot

    And he has done what....

    March 18, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  6. Aaron

    Finally, someone close to the White House has the backbone to stand up to the lying GOPers and state the facts for what they are.

    March 19, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  7. GOP = Greed Over People

    Finally we will be rid of that Palin pest, she will have to stay in Israel after she writes her prayer on her hand, to leave at the Wailing Wall.

    Sorry, Israel but you have just been hit by the "plague of a locust"!

    And she is one "victim" that will not be missed!

    March 19, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  8. FBMarky

    Bravo! He's finally saying what all of us are thinking. I'm so sick of republicans who tell us, the working people of this country, that letting rich people live here for free, while raping us – literally – is good for us. The sleeping liberals are awakening and there's gonna be a lot of conservatives losing their jobs in the next election. People can only take this crap for so long and then the pendulum swings the other way.

    Watch over the next several months as people like rand paul try connect with the "working man" in a last ditch effort to keep their jobs. You can take all the millions you want from your billionaire buddies, but you can only push us so far. Our votes will send you packing. And you better hope your big rich friends want to associate with you after you've behaved like jerks. Evil is only trendy for so long – then the universe corrects itself. Get ready!

    March 19, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  9. Marla

    Go Joe!
    His analogy was perfect!

    March 19, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  10. TA

    Purely and utterly shameless. Defame, debase, and lie.....and if you do it long enough and persistently enough, ultimately some people will believe you. The Democratic strategy is what's wrong with this country.

    March 19, 2011 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    C'mon Biden, don't you know that it is the womans fault for getting raped because she dressed too sexy...(I'm being sarcastic you slow ones, AKA Republicans)

    Oh Jesus, those Republicans that haven't left the party yet MUST have some serious brain damage, the wiring up there must have shorted out at some critical junction, because this is really getting to be embarrassing, just when you think Republicans can't go any lower they brake all expectations and manage to sink AGAIN...

    March 19, 2011 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  12. Joe

    You know I almost forgot biden was vice president? He seems to do so little and he's overshadowed so much by Obama, he's almost invisible.

    March 19, 2011 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  13. Albo58

    Biden is such an embarrassment, which makes him a perfect fit in the current administration!

    March 19, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  14. mj

    I agree with the vice president; the Republicans are a bunch o hypocrites. all they care for is the big corporations and how much money they can make from the lobyist. it is a shame. they talk about moral values every day and who do they have as their front runner for 2012? NEWT and TRUMP. two men who have been married multiples times. two men who have treated their multiples wives very badly. we need to call them out on their hypocrisy.

    March 19, 2011 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  15. WiredweirdoinSF

    This is the same hair plugged idiot that told us that last summer was the summer of prosperity. He has so littlle credibility and not a clue as to what is really happening in the world. Andrew Card of the SEIU won't tell him. So he just goes out and attacks Republicans.

    March 19, 2011 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  16. Dan

    Did you notice that the spokesperson from the rnc did not object to the truthfulness of the VP's remarks , but she did object to the wording. And yes the neo-cons and( their not so bright little cousins)the baggers do seem to say bend over and take it, it is for your own good and the good of the country. The republican party and their dimwitted little cousins have become a bunch of unpatriotic parasites that want everything that this country has to offer, but let someone else pay for it (middle class and poor) It is about time that these leeches shut up and pay their taxes and make sure that the corporations either bring the jobs back to this country or pay taxes in lieu of jobs lost.

    March 19, 2011 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  17. Rationalist

    Well at least our our Vice-President is not scared to speak the truth, even if it is not the popular thing to say. The federal budget will NEVER be balanced until they look at the other side of the ledger, REVENUE. Spending cuts are needed as well, no doubt, but non-security discretionary spending, about 600 billion dollars total, is not where the spending problem lies. A good first step would be to return to at least Clinton-era tax levels and get our troops out of these endless stalemates overseas (then reduce defense spending to 1998 levels). That wouldn't entirely solve the problem long term, but it amounts to more than anything the GOP or Democrats have put forth thus far.

    March 19, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  18. Steve-Illinois

    Does anyone take anything this clown says seriously?

    March 19, 2011 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  19. Obama is, always will be my President

    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."
    Don't Apologize for a - thing Biden you said and you mean it good for you. It time some one woke up, sit up and spoke up for what they believed in.

    March 19, 2011 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  20. Right Leaning Independent

    NIce try Joe! You wanted the job and you got it.. You have continued spending like a drunken congressman.. .This is now your administration.. Your debt... Your continuance of spending...Your lack of leadership on a multitude of issues we are facing includind debt reduction.. If you are in over your head, you and your boss can resign immediately and let someone else work on solutions rather than passing the blame on every issue that arises...

    March 19, 2011 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What is incredible, is that the republicans who caused this mess accept no responsibility, and are unwilling to engage in meaningful talks to address it. I have watched those who supported giving tax breaks to the wealthy, tax breaks to big oil, bail out the big banks and Wall Street, and put corporations (foreign and domestic) ahead of our own people. And then to make up for all the money they have thrown at their billionaire donors, blame unions, teachers, police, firemen, seniors, veterans, hispanics, the uninsured, government workers, and poor people for the republican failures.

    March 19, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What Joe said may be ugly, but it is what it is.

    March 19, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans have no business in leadership roles. Fire Boner 2012.

    March 19, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Biden is absolutely right. Back during the Bush reign of error I was calling it "government by domestic violence." The Greedy Old Parasites' "My way or the highway approach" combined with psychological tactics like minimization and intimidation are classic behaviors for abusers. Right now the Greedy Old Parasites are bent on attacking the poor, the middle class, workers, good government and the environment. The filthy rich have declared war on the rest of us. Now is the time to resist.

    March 19, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  25. annie s

    Tasteless and offensive? Agreed – the Republican approach is absolutely tasteless and offensive. Thanks to the Vice President for speaking clearly and truthfully.

    March 19, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
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