Biden mocks GOP convention, ponders Martian reaction
September 8th, 2012
07:06 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden mocks GOP convention, ponders Martian reaction

Zanesville, Ohio (CNN) - Fresh off the Democratic National Convention, Vice President Joe Biden used two appearances in Ohio on Saturday to mock the Republican National Convention in Tampa and accused his opponents of not having the courage to explain their policies. Those and other comments were quickly labeled as "false and discredited attacks" by the Romney campaign.

Biden even went galactic: claiming that a Martian visiting the RNC would have, essentially, been lost in translation.

"If you had been dropped down from Mars, (if) you'd been in a time capsule for the last 100 years, and you got dropped down from Mars and turned on the convention and you heard them talking about Medicare, you'd think they really cared about it," Biden said. "You'd think it's something they thought of."

"Wouldn't you have thought, 'These guys, man, they must've come up with this idea and they've defended it all along.'

"They mention it so often, you'd be surprised to learn they've always been trying to chip away at it for the last 40 years," Biden added, crediting Democrats "who came up with the idea" and who've fought to defend it.

Biden attended two campaign events in Ohio: a morning stop at the Zane Grey elementary school in Zanesville – some 50 miles east of Columbus - and a stop at the Athens Community Center in the city of Athens, home to Ohio University in the southeastern part of the state.

Zanesville is located in Muskingum County. In 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama lost to Republican Sen. John McCain in the county by seven points. Alternately, Obama won Athens County in 2008 by 36 points.

At the elementary school, the vice president began by lumping Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan with House Republicans.

"There is no difference between what Romney wants to do in this country and what the House Republicans and the House of Representatives have already tried to do," Biden said, claiming his opponents want to "inflict the same programs, the same initiatives, the same tax system."

"They want to restore the greatness to this nation," Biden said in a mocking voice. "I wonder if it ever crossed their minds how in the Lord's name we got in this mess in the first place."
From there, the vice president picked apart the arguments laid out at the Republican National Convention.

At the convention, Republicans started a debt clock on the first day to count the amount of debt accrued during the four-day event. The massive clock hung from a balcony in a prime location, in full view of attendees and television cameras.

Biden had a response for that.

"And they got that clock running back there," Biden said. "They don't know that they had a whole bunch of Republicans running to get that clock moving the previous 20 years."

"They're right about one thing; we got to deal with the debt," Biden said. "They're right, but they talked about this great urgency to get it under control…But not once, not one single time did they tell you that they rejected every single solitary offer: Ryan, Romney, the Republican Congress rejected every effort to reduce the debt in the last four years."

Later, at the Athens stop, Biden went further – saying Republicans refused those debt-cutting offers if they contained "one single dollar, one single penny in a new tax for millionaires."

The vice president also questioned the courage of Republicans to explain their proposals.

"What are these policies? Well, they're not telling you," Biden claimed. "They don't have the courage to tell you what these new policies are. I do. I got the courage to tell you. I'm anxious to tell you."

On Medicare, Biden said: "What they're proposing will actually cause the Medicare trust fund - that pays for the benefits when you go to the hospital, the doctor, etc. - to run out of money, a sufficient amount of money by 2016. That's when it would hit the wall."

Biden continued: "And the most important thing they did not tell you: they're not actually preserving Medicare. They're for a whole new plan, 'vouchercare.'"

"Here's how it works. They're going to give your mom or your dad - when they become eligible, or even if they are eligible - they're going to give you a voucher, which is essentially a coupon. And it's going to be worth X amount of dollars. And they're going to say to your mom, 'Mom, go out there in that insurance market and bargain for the best deal you can get, including if you want to buy Medicare.' But if it costs more than the…benefits you're now getting, they say, 'Mom go borrow it somewhere.'"

Biden also filled in what he likened to blanks in his rivals' tax proposals.

"They need you to pay for the massive tax cuts they want to keep for the very wealthy," he said.

"Five hundred billion dollars - one-half trillion dollars - of those tax cuts go to 120,000 American families," Biden said. "They want to add a new - a new - $250,000-a-year tax break for those same families. Folks, that's not fair, man. That's not fair."

On both points, the vice president claimed his facts could not be challenged.

"You notice they've never challenged my facts as I repeat that," Biden said, referring to the 120,000 families line. "I say to the press, fact check me," he said of the claim that GOP proposals will drain the Medicare trust fund by 2016.

