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. What's in that tea anyway?

    How are you Data D? I'm in San Diego too. Most beautiful city in THE WORLD...make no mistake.

    September 13, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Abbey

    Did someone wake Joe Biden out of his deep sleep? Where has he been the last 20 years or so? Sorry Joe but this new tax started by the Democrats called Obamacare is going to cost something right?

    September 13, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. cogs

    Just another stank breathed old fossil preaching to his decrepit hippy and neck tatted voter base. Yay for you....

    September 13, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. C. Grant

    Republicans are as productive and useful as a rusty nail hanging half way off a barn yard door.

    September 13, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. J

    Way to bring people together, Joe. Maybe instead of name calling, you should address the specific reasons that the Republicans object to the VAWA. Then call them out and ask the the voters in their states to contact them about it.

    September 13, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Chumley

    Wow, that is the pot calling the kettle black. It'd be great if Biden just shut his mouth, it's his biggest problem!

    September 13, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Data Driven

    Well Rudy, I admit to naively taking Tom at his word that Pelosi called Bush a liar in public. If Reid was the one, and the only one, then Tom should self-correct.

    Meanwhile, it's kind of funny the way some conservatives will harbor a small nugget for a decade to justify deplorable behavior today. Corker just wouldn't shut up; he went on and on, like an enraged toddler denied a cookie. No matter who said what about Yucca Mountain a decade ago, it's not equivalent to the behavior shown to Obama today. Most conservatives just won't admit this.

    September 13, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. jon

    GOPer's are truly living in the past – which, by the way, wasn't very good. What an out-of-touch bunch they are.

    September 13, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. GubnitSPY

    Joe, Joe, Joe, ...well its hard to disagree with you on this one mate. But telling the orangutan and showing him are two different things. No ones going to buy it without that "magic mirror mirror on the wall ...who's the dumbest ones of all".... ALL of you! I'm glad your not running for president but I feel you've done a good job as vice. Carry on Joe.

    September 13, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Data Driven

    @what's in that tea,

    Unfortunately I'm headed to work and can't enjoy this Venus de Milo of cities today!

    September 13, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Saucer

    God help us if anything happens to Obama, this guy would be calling the shots....and just when you thought it couldn't get worse, up comes Joe Biden to save the day and bring people together. This guy is a political power keg! 😉

    September 13, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. SciGuy

    In Biden's world, Jesus and Paul are Neanderthals. I'll stick with Jesus, Joe; you can have your perversions.

    September 13, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. EdL

    The mouth speaks again.

    September 13, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. MrManhattan

    That wansn't a nice thing to say about Neanderthals!

    September 13, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. rl

    Thank you Mr. Vice President. Sometimes you have to say what you have to say and the truth hurts. But when you have a southern Rep, who says that John Wayne (Marion Morrison) said that we need a 100 just like the late Jesse Helms in the Senate, and believes it. We have problems. This is just one of the numerous cases every day. There is a big difference between ideology and down right hate and division which the republicon/TBers spew. They are dividing this country worse than (in my life time) any time since Vietnam and by reading History and y time. PERIOD.

    September 13, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Kenman

    Typical liberal politics, adding visas for ILLEGALS to such important legislation! And the only vice president that could make Obama look good just can't keep his gaff maker shut!

    September 13, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. rs

    Hector Slagg

    Good Lord,
    You realise Joe could be your next president. Just thought I'd mention that. Scares you, doesn't it?
    Not in the slighest when I see what the GOP offers up from their clown car of fascists sympathizers (Santorum, Paul, Cruz, Bachmann et al). Whay any of them would be just like gatting G.W. Bush back. I doubt America could survie that!

    September 13, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. s~

    He wants to be president?

    September 13, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. s~

    Actually I think he'll be a better president than Obama.... but, that isn't saying much.

    September 13, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Truth2012

    That's really being too nice Joe...
    Only group of people to go backwards on the evolutionary path...

    September 13, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Walt

    Keep waggin that dog Joe. Wag that dog til he's dizzy. Your buddies Barrrrrrr-ack and johnny catsup are getting humiliated and need your help.

    September 13, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. MaryM

    Way to call it, Joe. Most Americans agree that the repubs in the house are Neanderthals

    September 13, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. just saying

    and this is exactly why they have tried to keep crazy joe buried in the outback while obama and kerry screwed up the syria situation. does biden honestly think they want a person in the white house that is this uncivil? and of course then he'll wonder and complain that people won't work with him, after he's called them names like this. honestly, i think biden is starting to lose his mental capacity. he scares me more and more every time he opens his mouth.

    September 13, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. ZZ

    Neanderthals knew how to move forward, this crowd of the GOPers are permanently stuck in the past.

    September 13, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Amy

    Bullying is the childish response. How about act like an adult Joe and maybe more things will get done in Washington.

    September 13, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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