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. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Neanderthals huh? If there's a dead skunk in the road lying beside a democrat. A vulture will always choose the skunk.

    September 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. c-lo

    Rudy NYC

    This thread is a textbok example of why I despise name calling in politics. In my book, name calling means that you've run out of facts and have conceded the argument. Name calling is something that you do when you're at war. Maybe, this is what is most wrong with our politics today.
    I cannot stand your politics for the most part, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post!
    An (apparently) Racist Neanderthal.

    September 13, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. John

    And we wonder why the Republicans and Democrats cannot work together for the good of the American people. When they spend most of their time insulting each other, why would they want to work together? Does ANYBODY like to work with people who insult you?

    September 13, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. rose white

    After all the unbelievable screwups by Mr. Obama and his adminstration the Dems sould be slithering under the nearest rock instead of tossing them.

    September 13, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. rs

    Obama = no protest, "we have to do what is right, and do it right now"
    GOP = Protests all over the place
    Well, gosh, perhaps if the GOP stopped attacking Americans- labor rights; voter's rights; civil rights; women's rights. They are anti-union, anti-gay, anti-Hispanic. All of that borne out in the post election loss "autopsy" the GOP performed. Naturally people protest. The GOP has turned American Democracy into a plutocracy. That OUGHT to draw protests.

    September 13, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. rs

    Obama needs no help in bringing America and Americans down. He is doing a bang up job all by himself.
    I just love this level of delusion. 2008- Bush and the GOP left us with 10% unemployment with hundreds of thousands of jobs leaving every day; the U.S. suffered its greatest ever terrorist attack; we were in two wars with no end in sight; gas had gone to $4 and you idiots think that's Obama's fault?

    September 13, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. fredscuttle1969

    Mr. Vice President, please tell us something we don't already know.

    September 13, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. DaveinIL

    Does anybody take this guy seriously? He's right up there with Howard Dean as a Democrat party clown who embarasses himself and the party every time he opens his mouth.

    September 13, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. Ol' Yeller

    Why do republicants get sooo butt hurt when their tactics are used against them?
    Because they are victims. Each and every one of them throw that victim card out every time a Dem says boo, or turns the tables on them. I'm surprised they can function- writhing around on the floor crying foul like they do. They are like the parent at the ball game who blames everything on the coach, the refs, the umps, whatever... anything to avoid accountability for their own actions.

    September 13, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. Ceswho

    It is very scary that this brilliant statesman is just a heartbeat away from being the most powerful politician in the world. Obama has been a totally inexperienced President resulting in the worst Presidency I have ever seen,but I still pray he doesn't die and we get Elmer Fudd Biden stepping in.

    September 13, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  11. The fact of the matter

    "Biden calls GOP Neanderthals" This from the all-time HMFIC of Neanderthals.

    September 13, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. U.S. Citizen

    Again, the juveniles in power resort to derision.

    September 13, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Tenie

    Hah, no one lstens to this doofus anyway.

    September 13, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. The Anti-Con

    Well at least one Dem has the stones to call out the baggr/conz for what they are...Nice goin' Joe – You make us Pros, Libs and Dems that like to fight back with equal and/or greater force proud..

    September 13, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Neal

    Real mature of you, Mr. Vice President.

    September 13, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. Larry

    Yikes! That is giving a bad name to the "Neanderthals".

    September 13, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. SpgfldTom

    What a bitter old has been! When in doubt, Uncle Joe, call your political rivals names......and then you wonder why Republican won't support your anti gun agenda or Obama' war on Syria. Despite it all, Joe, I still strongly support the Biden/Spitzer '16 ticket...... why stop the madness now.

    September 13, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Holly

    So what is wrong with speaking the truth. John they have been insulting Obama since day one – so what is so wrong with someone giving it back?

    September 13, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Jerry

    People like Biden are Americas problem. We have got to drain this swamp

    September 13, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. gregg

    A foolish politician he is. Embarrassed that he is a leader in this country. His points of view are ridiculous, I have lttle respect for him.

    September 13, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Elliott Carlin

    I'm no great defender of the GOP, especially RINOS, however Biden makes Ross Perot look like Mark Twain. How Biden got this far in life is a mystery.

    September 13, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. Ed

    Maybe if they'd just tried to reauthorize it as is instead of significantly expanding it's coverage to include politically sensitive reasons to give out visas, it would have passed. This was the Democrats deliberately larding the bill up with political bait so they could complain that Republicans are anti-women.

    September 13, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  23. Karina

    Derogatory comments like that demean the Vice Presidency.
    There is no decorum left in the White House and the constant name calling between opposing party members is getting so boring , however it is the reason why nothing gets done any more and hence it is a serious matter.
    Time to vote them out and elect men and women who want to serve their country and not just follow party lines.

    September 13, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Amanda

    The reason Republicans opposed the bill was well isn't because Republicans are alright with violent acts against women. Just as with any bill, there may be some things that do not make sense. Notice, once the issue was removed, Republicans backed it. It wasn't because there are more women, but because an illogical piece of the bill was removed

    September 13, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  25. Liz the First

    And that's the nicest thing you can call them. i call them traitors and domestic terrorists! i've never seen such rottenness among a group of elected officials. this country needs to wake up and rid the congress of the republican scourge before they totally destroy us with their greed, hate, and stupidity.

    September 13, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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