Biden: House Republicans "Neanderthals"
September 13th, 2013
09:34 AM ET
6 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. Yabochuk

    Malory Archer

    just asking, I don't go to ANY "convenience" stores because I'm more responsible with my money and don't like paying premium prices for the few things they stock that I actually buy.

    Well of course, most respectable convenience stores don't take "stamps".

    September 13, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    And it's spelled mulatto.

    September 13, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. sly

    I'm not sure about 'neanderthals', but it is obvious from Syria that Republicans are afraid.

    In WWII, FDR stood up to the Nazi's, and had Americans support.
    Now, when WMD's are used on women and children, President Obama is standing up to the enemy ... but the Republicans think that Iran and Syria have a stronger military, and will beat us.

    Cowards. Americans are simply cowards nowdays.

    September 13, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. krhodes

    That is okay...we conservatives call him mongoloid.

    September 13, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Ah, Joe, that's not nice to all the Neanderthals ...:)

    September 13, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. krhodes

    Republicans didn't support the legislation, because it included gay men. The law is discriminatory because it includes everyone except straight men. The law is called the violence against women why does it cover men? BTW, if Biden can't tell the difference between men and women then who is the Neanderthal?

    September 13, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. rc

    Drunk Uncle Joe needs to crawl back into the bottle.
    " a major annual Democratic party gathering which has a rich history..."
    What the writer doesn't explain is the ration of "rich" Democrats politicians to Republicans.
    The Democrats want you eating from the government trough and talking on their phone so you will vote for Santa Claus again next year.

    September 13, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    @Guest: "Typical name calling-we hate everybody who thinks differently–Obama drivel."

    Riiiiiight. Pretty rich coming from someone who supports the GOP which is so totally devoid of sane candidates or policies that aren't proven failures that all you folks do is obstruct, lie, divide, and do everything you can to make President Obama and our country fail.

    September 13, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    @Guest: "Typical name calling-we hate everybody who thinks differently–Obama drivel."

    If you don't want to be called a Neanderthal, stop acting like one.

    September 13, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Malory Archer


    Malory Archer

    So when is your big day? Are your coworkers giving you a party, or will they throw one after you're already gone?
    Not so snazzy comeback Mal. Slow day at Lane Bryant?


    Who is Lane Bryant, and what makes you think I work for that firm?


    About four decades away dear. Sure it will be really nice. You should maybe try working? Very rewarding.


    Not so snazzy comeback Yabo, but what can one expect from a child? Slow day at Lane Bryant? See what I did there?! 😉

    September 13, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    @just saying: Sniffit "why the free ride for tax free riders?"
    Because there are ZERO...count them...ZERO...people in the US who pay ZERO taxes.

    we are talking about federal income taxes and you know that. the irs posts the numbers on how many millions of americans pay no federal income taxes. enough of your lies.

    Enough of YOUR lies, sweetheart, because you know WHY those people don't pay federal income tax. If you're still in denial, check out the Washington Post (and many other sources) explaining it:

    When the economy's at full employment, as it was in 2007 (before GW's policies crashed the economy), it's usually only about 40 percent of U.S. households that aren't paying income taxes. Of those:

    The vast majority of households that don't pay federal income taxes are either elderly or paying payroll taxes. Only about 7.9 percent of households are not paying any federal taxes at all. That's usually because they're either unemployed or on disability or students or are very poor.

    Many low-income workers don't pay federal income taxes thanks, in part, to a series of tax cuts endorsed by Republicans over the years.

    The number of people who don't pay federal income taxes tends to jump every time there's a big tax cut bill, as after the 1986 tax reform or the 2001 Bush tax cuts.

    About 30 percent of workers had a negative income tax in 2011, thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which gives them a big refund. But these beneficiaries tend to leave the program fairly quickly.

    Over their full lifetime, the vast majority of workers end up paying income taxes and federal taxes.

    Federal taxes are just part of the picture. Most Americans also pay state and local taxes, such as sales taxes. These tend to be more regressive and hit lower-income groups harder.

    September 13, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Jeff

    It is sooooo sad that dems and repub are one in the same and the people commenting on here cannot see they are being played

    September 13, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. tv22

    Gee, when was violence against women legal? I love the way the Dems come up with these acts, give them snappy names so they can think they do something and then call people names if they don't support it.

