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. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    The GOP is willing to stoop to record lows in order to win office.

    Whats scary is the amount of people in this country who lap it up, and hang on to every word of the GOP as gospel.

    August 19, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Pete

    Gaffe?? Rudy must think we've forgotten about Bernie Kerik...

    August 19, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Real Patriot

    It's a shame that most of the right wing population are just sheep led along by Republicans wolves. How can any sane person believe that Republican doctrine is going to be in the country's best interest. So sad. They believe that protecting the 1% of the power will be good. What lemmings... so sad.

    August 19, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. teej

    Oh for crying out loud that ppl really take this seriously. Look at the caucasian fellow behind Biden nodding in agreement. Being at the mercy of unfettered banks has caused so much damage. Their greed has without question restrained growth in America. Obama Biden 2012!

    August 19, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. Real Patriot

    At least Biden is real... Says what he thinks and what is true... unlike liar Romney who will say whatever you want to hear just to get elected. Romney is the unbalanced one, he has no sense of who he is and what he stands for. I don't think there has been a presidential candidate this close to a true Charlatan in the past 100 years. Romney is the Charlatan king.

    August 19, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  6. JohnK

    Republicans screaming about "racially insensitive" statements? What an absolute joke for the anti-immigrant, Birther party to come up with this nonsense, particularly Rudy "I Was the Hero of 9-11" Giuliani.

    August 19, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  7. Woody

    Joe doesn't have Alzheimers

    Joe hasn't had a Traumatic Brain Injury

    Joe has never been deprived of oxygen

    He's just not that bright..And he certainly isn't competent or capable to be POTUS, period!

    August 19, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Glenn Kelly

    I think that President Obama needs to take Biden down and put Hillary on the ticket. And I think that a lot of people no matter what party you may represent agree. The President needs to stop just thinking about himself and what his staff has against her should just drop it. the country needs them both,and she is our only hope to win in 2016. I am a proud democrat but will be sitting this election out as well as a lot of people that talk to from time to time about this election. The President needs both Clintons not just one. why settle with one when you can get two for the rice of one. I really think that the president has done Hillary wrong from day one.

    August 19, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. Jane

    All the republicans have going for them is the constant, whining, complaining, accusing, blaming garbage because they don't have anything else and that's all that there is. They KNOW they are going to lose in NOvember. This know this. Whiners.

    August 19, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Jane

    Jealousy. That's all that is. J E A L O U S. All you republicans. Bunch of bad, sore losers.

    August 19, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. 1zb1

    The only thing wrong with Romney/Ryan/Republican/Tparty is everything. They make garbage smell sweet.

    August 19, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Milton K. Wiah

    If slavery was in existence today, those who are making these claims about Biden's comment would have loved
    to have some slaves. The vice president has no ill thought when he made those comments, and he stated the
    obvious facts.
    Where were the republicans when Romney knowingly made racial comments in the middle east. Why didn't
    they say he is not fit to be president. Being black myself I see no offense in his comments.

    August 19, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    I've seen pictures of Giuliani in drag as Marilyn and as a Radio City Hall Rockette. It was funny, I have a sense of humor. Then I saw his wife finding out that he was divorcing her on the media. I've seen him shamelessly take advantage of the 9/11tragedy while ignoring the fact that it hapenned on THEIR watch. Then I've seen Biden at his most ungraceful moments. But at the moment of truth, Biden still looks and sounds like a stateman, Giuliani like a clown. This middle class mom just made a contribution to the Obama/Biden2012 campaign. And I'm not alone...

    August 19, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  14. Jack V

    What about Rudy's love life & the jilted wife that wouldn't leave the mayor's mansion? Very junior high.

    August 19, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  15. kit8

    Giuliani knows a thing or two about balance. He did find the right balance to be in both a marriage and an affair at the same time.

    August 19, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  16. ccw

    I'm from the South and I'm white (don't know what difference that makes)...I was not offended because I hear the ya'll all the time and it does not mean, in this context, what some of you think. It means you guys. If Joe had said you guys, would anybody be upset? I knew what he meant.

    August 19, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. IDontBelieveIt

    The Vice President breaking into a deep South accent and making open references to SLAVERY in front of a 50+ % audience is unhinged! HE couldn't FUNCTION as President if the need arose. Streuth isn't it enough to have Obama! We don't need TWO of them.

    August 19, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. joe

    There is obviously a concerted effort among Republicans to undermine the Obama team by snarking at the vice president. There is no depth they won't sink to and no sleazy tactic they won't try. They are Republicans, after all, and can't help it.
    I happen to like Joe Biden exactly because he speaks his mind and doesn't behave like a typical politician.

    August 19, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. Everythingdies

    They don't want people to incite racial division, they want racial division.

    August 19, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Really?

    "indelicate choice of words"? Get serious! Trying to rouse the anger of African-Americans was his intent and if the democrats think they can compare his choice of words to unshackling the economy that just proves, again, how incompetent they are.

    August 19, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. If women used asprin?

    Giuliani said. "This guy is like one gaffe after another, and he's a joke on late-night television
    Hmmm, is this the first time Rudy has made a comment without mentioning 9/11? No Rudy, you were never the brunt of jokes because of your gaffes . LOL If Biden is not qualitfied or balanced then Rudy should never run or talk about running for office again.

    August 19, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. p

    Don't for get that Joe Biden coined the phrase about then-candidate Giuliani:
    Describing Rudy as "A noun, a verb and 911".
    Biden completely NAILED him. Giulina has never gotten over that.
    With Rudy it's completely personal. I'd take Joe over Rudy, in a heartbeat.

    August 19, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. fernace

    Biden was making a point! The comment, as usual, was taken out of context! Bohener was calling on lawmakers to "unshackle" Wall St. & Biden said if that happens the "chains" will be on the average person! And isn't that right! An unshackled Wall St. will wreak all sorts of havoc on our financial system & the Average American will have to pick up the bill! Just as we've been doing the past 4 years! The GOTP pretends they are fiscal conservatives, but in reality they are the most wasteful bunch of politicos, willing to trample on any1s const.itutional rights to make life for their rich benefactors free from silly rules that only pertain to the drones, the peons aka the middleclass & poor! I applaud Bidens forthrightness in saying what people think but are to timid to voice! Forward Obama/Biden 2012!!

    August 19, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. Michael A. Colletti

    This from a man who only knows – – A moun – A verb and 911 ! ! !

    August 19, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  25. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Black was NEVER mentioned in the speech to a mix set of ethnic backgrounds including Caucasian! It is a jump or leap of faith to think that Biden meant the speech to the black Americans. The republicans have been throwing the word "shackled" around in reference to the economy. I truely think Biden meant the "Middle Class" Americans will be placed in chains with the republican economy. If you vote republican....plan to pay an extra 2 to 4 thousand more next year. Also be prepared to lose all of the preventive physical check-ups and more costs for those retired, while the rich will wallow in their money because we have to spend ours so they can have that money to wallow in. Pathetic!!

    August 19, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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