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. Rudy NYC

    There is a rift within the Republican Party. One faction wants to take the country back to the 1950s. The other more extreme faction wants to take the country back to the 1850s and beyond, back when much of the West was open range, before they were states.

    September 13, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Data and Rudy NYC

    "I strongly disagree with the name calling"

    "Neanderthal" seems like an okay response to "forcible rape" to me. Sometimes a spade is a spade
    I'm good with the name calling Rudy because we're dealing with bullies here who feel encouraged to bully if the victim takes the high road.
    The President has taken and will continue to take the hig road when dealing with these things called Rethugs, but I am 100% behind anybody BUT him calling these people out in the same language that they like to indulge in.
    A spade is not only always a spade but it should be treated as one.

    September 13, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. JohnRJohnson

    I think Biden has just insulted Neandethals.

    September 13, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Wake up People!

    Well VP Biden, that's a nicer name than I would call them. They are nothing but a bunch of bigoted traitorous government leeches.

    September 13, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Boo

    Gotta love Joe. He just says what he it or not. He's authentic....and he's right about this.

    September 13, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. wrm

    Wow, more name calling. How terribly original and convincing. Stay classy Mister V.P.

    September 13, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Peg

    Well, of course they are Joe....but we don't just come right out and say that! lol

    September 13, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. JiminNM

    There are no words in any language or combination of languages vulgar enough to describe Biden, Obama and nearly every politician, judge, banker, or corporate official in the world. And this preceding list is far from complete.

    September 13, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Sammy

    This is what Demo-Libs are good at, Name calling. God knows they have nothing else. The lies are piling up and the incompetence is soooo transparent. Nice job Demo-Lib, you have reinforced the sterotype. Now how about trying to do something, anything to get the country out of the mess you have put it in. I guess the name calling is easier.. LMAO
    What a loser.

    September 13, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Raphael "Ted" Cruz - The American Taliban Party

    Joe is right again, saying something that no one else will verbalize: The republican party is The American Taliban.

    September 13, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Sniffit

    Hahaha! Go Joe! Give the troglobigots something to cry about!


    September 13, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. JoshO

    Name calling. Classy move, Joe.

    September 13, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. JiminNM

    So who wants to kneel before Christ and accept His judgment for Obama in place of the judgment for themselves if Obama is such a saint?

    September 13, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Molly

    Way to keep it classy Joe. Sad comment coming from our VP

    September 13, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. chivana

    Coming from a intellectual deep thinker such as Mr.Biden its just plain mean.

    September 13, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Latroy

    There you go Joe. You sure "showed" them. More (D) vs. (R) nonsense that achieves nothing. Except maybe taking some press off of your boss getting pantsed on the world stage.

    September 13, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. rs

    Probably not fair to Neanderthals from what anthropolgy knows of them now.

    September 13, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. us_1776

    The GOP/TEA never saw a rape it didn't like.


    September 13, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. rs

    Fair is Fair

    "I'm going to say something outrageous," Biden said
    Go ahead, Joe. We're used to it.
    Really its no worse that the stuff peddled by the TEA Party/Birthers is it?

    September 13, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. John

    Wow, forgot Biden was still around. He makes even less meaningful decisions then Obama.

    September 13, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. bs1

    This illustrates the sad reality of the left – They have completely lost the ability for rational debate on issues and have been reduced to calling anyone who doesn't agree with their warped ideology names.

    September 13, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    Democrats........all of the party.......are subversives.

    Better to have people who are not necessarily the most up to date........than to have subversives who seek to undermine the country,
    Considering the fact that you were pleasde with the vandalism of the Lincoln Memorial, saying that it was about time that the " truth" was told about Lincoln and have defended secession, I would say you check both boxes.

    September 13, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Data Driven


    Of course Bush lied about Yucca; he lied about big things and small. I guess my sticking point is when government representatives call the Chief Executive a liar in public. Consider how Tom is using the Pelosi incident to justify easy equivalences to Corker's hysterical tirade the other day.

    People like Putin observe this degradation of respect for the Executive. Then they write silly op-dds that make everyone upset.

    September 13, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. rs

    Yep. They really do want to work with repubs. What a great way to reach across the aisle.
    Given we're in year 5 of the duly elected President's 8 years in office and Mitch McConnell is apparently still trying to keep anything at all from happening, and the racist TEA Partiers are still out there (Cruz whistfully invoking the need for "100 Jesse Helms" in the Senate) banging the drum, I think its real clear who doesn't want to do the work, don't you?
    What are we at now? 457 filibusters and 41 meaningless votes on the ACA? AND a government shutdown in the works? The Right transcends "useless". "Terrorist" is more like it.

    September 13, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. smith

    Again Biden shines for a moment that acts dumb a minute later. It would be scary times if he became the next POTUS.

    September 13, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13