Giuliani questions Biden's 'balance' as aides defend vice president
August 19th, 2012
01:34 PM ET
11 years ago

Giuliani questions Biden's 'balance' as aides defend vice president

(CNN) – Surrogates for President Barack Obama defended Joe Biden on Sunday from critics who say the vice president's comments last week at an event in Virginia show his unsuitability for the office.

Rudy Giuliani, the Republican former mayor of New York, questioned Biden's "balance" on CBS, saying he wasn't sure Biden would be able to step into the top role if the situation arose.

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"I don't think he's nuts. I'm just saying I wonder if he's got the kind of balance - probably what I should have said is the balance to be president of the United States," Giuliani said. "This guy is like one gaffe after another, and he's a joke on late-night television."

On Tuesday, Biden told a predominantly black crowd in Danville, Virginia, that Mitt Romney's regulatory policies would "put y'all back in chains," a comment that drew near-immediate condemnation from Republicans, who said Biden was inciting racial division.

Obama himself said in interviews this week that Biden was not trying to connote anything aside from an attack on Romney's stance toward Wall Street, telling People magazine that Biden "has been an outstanding vice president."

On Sunday, Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, offered a tough rejoinder to Giuliani, who also said earlier this week that Biden has "never been bright."

"I would like to point back to (Guiliani's) glowing introduction of Sarah Palin during the 2008 convention," Cutter said on ABC. "So if he wants to criticize the capacity of the vice president to take hold of this country, he should go back and look at those remarks and whether he still believes that they're true."

Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign adviser, made a similar argument on Fox News, saying Biden's remarks were no more "racial" than similar rhetoric from Republicans.
"No more race-baiting than when John Boehner says let's unshackle Wall Street," Gibbs said of Biden's remarks.

And Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, said on NBC "there's not a racist bone in Joe Biden's body," though he conceded that the vice president could have chosen a better word.

"I think it was an indelicate play on the Republican words of shackling the economy with regulations and shackling small businesses, and so it was certainly an indelicate choice of words," O'Malley said.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. gord

    rudy calling somebody nuts,thats funny

    August 19, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. asm_ith

    Guiliani questions Biden's abilities based on gaffes, but we have to assume that he fully supports Romney in spite of all of his gaffes. Since he also questions Biden's ability because he is "a joke on late-night television", what must he think of Palin, Bush, Romney, and all the others who are constant jokes on late-night TV? Since when did what comics do on late night TV become a reasonable measure of someone's abilities?

    August 19, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. reginaldb6

    I am a Black male who is over 50 who has no problem with Biden's comment concerning shackles /chains comments. I agree with what Biden said if we don't watch out all the freedom, rights,that were fought for will be lost if Romney/Ryan is elected. We will go into an economic slavery where we would be subject to the corporation/banks as the master and the government as the enforcer, and the people as the slaves. DO NOT ELECT ROMNEY/RYAN WE WILL BE SORRY IF WE DO.

    August 19, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. JJR

    Biden is such a tool. He has asked a parapalegic to stand up and the latest put you all in chains........

    August 19, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. licianne

    Compared to what? Another rich white guy who wants women back in the dark ages with no use except to continually bear children? A guy who wants to wipe out both social security and medicare as we know it? Another rich guy who married a five million dollar trust fund and has no idea what other people struggle with? Get real.

    August 19, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. NikoEsquire

    I think that Giuliani is still licking his chops from 2008 when Biden slammed him for being unqualified for President. Biden rightly pointed out that Giuliani tried to milk 9/11 for all it's worth when he said that the only words that come out of his mouth are "a noun, a verb and 9/11." Four years later that comment still stings I guess...

    August 19, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Jules

    Giuliani talking about Biden's balance is just a hoot! This from the guy who cheated on his wife in the mayor's mansion. Giuliani is just another talking head. I trust Joe Biden to do the right thing by America everytime should he have to step into the role of president. Could I say the same about Paul Ryan – not so much. He says himself he is a policy wonk – what kind of life experiences has he had to make him ready for the presidency. Surely no private sector business experience that Romney said was key to bringing the economy back. May not so much, huh, Mitt, since the guy you chose has none of that kind of experience and neither of you have any idea whatsoever about foreign policy in this very dangerous world. I'll take Obama/Biden to take care of the people of this country every time.

    August 19, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. anthony76

    "No more race-baiting than when John Boehner says let's unshackle Wall Street," Gibbs said of Biden's remarks.

    its only ok when Republicans do it....

    August 19, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. myviewis

    I think Biden is done, he has reached a point in his life where he has no limits, is reckless with no regard for consequences, he shoots his mouth off with an inability to judge where he is or who he is with. I think he is pretending to do his duties but in reality he is ready for retirement, to seat back to enjoy life.

