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. Rudy NYC

    A True Conservative wrote:

    I see that the left is out in force defending this guy – what a joke he is – and the left is for trying to defend him.
    Has anyone noticed that the right has been trying to distract people from the issues? The latest push has been to "divide and conquer" the left by sowing the seeds of doubt in Biden, and calling for HIllary Clinton to take his place on the ticket. Come to think of it, Rudy Giuliani suggested that switch two or so weeks ago. Didn't he?

    August 20, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Keeping It Real wrote:

    Given the numerous idiotic, lamebrain, lies/remarks that Biden has uttered during the past three years, one would have to question his mental state. The guy is a ticking time bomb. Could you imagine what he might do or say if he became President? Scary, isnt it?
    Well, we don't have to imagine what Mitt Romney might say or do as POTUS. We got a sneak peek in London, Israel and Poland. He scored a hat trick, which takes talent.

    August 20, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. Stoney

    Keep up the good work Joe. You are taking valuable time away from the dems working on important issues; to defending you almost 24/7. Have no clue what they see in you.

    August 20, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    "If you are a democrat, why can't you just come out and say – "Yea that was totally the wrong choice of words". If you are a republican, you should also denounce the moronic comments of Akin."
    I'm a conservative, registered as Independent (in MA, it's called "unenrolled"). And I don't think either Biden or Akin belong within a thousand mile radius of Washington DC.

    August 20, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Nathan

    Guliani has liked Biden since Biden said that every sentence from Guliani contained a verb a noun and 9/11. If making gaffes is a reason not ot be on a ticket then Romney should quit now.

    August 20, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. harvey 60

    Just watch Mitt Romney doing interviews with his faraway looks and his almost constant laughing off of comments he doesn't like. His mannerisms are a dead giveaway, he's a liar, a conniving individual who is not fit to be President. He's this century's Richard Nixon.

    August 20, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. ja

    the chains biden sopke of is just as true today as in the history of america's slave trade, the difference is the attire and slick methods, most politicans have cross and flag lapels, don't measure up to what either represent, rudy is the best example

    August 20, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Chumlee

    Giuliani who? Oh, yes, that loser from New York.

    Who cares what this wingnut says

    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 20, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. Woody

    Joe may not see Russia but he does see India at the 7-Elevens where he lives.

    August 20, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. Really?

    Comes down to this:
    Obama/Biden and Co. Are the ones who want to put everyone in chains.
    Romney/Ryan are for those who work for a living and want to keep this country free.
    Obama/Biden are for those who who want handouts and enslavement of the masses.

    August 20, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Mike

    Of course, if Chris Christy used these same words to describe Obama's policy these same republicans would be applauding and defending the language. Such hypocrites.

    August 20, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. luvUamerica

    Yes, the Republicans are trying to desperately steer the discussions away from the issues. They have picked on Joe Biden. Problem is he did not say those words, they were told by Paul Ryan and his buddy John Boehner which Joe repeated.

    The Republcians are becomign desperate!

    August 20, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. asdf

    Oh give it a break Rudy! You've said worse in your sleep!

    August 20, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  14. Really?

    Hey Rudy NYC – Have you noticed the issues are: the lousy economy, high unemployment, national debt out of control, etc. And you think Republicans are trying to distract from the issues? You are blinder than a bat if you don't realize Obama's goal to divide and conquer. Poor against rich, black against white, collectivists against freedom lovers, etc. Get serious and face reality: Obama and liberals have done NOTHING to pull this country together and help it in any way.

    August 20, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. bcrunner

    This coming from Guiliani??? LOL!!!!!!

    August 20, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  16. Babyboomer

    Okay, is Rudy nuts??? Does he think we don't remember that GW was POTUS for 8 years. Talk about not being fit to hold the office... Rudy's just mad because Joe called him out for using 9/11 to justify his crazy rants and phony outrage during the 2008 primaries. Remember, "Noun, verb, 9/11..." Obama/Biden 2012

    August 20, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. Sniffit

    This is nothing more than ad hominem, the last refuge of those without a legitimate argument. Pitiful, desperate, low brow and disgusting.

    August 20, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Sniffit

    Captain 911 was later heard to remark that "And believe me...I know about balance...after all, I can sashay like a champ in a pair of Minolo Blahniks."

    August 20, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. Bessy

    Why would anyone even listen to anything Guiliana says, let alone believe him? He just hates Joe Biden for telling it like it is re: his puffed up ego about his part in 9/11. BTW, he is picking on Joe for something he never really said. He was repeating the words of Ryan and Boehner.

    August 20, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Padraig

    This is typical Biden. If Romney or Ryan would have said this the world would be up in arms. This is somehting Biden has done before and nothing is said. Obama when he speaks in front of black also talks down to them and is accepted. The is a big issue within the black community when they don't stand up for themselves on how things are said to them.

    August 20, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Bill C

    Biden was actually correct, and was talking about everyone not just blacks. We have been and are in my mind still the economic slaves of big oil,big corporations and definitely the big banks. R&R and their republican crony's in the house and senate would be glad to put us all in chains while protecting their rich friends. It is class warfare and the middle class lost.

    August 20, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. MBSeattle

    I love Biden. He is old school but very effective. Guilliana needs to flap his gums or he would disapear.

    August 20, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. tibs

    Biden is a whack job, but i like him. He has awful policies and he doesnt understand basic economics (and its all basic), but hes fun to watch.

    Romney and Obama are equally worthless. They both want the same things. They argue over technicalities of polcies they both agree on. If you want to stay the course, vote for either one. If you want nothing to change, if you want bigger government, more borrowing and printing, more war, less freedom, vote for either Romney or Obama.

    If you want to maintain our monetary policy, vote for either one. If you want more taxes, more welfare, a weakening dollar, an expanding empire, a dilluted and spread out military, corporate subsidies, rising tution prices, rising inflation, rising unemployment, vote for Romney or Obama.

    If you like things the way they are, and if you think were heading in the right direction, vote for Romney or Obama.

    August 20, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. NickAnast

    Let me get this straight: the guy who went on national TV and claimed that there were no terrorist attacks on US soil while George W Bush was president, even though he himself was mayor of New York on 9/11, is now questioning Biden's "balance"?

    August 20, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Really? wrote:

    Hey Rudy NYC – Have you noticed the issues are: the lousy economy, high unemployment, national debt out of control, etc. And you think Republicans are trying to distract from the issues?
    Yes, Republicans are trying to distract from their own weaknesses on the issues, because they do not have any viable, realistic solutions. They do not want people to take a close look at their proposals, which would hurt 99% of Americans. BTW, most people no longer have any faith in the myth that "job creators" and false supply side can help the economy. The only way to get out of a recession is to spend your way out of it. Privately, conservatives know this.

    August 20, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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