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. Georg

    I sincerely fear that Biden has already lost it for us and Obama. How can we win with this loose cannon?

    August 19, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  2. tee1227

    Hey ! Rudy what about this now this is racist, Ohio Republican Doug Preisse: “Our Voting Process Shouldn’t Accommodate Black Voters”

    August 19, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  3. Tony in Maine

    Rudy is just getting even for, "A noun, a verb, and 9/11."

    As usual, the Republican retort is no where near as accurate or funny as the Democratic shot that provoked it.

    August 19, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. dfeaster

    As if anyone cares what Rudy says. Biden has been a great VP.

    August 19, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  5. Doc_Hollywood

    Giuliani is the real joke here. He can only sit and hope he has the morals that Joe Biden has. If it wasn't for Guiliani riding the coat tails of 9/11 no one would know his name. This is the new republican party. There used to be respect for the office of the Presidency and Vice Presidency, but republicans have no respect for anything but power.

    August 19, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  6. Tom Howard

    Mr. Biden continues the speak plainly. To the current crop of Republicans, such talk shows "unbalance". They really could learn from him; Mr. Guliani in particular!!

    August 19, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  7. mige

    Biden is a better man than any of the Repub candidates.

    August 19, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  8. Frank White

    Joe knows enough to know that shackles and chains both refer to means to take away freedom. He also knows that the Wall Street tycoons are equal opportunity oppressors. If your home is under water or repossessed or your retirement plans have been gutted, you're "in chains" regardless of your race - whether you believe it or not. And the worst is yet to come if you don't vote the Republicans out of every posssible office.

    August 19, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Workers Unite!

    Biden hasn't been fit since day 1. The man is nothing more than a used car saleman.

    August 19, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. Workers Unite!

    Sorry, I did not mean to insult used car salesman.

    August 19, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  11. kuewa

    So, did Giuliani question the "balance" of Palin? Cheney? Quayle? Agnew? Joe Biden is far more qualified and balanced than any of these.

    August 19, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  12. jk from MN

    This coming from a man who likes to dress up? Hypocrite!

    August 19, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  13. ptw

    Biden is twice the man that Giuliani could ever hope to be. That's not high praise for Biden though, since Rudy is only half a man.

    August 19, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. SilverHair

    Rudy is getting too old to engage in much of anything.

    August 19, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  15. BKK

    If the Vice President's job is to look bad enough that no one would dare assassinate the President, then Biden does his job extremely well!

    August 19, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  16. Mike

    From Rudy's Speech to the Republican Convention in 2008. Seems a little less than a balanced assessment of Governor Palin:

    In choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has chosen for the future.
    The other guy looked back. John looked forward.
    Governor Palin represents a new generation. She's already one of the most successful governors in America and the most popular.
    And she's already had more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined.
    She's been one of the most active governors - she's been one of the most active governors in the country, and Alaska can be proud of having one of the best governors in the country.

    August 19, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. John

    Biden coined that popular phase. Noun a verb an 911 At the pres debates Was a great line got lots of at attention Mr 911 has been trying to get back at Biden ever since

    August 19, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. Andrew

    Like Giuliani is the measure of balanced. NYC got more racist when he took office.

    August 19, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  19. Wise1Speak


    A bitter Rudy Giuliani is still sporting wounds from the greatest political quote of the decade; where he was lampooned in 2008 Presidential Primaries by then Senator Joe Biden. It was a very slick but brutal quote that was repeated by the public numerous times and it exposed Giuliani for being a shallow hypocrite.

    The quote painted Rudy's presidential campaign and speeches as . . . "A NOUN, A VERB, and 9/11". Giulani's 2008 campaign soon splashed down disastrously and he has been trying to get off his back ever since.

    August 19, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  20. Larry L

    @Ray E. (Georgia)

    Joe is a perfect example of all the confusion that surrounds the left.
    The "left" lacks the guidance you right-wingers get from Fox News. Here's how it works... the fat-cat spends the money, the under-educated, xenophobic, racist, homophobic and fearful masses from the red states repeat the sound bites as if they had an actual thought process. The fat-cats sit on their yachts and smile... once again able to manipulate losers into supporting their fascist goals. No confusion there...

    August 19, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  21. Dude in Colorado

    The Rmoney-Ryan ticket believes in a country of the Corporation, for the Corporation and (bought) by the Corporation. They're just upset that Biden had the courage to call them on it!

    August 19, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  22. DB

    gaffe in chief woud replace campainer in chief

    August 19, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. TKO

    Rudy is and always has been certifiable. For him to call into question anyone else's "balance" is hilarious.

    August 19, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. Alex

    Give it a rest Rudy...we all know you're just a pit bull for the Koch money machine.

    August 19, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. Tom

    I would trust the Vice President before I would trust anyone in the Republican party. Rudy's comments say more about what type of a person he is than the Vice President.

    August 19, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
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