A favorite Biden catchphrase: 'God-awful'
Vice President Joe Biden in Miami earlier this month.
June 27th, 2012
04:05 PM ET
11 years ago

A favorite Biden catchphrase: 'God-awful'

(CNN) - The economic recession. China's one-child policy. The "sands of Iraq." The Bush-era tax cuts.

What do they have in common?

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Vice President Joe Biden has called them all "God-awful."

And he used the phrase multiple times at a campaign speech on Wednesday in Dubuque, Iowa, including when criticizing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"I think his foreign policy is right out of the Cold War and his economic policy is just doubling down on the eight years of the last administration that put us into this God-awful mess in the first place," he said. "I honest to God believe that is the fundamental difference between us."

The economy has "created over 4 million of those private sector jobs," he continued, but "we've got a long long way to go to dig us out of that God-awful hole we were pushed in."

Earlier this month, he told the U.S. Conference of Mayors coming into office in 2009 was "like walking into a meat grinder."

"You, among any group of elected officials, have seen up close and personal the incredible impact of this God-awful recession we inherited - all of us inherited, Democrats, Republicans, president, congress, governors, mayors," he said at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "We all began in 2009, I'm not going to go about who is responsible, who is at fault or why it happened."

It's a phrase he's used before - many times - to describe more than simply the economy.

He vividly recalled the heat of the Middle East when speaking to veterans at a White House dinner in March.

"More than a million of you strapped on desert boots and walked across those God-awful sands of Iraq, with temperatures up to 135-140 degrees, averaging about 117 degrees in the summer," he said.

In April, the former Delaware senator described tax cuts in an appearance on MSNBC.

"What goes through my mind is that was the same argument sitting on the Senate floor, listening to George Bush make when he put that God-awful tax cut through for the super wealthy without paying for it," he said, arguing that what followed the tax cuts was "slower job growth than any time in 50 years."

The MSNBC host asked him about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, "You think this is an instant replay?"

"This is an instant replay," Biden said. "All this God-awful additional tax cut, the Romney rule wants to put in there, another $250,000 a year tax cut for the average person making over a million bucks, on top of the Bush tax cuts?"

And in early June, he recalled at a high school graduation in Miami, Florida the late 1960s, when "Dr. Martin Luther king was assassinated in Memphis three months before my graduation day. There were riots in many cities in America, including my own. Wilmington, Delaware was burning."

"As a young public defender, I still imagined, with my generation, that we could heal this God-awful situation. That we could rise out of the ashes, and maybe find a way out together," Biden said.

His use of the phrase also isn't new this spring.

"The insurance industry [spent] hundreds of millions of dollars to make the health care bill out to be this God-awful tragedy," he said in a July 2010 interview.

In 2006, he used it to describe the war in Iraq as well.

"We put our U.S. soldiers in the most God-awful position they can be put in," Biden said. "We put them into a situation without any plan as to how to occupy a country."

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Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Lionel

    Got to love Joe. The right-wings are shaking in their boots because a Catholic Middle Class guy is telling the truth.

    Bush and the repulicans got us into this God-Aweful mess.

    Lations for Obama 2012

    June 27, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Silence DoGood

    @Eric "can to place blame somewhere else.."

    They are becoming more creative. I read an editorial not too long ago blaming the liberal voters who voted for Obama and were now becoming critical at all.

    I am a frustrated liberal voter who will not be voting Obama again.

    June 27, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Myviewis

    Great, the economy is bad and Biden is traveling down memory lane and not saying much of our future. I have to credit to Democrats, they sure love speeches, wow, you would think they are working for Hollywood. No wait, they do spend most of their time hanging out with Hollywood., that's why the don't see the unemployment and think the private sector is just fine.

    June 27, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Myviewis


    Lations for Obama 2012

    Yes Latinos will decide the future of the United States. Funny thing, Latinos keep making the wrong choices in their countries which is why their countries are in financial trouble.

    June 27, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    For the life of me I simply CANNOT UNDERSTAND why Obama and the Democrats run for office in this country!! Even when they get and hold the office, they NEVER accept responsibility for what they do or what happens while they are in office. The posts in here want to act like the Democrats weren't in control of the government when in fact they controlled MOST of the government over the LAST SIX YEARS!!

    June 27, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Don't You See How It Works?

    All you republican posters, you clearly are uneducated and do not understand how the economy works. Why do you suppose that the Democrats swept in and took over Congress in 2007? The Bush policies were taking the country into the ditch. Oh, now you get it, right? If Bush was doing such a great job, that would not have happened. Now, you blame the Democrats for everything that went wrong after that, that is, except the things you give President Bush the credit for. The Bush policies were failing. You can see it in the numbers you posted. The Democrats were elected because of the downturn and the failed Bush policies. How convenient for you to then blame the Democrats for the bad numbers that continued when Bush was still president and for the months following his leaving office. Insane! The economy doesn't work that way. The number don't turn overnight. The Democrats are voted in because of the bad Bush policies (I haven't heard the name Donald Rumsfeld since that actual moment), and you immediately assign everything to the Democrats from that instant. This is truly a dizzying intellect you got going there.

    Now, I hate to point this out to you, but you do realize how Obama got elected, right? If the country was doing so rosy, as you think it was, that would not have happened. If Bush was so great, we'd have a President McCain and, God help us, a god-awful Sarah Palin. That didn't happen. The majority of the country was not blaming the Democrat Congress for the crap hole the country was in, just you idots on here.

    June 27, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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