    August 19, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. drake mallard

    giuliani to run for president of 9/11

    Firefighters’ radios failed to work back then when they responded to the bombing of the world trade center, and they failed to work again, years later, on 9/11. Even if the inadequate fire department radios worked on 9/11, they were not connectible in any way to the police department radios or police department communication of any kind, even though the city had obtained additional radio frequencies from the federal government in 1995, specifically to make that kind of communication possible. Mayor Giuliani’s failure to do anything about the primitive fire department radios meant that on 9/11 fire chiefs had no idea that police helicopters were predicting the collapse of both towers long before they fell.

    August 19, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. TM

    This coming from Mr. "a noun, a verb, and 9/11"? The same guy that praised Palin's suitability for the office of VP? Yeah, he's a REAL good judge of qualifications.

    August 19, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. KPATL

    Dems give a pass to crazy old Joe yet again If you dont believe me, then ask yourself this: If Dick Cheney had said the same thing, what do you think the CNN and MSNBC people would be reporting? Yup,.. they would have gone NUTS villifying Cheney and saying he was a crazy racist. What do we get? Crickets from the liberal media.

    August 19, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. normajean @ verizon ,com

    THere are a number of people who are in political office of one form or another who are unsuitable and I think from things heard over the year that Guiliani is not one to judge others....Granted the position of our vise president should show a little more decorum....but Biner is a "free soul" and I think we can use a little of that!!! If needed..."he'll be there"..

    August 19, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. KPATL

    Now,.. try this on for size. How do you feel about another 4 years of Biden being a heart beat away from the Presidency?....

    August 19, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Thomas

    "I don't think he's nuts. I'm just saying I wonder if he's got the kind of balance – probably what I should have said is the balance to be president of the United States," Giuliani said. "This guy is like one gaffe after another, and he's a joke on late-night television."

    Obvisaly , Rudolf Giuliani's selective memory has forgotten about Dick Cheney .

    Bernie Kerik, the former NYC police commissioner, under his butt-buddy Rudy Giuliani, and Bush's pick to be the very first Homeland Security goes to prison.

    Rudy , put this in your pipe and smoke it !

    August 19, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. NOT a Government Dependent

    Biden needs to be chained up, kept in a closet and away from the launch codes. He is losing it mentally. He has gone way beyond his usual gaffomatic nuttiness. Obama is clueless and incompetence and Biden is a senile gaffomatic. Any woder the country is going down the tubes? Yes, four more years of this??? Seriously???

    August 19, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Johnny DC

    If you honestly don't see the difference between someone simply using the word "unshackle" meaning to let loose the restrictions when referring to Wall Street and an old white man intentionally using Southern drawl while addressing an entirely black audience with phrasing like "put ya'll in chains", then you are really a bought and paid for liberal drone idiot and you deserve the quagmire that Obama and the left are leading you to.

    August 19, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. NOT a Government Dependent

    Is that a picture of Joe Biden trying to remember his name or what year it is? It is sad to see somebody slide into dementia right before our eyes.

    August 19, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Randy, San Francisco

    Giuliani should just shut up and stop this line of personal attacks. It only brings embarassment and shame upon himself.

    August 19, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. MaryM

    Just like your Rudy. Rudy Giuliani had a slip up on CNN's State of the Union

    August 19, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. dee

    Joe Biden has more common,decent,human morals in his little finger than Giuliani has in his entire existance!!!! Joe Biden is the best for equal rights for everyone,unlike the Teaparty,who will send "Millions of children to school "Hungry"!!! Teaparty= Immoral Values against Humanity!! Shameful!! Pennsulvania=Shameful!! South Carolina=Shamefull and Immoral! Vote Gop Out,2012!!!

    August 19, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Sam B.

    Yeh ... well tell me what percentage of the black electorate votes Republican? Gottcha!

    August 19, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Russ in Md.

    It amazes me how liberals can spin things that are so obvious, like when a conservative says "we are going to target a senate seat. Dems take that as someone pointing a gun at someone. Now there is "let's unshackle Wall Street" and that is somehow racial. What if they said that a black man that was working hard was "Chained to his desk"? Would that be racial too? How about "the old ball and chain"? Is that a raciest comment? It all depends on the context of the message and none of that was “inciting racial division” Now when Biden says in context to an audience of black citizens "they'll put y'all back in chains," that is inciting racial division. Anyone who thinks differently shouldn't breed.

    August 19, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Howard

    Great ... an incompetent, nut job, just a heart beat away from the Presidency ... time to throw Biden and Obama out of the White House, elect Romney and Ryan, and get back to the real business of returning America back into the exceptional country it was, before Obama flushed it down the toilet.

    August 19, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Phil Thomas

    Come on let this clown crawl back under the rock he came from, who cares what this has been has to say.

    August 19, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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