The Romney campaign was more than happy to accept the vice president's offer.

In a statement, Romney campaign spokesperson Amanda Hennenberg said: "Today, Vice President Biden said that he should be fact checked, and we agree. The Vice President knowingly and deliberately leveled false and discredited attacks. This is further proof that the Obama Campaign is unable and unwilling to talk honestly or substantively about the most important issues driving the country."

"In an attempt to distract from President Obama's failed record, including unemployment remaining over 8 percent, labor force participation falling to three-decade lows, and our national debt passing $16 trillion, Vice President Biden is once again advancing fabricated and disproven attacks on Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. The American people know better and deserve better. That's why in November, Americans will line up behind the Romney-Ryan plan to strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and get our country back on the right track."

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Republican National Convention
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. J

    Am I the only one to notice that the Romney fact check did not dispute any of the facts?

    September 8, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  2. GuyinVA

    VP Biden later gave the administration credit for sending a specially trained "Wascally Wabbit" to steal the martians' "dynamite stick thingy." When informed by a helpful AP (Administration's Press) reporter that it was called an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator, VP Biden credited former VP Al Gore with inventing it.

    September 8, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  3. Maja

    That is what Democrats do best lately, blaming Bush and smirking and snickering at Republicans.
    That is not good enough.
    We know what you haven't done , so tell us what you are going to do , no outlandish promises , we want facts and numbers.

    September 9, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  4. RandyKC

    I think the Romney campaign spokesperson, Amanda Hennenberg, left the facts out of her fact check.

    September 9, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  5. Four and The Door

    Joe Biden never did worry too much about facts. Can't let them get in the way of a good rant...

    September 9, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  6. J.V.Hodgson

    This Henneneberg is a nut. Go get the fact check on his main items as he said. saying you agree becuase it will prove him wrong is absolutely meaningless without the actual fact check which I doubt you will even do becuase your campaign has already said it wont beruled or guide by fact checkers. Nice one, never mind the truth we are right anyway. sounds just a touch like a dictatorship to me.

    September 9, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  7. rosethornne

    If SAYING something is false could actually make the thing in question not true, then I really really want to say that Romney's and Ryan's existence is false. There, poof, they're gone, problem solved.

    Gee, it sure is much more convenient here in gop fantasy land than out there in that pesky old fact-infested reality.

    September 9, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  8. Marry

    -- In a statement, Romney campaign spokesperson Amanda Hennenberg said: "…the Obama Campaign is unable and unwilling to talk honestly or substantively about the most important issues driving the country."--–

    “The ROMNEY Campaign is unable and unwilling to talk honestly or substantively about the most important issues driving the country and how they would handle solving the problems. The GOP/TP Congress already showed us how they work to sabotage the President. Approval rate? 10%?"

    So, that is how this sentence makes sense!!
    Gov. Romney, show your tax returns! Before the election!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012!!! Get out the vote despite GOP voter suppression!

    September 9, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  9. GI Joe

    We dems love our Joe. He's ours and he's honest. You go Joe.

    September 9, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    World is mocking at GOP. True.

    September 9, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  11. Big Munny

    The hard truth behind the Republican propaganda machine is that they have been trying their level best to dismantle every social program and safety net built by the Democrats over the past 70 years. There is nothing new about what the current crop of Republicans are offering except the packaging. It has always been guns vs butter and profits vs people. George W. Bush was actually their most successful President. He set up the table by spending all the money, even that we didn't have, on a war that didn't need waging. Any successor, Democrat or Republican, would then have to cut the social safety net to try to get the budget back in balance; the big lie being that Medicare and Social Security are unaffordable. President Obama, who started behind the eight ball, is then branded a failure because he didn't run the table with one shot. The Republicans are banking on voters having short memories, and they are right. Biden and others are right to continue reminding them how we got here as well as what will happen to seniors, veterans,soldiers, the sick, children, students, workers, women, minorities, and the entire middle class if they allow Republicans ultimate power.

    September 9, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  12. Animal

    It's too bad that biden doesn't understand the definition of the word 'fact', otherwise he wouldn't be challenging the press to "fact check" him. You have to understand what the facts are in order to that in the first place. Even if his assertions about Romney's plan for Medicare, We've been using vouchers for education for awhile now and it works, right? I would guess so because the quality of education of students using the voucher system has improved.

    September 9, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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