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. Mike Texoma

    The Republican candidate was shouting about those pesky financial regulations "shackling" Wall Street. So Biden responds with "they want to unshackle Wall Street and put the chains on you." Shackles and chains are pretty much the same thing. And it has pretty much been the working man/woman that lost his job and his house when Wall Street went berserk this last time. So, I think Joe hit the nail right on the head. Tell those other guys we're just sick about it.

    August 19, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Walt

    We, New Yorkers, totally love it that GESTAPO RUDY is gone.

    August 19, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Dan B

    Biden isn't a racist, he's just not very smart

    August 19, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. dreucalypt

    Giuliani isn't fit to tie Joe Biden's shoes.

    August 19, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. BunnyBunny

    Oh, good grief.
    "I believe in an America where Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in."
    "I am learning to say y'all and I like grits"
    “I’m SEVERELY Conservative!”
    "I’m not concerned with the very poor."
    “$373,000 isn’t a lot of money.”
    “Corporations are PEOPLE, my friend!”
    And while away on his foreign experience tour "It's hard to know just how well [the 2012 London Olympics] will turn out."
    Then when he was introducing Ryan for the first time. "Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan."

    Mitt Romney is the King of Misspeak.

    August 19, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Guiliani has no room to say a word about ANYONE.

    He's one of the biggest crooks to ever hit any campaign trail anywhere. Unless you've lived and worked inside NYC you know nothing about him. I' have, and people don't respect him, they fear his goons

    August 19, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Mitt RobMe

    He's certainly not as bad as George W Bush

    August 19, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Craig

    The enemy has misconstrued Biden's metaphor and they're having a ball with it. I say, Where are Romney's taxes?

    August 19, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. AK_steve

    The GOP would rather people focus on vice presidents because the guy they got running for president is a moron. Seems like the GOP is running more on Ryan's policies, his blue eyes and his p90x.

    August 19, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. fullclarity

    Go back to bed, Rudy.

    August 19, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Joe is a perfect example of all the confusion that surrounds the left. Basically Joe is like the Bottom half of a Double Boiler. He get's all steamed up but don't know what's cookin..

    August 19, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. SafeJourney

    Rudy, If you think Bidens gaffs are bad, then you must think Mitts gaffs and numerous flip flops really dont make Mitt fit to be Potus

    August 19, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. pjc722

    Funny but were the two statements "put y'all in chains again" and "let's unshackle Wall Street" both spoken in front of predominantly BLACK audiences?! Because I don't think they were. Clearly, Joe Biden is not a racist but he words truly went to the heart of the racial divide in this country whereas Boehner was talking less about race and more about opening up the tight restraints on Wall Street (I don't agree with his idea).

    And I do wonder if Biden is ready or able to hold the highest office JUST LIKE THE WAY everyone said it about McCain... let's forget about Sarah "I'm not smart enough to tie my shoes" Palin... It's fair. It's balanced. And it's exactly what Obama's team said 4 years ago.

    August 19, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. shindigg

    keep up the good work, joe! you're doing great. don't let the lying republicons and the corporate media that does its bidding by giving come kind of so-called creedance to GHOULIANI's dumb accusations....HIT HIM HARD JOE..these robber baron cheap labor republicons deserve it when you hit them like you've been doing a great job..keep it up, joe!

    August 19, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rudy should be looking for WMD's.

    August 19, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Anyone who thinks that the GOP of the last twenty years is not the most divisive in American history is brain dead or on meth and mountain dew. Repubes are the sickest group of domestic terrorists in modern times.

    August 19, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. urwrong55

    Joe Biden comedy hour. we have enough material for at least two seasons.

    August 19, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. kathy/Minnesota

    How dare you, because Joe Biden made a simple mistake(with word choice) you wanna call him crazy? come on, you cannot be serious, I heard the mayor of Atlanta this morning on MTP, say very eleoquently when Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to speak up against, Rush L., Ted N.,Donald T. etc. then we can have a talk about who is using "RACE" This is typical GOP tactics. And then we have Rick S. have the gall to even bring up race, after he decided, "he wanted to teach black people, how to make their own money, and not take it from white folks" LIKE.....ARE YOU, ANY OF YOU SERIOUS?

    August 19, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Suzanne

    Giuliani, a man I very must respected after his handling of the 9/11 disaster, has done NOTHING GOOD since then. He's become nothing more than a political 'hack' and it's extremely unbecoming and unwelcome. He has no one to blame for his UNpopularity but himself.

    August 19, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. labman57

    Rudy is out of his depth on any topic that does not include the term "9/11", and even then, his insight is limited to taking credit for the accomplishments of others.

    August 19, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Phyllis G Williams

    The persons who lack 'balance' are those who do not know that 'chains' belong to the entire race:

    King Zedekiah "bound with chains" Jeremiah 39: 7
    Prophet Jeremiah "bound with chains" Jeremiah 40: 1
    St.Paul "bound with chains" Acts 21: 3

    August 19, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Debby

    I agree Biden would be a scary Pres. if anything happened to Obama.

    August 19, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. drake mallard

    rudy =you big dummy

    Giuliani further argued that reducing international terrorism, specifically the capabilities of Al Qaeda, requires taking away its "pillars of support." This includes arresting members, seizing financial assets, passing the USA Patriot act and creating "a decent government in Iraq." Giuliani also made it clear he saw Saddam Hussein as a"pillar"supporting international terrorism.

    Giuliani further argued the importance of national "determination and will to continue the war on terrorism." At this and many other moments, Giuliani invokes his experience on September 11, 2001 and in the attacks' aftermath, to make his claim

    No, giuliani Iraq had nothing to do with this, it was a bunch of Saudi Arabians, Lebanese, and Egyptians financed by a Saudi Arabian guy living in Afghanistan and sheltered by Pakistanis.

    August 19, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Rick in Phx

    Wow Giuliani saying something other than a noun, a verb and 911. Giuliani wearing in a dress was a huge joke on late night television. But to keep things in perspective, Biden does seem to make a lot of gaffe's. However, he seems to make them on American soil and not anger any of our oldest allies when do so. Romney visited 3 countries and angered 4 with gaffe's.

    August 19, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. biden is an old school racist...

    his comments are not new...the chains thing is just the latest...before that it was about obama himself saying how he can talk in black slang when he needs to....he has also said that obama is smarter than he originally thought he was...he has said slimy racist things about latinos....biden himself has been caught twice for plagiarizing...once in law school, and once in 1987 when he ran in the primaries and was forced to quit because he was caught ......

    in short, biden is a vile ugly old time racist...he just has the liberal press blocking for him...the LIBERAL press who have now been shown to be absolutely hypocritical...if it was a republican making any of these statements that biden has, the liberal press, like the nytimes, cnn, abc, cbs, nbc, msnbc, huffpo, charlie rose, would all be going nuts.

    August 19, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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