Biden: House Republicans "Neanderthals"
September 13th, 2013
09:34 AM ET
10 years ago

Biden: House Republicans "Neanderthals"

Washington (CNN) - Touting the success of the Violence Against Women Act, Vice President Joe Biden described those in Congress who slowed the renewal of the measure as a "Neanderthal crowd."

"I'm going to say something outrageous," Biden said at an event at the vice president's residence in Washington Thursday night to celebrate the 19th anniversary of act, which is designed to protect women from domestic violence.

Biden, who took a leading role in the mid-1990's in drafting the legislation when he was a senator from Delaware, said "surprisingly last year we ran into this sort of Neanderthal crowd," to laughter, adding that "I'm serious, I mean, when you think about it, did you ever think we'd be fighting over 17 years, 18 years later? To reauthorize this."

The act (VAWA) had been swiftly reauthorized in previous years, but House Republicans in the last Congress opposed portions of the Senate reauthorization bill and held up the measure for a year. One of the things they opposed was a part of the bill that would have expanded access to certain visas for non-citizens who were victims of domestic violence.

After last year's election defeats, where the GOP's hopes of recapturing the White House and the Senate were damaged in part by a weak showing with female voters, House Republicans in this year's new Congress supported the reauthorization, after the portion of the measure calling for expanded visa access was dropped.

Biden said having more women in the Senate helped overcome GOP opposition, saying "it makes a difference whether there is women in the Senate," to applause from those in the audience. "No, no, it does. It does man. The bigger the number the better our chances. Because they go and look all the rest of those guys in the eye and say, 'Look. This is important to me'."

The vice president's comments come just days before he heads to Iowa Sunday to headline Sen. Tom Harkin's steak fry, a major annual Democratic party gathering which has a rich history of attracting presidential hopefuls. Biden is considering whether he'll make a third run for the Democratic presidential nomination. He launched unsuccessful bids in 1988 and 2008.

Joe Biden courts presidential speculation with Iowa trip

In his comments Thursday evening, the vice president discussed his getting ahead of President Barack Obama in May of last year in supporting same-sex marriage.

As Biden announced federal grants to the first ever LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) victim services institute, he said "I promise I will end this in a second but to make sure victims get services regardless of their sexual orientation. And that was even before I went off script. Certain things I promised I wasn't going to keep my mouth closed on, OK? So I make no apologies for jumping ahead on the issue of uh, um, marriage. But think about it, for the first time we said, hey wait a minute now, you know, this is a violation of the law. You know these were major strides."

Filed under: 2016 • Joe Biden
soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. TheFonz

    Biden is the MAN, tellin' like it is. I cannot wait until the GOP is only a bad memory.

    September 13, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. William

    Denigrating your opponents with names is intolerant of other views. Intolerance is illiberal. Biden is an illiberal, not a liberal.

    September 13, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. Leftcoastrocky

    they are not neanderthals, they are anarchists

    September 13, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. rey

    OMG, there really is something seriously wrong with Republicans. They follow the lead of right wing talk radio and FOX news. They are now referring to Putin as a great leader and that POTUS should be more like him. If that isn't Neanderthal, its borderline psycho.

    September 13, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. Mike

    This guy is a "moron", who always shoots off his big mouth. When he opens his mouth, nothing with any substance comes forth. This is one of the reasons Hillary isn`t concerned about this guy.

    September 13, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  6. DaveYoung

    Neanderthals are post-Bidenlthals

    September 13, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. omeany

    Spot on I'd say!

    September 13, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  8. Keith B. Rosenberg

    When you use pejorative terms like "Neanderthals" you are creating a climate of hatred of the loyal opposition. Far and away the single most important job of the two big political parties is to be the loyal opposition. Nothing else comes close. When you get away from that, you are talking about a single party system like they had in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

    September 14, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  9. Thomas

    Ted Cruz is definitely , as is Rand Paul ,

    September 14, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  10. just saying

    who supports the killing of millions of babies? democrats. now who are they saying are the neanderthals? where is their act to stop violence and murder against millions of helpless babies? they don't care one iota about the most innocent and helpless among us. i contend it is the democrats that are the murderous neanderthals among us.

    September 14, 2013 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  11. Rob

    Biden is to stupid to even be quoted. His biggest crime is being criminally stupid. I heard him speak once and all he talked about was how his mother taught him to demand things. So you can see why he is so screwed up. He should have been taught to EARN things.

    September 14, 2013 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  12. Kick the Democrats to the curb 2014.

    THis coming from a goon like Biden, that is more anti American then Obama. All Biden is good for is insulting people.. Everyone knows he has failed as a Vice President, he is nothing more then a trained attack dog for Obama.

    September 14, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  13. loyalright

    Biden says "I'm going to say something outrageous," In other words, Biden is going to talk.

    September 14, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  14. sydney

    Name calling is all the left do. He's following after Mr. Obama.

    September 14, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  15. stephen gibbs

    The republican party came from the WHIG party (1800 hundreds) I think. Whig party by definition is not for citizens but greed.!

    September 14, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Tony

    If Republicans stop calling Obama everything under the sun (communist, fascist, atheist, or whatever they can think of), then we can talk. Say, Republicans, we didn't know that you actually like communists.

    September 14, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13