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. Larry

    Love the "oh shucks" and "gee...its only Joe"..comments. The fact is if a Republican had said that, to that particular crowd, we would have Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Spike Lee and every other "rights" representative out there screaming to have the Republican up on charges. But aw shucks...its only Joe.

    August 19, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. FranSays

    Rudy? Really?? Was he in drag when he decided to remark on Joe's balance? I think his pantyhose is restricing the blood flow to his brain!!

    August 19, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  3. Karl Jonas

    Biden spoke the truth.

    August 19, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  4. Dnick47

    Repubs... when it comes to ridicule as a compaign ploy no one, but no one beats the GOP... snied, cutting, arrogant and demeaning remarks are the trademark of Fox and its GOPers...why?, because they cannot discuss issues because all the Republican can show is failure after failure after failure.

    August 19, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  5. penny252

    If Biden had a brain he would be dangerous. Thanks for reminding us that you have no problem blatantly playing the race card,Joe. Obama must have been thrilled when he heard it. The guy definitely has a screw loose.

    August 19, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  6. Jack

    And Mr. Rudy Giuliana, I could say same of you! And this conservative thinks this Republican Party is the most desivise group in American in the recent history!

    August 19, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. Desmond, a Canadian

    Guiliani taking about balance? From day one this pathetic rep of the GOP has been completely off his ROCKER!
    Biden is GOOD man, and a hundred times smarter and more balanced than this GOP joker. Does this guy never look in a mirror?

    August 19, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  8. malcolm in St Louis

    Yeah Rudy tell us more about 9/11. The time when a Republican administration let someone launch a massive attack on this country. Back then even the President was not ready for prime time. "deer in the headlights look, anyone?"

    August 19, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  9. Richard Nuila-Crouse

    We all know Biden had brain surgery years ago. They forgot to place all the screws together or they forgot to place all of them back.The DNC can try to cover for him but everybody knows he is a complete SCREWBALL. Send him to the Pschych ward

    August 19, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  10. asdf

    Nine...(wait for it)...Eleven!

    August 19, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  11. Aro

    Rudy is known to be holding a grudge. He is probably still seething about Joe's comments: "a noun, a verb and 9/11".

    August 20, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  12. GozieBoy

    @Joyce: And Americans DO NOT LIKE all this crazy stuff that Joe has in his head!

    August 20, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  13. Deb in MT

    Oh, Rudy Rudy Rudy....just put on a pink dress and a big ol' smile on your face, like you used to back in the days when you had that little not so secret love nest near the twin towers.

    Joe Biden must really be a threat to the GOP, since they have their knickers in such a twist over him. Go Joe GO!!

    Obama/Biden 2012: the sane ticket for the 99% of us.

    August 20, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  14. anthonyjacoway

    I don't understand why a poster would praise one party over the other. DO you not realize that both the republicans and democrats in office brain wash us in to believing that they care about us, the citizens. Nobody who is so detached from the population can understand those he/she is trying to govern. For instance, do you believe that somebody who's best means to move forward in life is her/her connections, can identify and empathize with the majority of us who get ahead or at least subsist by doing the 40-60 hour a week grind. We need people who have toiled in the work force for years, who are malleable to the changing of the times, who are not idealists, but pragmatic, and are willing to compromise.

    August 20, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  15. Ken

    All one need do is consider the source of these attacks on Joe Biden. They're all losers, Rudy, Sarah and the rest of the GOP no-nothings.

    August 20, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  16. Geoff

    Rudolph Guiliani is the last person who should be speaking of "balance." This is a man whose entire speaking platform has to do with 9/11/2001. There is no balance to what he preaches...only that we should hand over every constitutional right back to the conservatives in the name of "national security." Yep. Rudy is hardly one to criticize anyone.

    August 20, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  17. Jobless recovery

    Obviously joe has suffered some sort of head trauma sometime ago. Like b. o. who appointed the vice pres of la raza cecilia munoz to sec of domestic policy and hilda la raza solis to sec of labor. You cant make this stuff up. Do you think he could possibly have american's best interests in mind? Certainly not

    August 20, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  18. Johnt

    Come on people he does have a point, would you really want Biden to be president?................ That's what I thought.

    August 20, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  19. America1st

    No offense Rudy, but that picture of you in drag as Marilyn Monoe with Donald Trump rubbing his head on your fake frontals suggests there is a "balanced" question to be raised. Give it a rest.

    August 20, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  20. BeverlyNC

    VP Joe is an incredible man. He has been an outstanding VP, a great man of character, integrity, and true values. His service for the People is long and consistent. Republicans have betrayed the American People by blocking all legislation for jobs, infrastructure, and economic recovery. Not one should be allowed near Congress again for their treason of working for America to fail just for a power grab. They are unAmerican and have betrayed their oath to serve – except the corporations who buy them and their dishonest campaigns. Vote out every single Republican so re-elected President Obama can have grown-up men and women who are leaders and not obstructionists to work with to finish restoring the nation for the PEOPLE. Stand up for your own rights and do not let these extreme, non-Christian, betrayers ever see public office again. Let them go try to find a job after abandoning their responsibilities to the People. Shame on them. I stand with President Obama and the Democratic Party – the true workers for the People.

    August 20, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  21. RandyKC

    The point my man Joe was trying to make is that the unregulated financial sector would make us all effectively indentured servants. Taking over corporations and raiding their employee's retirement, paying onerous credit card rates and fees, charging outrageous amounts for IRA admin fees and making credit unobtainable while threatening to tank the financial system if they aren't bailed out of yet another 'risk management' induced crisis. Yet another case of the GOP straining at gnats and expecting us to swallow what we're being fed.

    August 20, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  22. namethename

    Regardless what you think about Rudy, Biden is a joke, ok?
    Biden is a joke and a mental case.

    August 20, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  23. Mark

    Ya gotta luv Clueless Joe. He is the gift that keeps on giving!! Thanks dems, Clueless Joe ................. priceless!

    August 20, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  24. tammyk tammy

    Like Rudy has never been a joke on late night television. VP Biden doesn't need to incite racial division as most African-Americans is this country understand all to well how the GOP have kept prejudice alive and kicking for decades. Wall Street and corporate American won't be satisfied until we are all wearing the chains of economic oppression. Personally, I would rather be referred to as Ya'll by VP Biden than as You People by Ann Robmoney.

    August 20, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  25. annieL

    Republicans have been racially dividing America since they welcomed racist Southern Democrats into their party in the 1960s. Then they religiously divided America when they welcomed fundamentalists who claimed to be the only true Christians. Then they divided America into patriotic freedom-loving Americans and America-hating "socialists" when they welcomed the Tea Party into their tent. So now the Republican Party is the party of bigots and nuts and they have no one to blame but themselves.

    August 20, 2012 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
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