    September 13, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. iburn

    My, my... reading through these comments, I truly can't imagine how you caring, enlightened libs (sorry, *progressives*) ever gained a reputation as sanctimonious, arrogant, and self-righteous. I really can't. Perhaps if any of you would ever take the time to pull your head out of Obama's rectum, you could take a look around and see how bad things in this country really are. I doubt it, but hope springs eternal... Oh, and don't bother. Yes, I oppose Obama, so obviously I must be a racist (just to same some of you the time it takes to accuse me of such). No, I'm not a Republican, or rethuglican, as some of you so childishly put it. Proud Libertarian here, and truly believe, as is my right (despite how much most of you would like to change that), that Libertarians are the only hope this country has to avoid sinking into third world status (which, again, is something that many of you would relish as our "due"). G*ds bless the United States!

    September 13, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    @rs @chgo1945: The sum total of this administration is personal attacks on their political opponent. Makes for a lot of screw ups.
    Really? Which party has the "Birthers"?

    Thanks – you made my day!!!

    September 13, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    CMML asked:

    Does anyone find it at least a little bit hypocritical when liberals refer to the GOP as the party of hate and intolerance in a post that spews hatred and intolerance?
    dave page 4: "What Biden seems to have lost is that no one actually listens to him anyway. Obama selected him, only for job security, as not even the most anti-Obama person actually wants to see Biden as president."

    There's more, but this one is particularly noteworthy. It's an admission by a conservative that "anti-Obama" people exist.

    September 13, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. CA Independent

    I simply cannot take Biden seriously with such comments. Liberals would bash a Republican if they used the phrase to describe the Democrats, but it's perfectly acceptable when a Democrat says it? That rhetoric will not sway this independent.

    September 13, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Historyrpts

    The good news is the old school republicans are dying off. The new school Republicans are ignorant, out of touch, racist, or uneducated. unless the Republicans tone things down a couple notches and re-invent themselves, you can look for the Democrats to keep gaining power.

    September 13, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Really? "Neanderthal" has the rightie tightie whities in a knot?

    At least Joe didn't tell a Senator to go Eff himself on the Senate floor like then-VP Dick Cheney did to Senator Patrick Leahy on June 22, 2004.

    BTW, here's the back story: Cheney called him [Leahy] a bad Catholic for not confirming one of Bush’s 11th Circuit nominees who happened to also be Catholic. “Go eff yourself,” Cheney replied.

    And how pleased is Dick about this great moment in American political discourse? “You'd be surprised how many people liked that,” Dick told Dennis Miller on Miller's RWNJ-rant-show. “It’s sort of the best thing I ever did.”

    September 13, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. Rodboy

    Has that relected pres and vp of dolts working out – more racial divide, O care in the crapper, foreign policy in the tank, and I hope the NSA is not copying this down.

    September 13, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "why the free ride for tax free riders?"
    Because there are ZERO...count them...ZERO...people in the US who pay ZERO taxes.

    we are talking about federal income taxes and you know that. the irs posts the numbers on how many millions of americans pay no federal income taxes. enough of your lies."

    I'm not the one lying. You constantly reiterate that "47% pay no taxes." You never use the qualifier "income" in that rant. NEVER. And we all know why you and the rest of the Teatrolls carefully avoid doing so.

    September 13, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. dont be a sucker

    Is there anything this man could say that would make libturds stand up and say "enough is enoigh"???

    This "man" is everything that is wrong with our politics

    September 13, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. tom l

    "Reward your friends and punish your enemies"
    "Republicans should stay in the back of the car"
    "Elections have consequences"

    Those are quotes from our president. Do those sound like comments that give him cover from this back and forth bickering by both parties. If you weren't so blind on the left, you would see that Obama has contributed greatly to the animosity on both sides. Repubs certainly have their share of the blame. They have said and made some extremely incindiary comments but why do you on the left choose to ignore the comments that are just as bad on your side? It takes TWO to tango. BOTH sides have culpability and blame. Don't just ignore the awful comments made by dems when Bush was president. This is nothing new. It just appears that dems are much more thin skinned than repubs (I wonder if Sniffit is going to say that I had some "hidden" message by using the term "thin skinned")

    September 13, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Mel

    He must have forgotten about the three generals in the Democrat's War On Women:


    September 13, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. terry

    It's Friday. Joe is supposed to be mowing the yard at the White House today.

    September 13, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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