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. Skarphace


    @Skarphace – Again I am amazed at how Liberals can never answer a question –


    But according to liberals, the Democrat party is the party of equality and tolerance – where is that in their speech?


    You clearly did not understand my response. I am no defending Biden's remarks. I feel that the Vice President should be mending fences, not building them, and Biden is building them with his vitrol towards the GOP. I do not feel he would be a good President and will not vote for him for the Democratic nominee.

    Why do you feel that just because I am a Democrat that I should defend any statement a Democrat makes? Oh, that is right. Because that is exactly what most Republicans do. My bad.

    September 13, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Yanni

    It is an insult to the "Neanderthal crowd"

    September 13, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. chgo1945

    The sum total of this administration is personal attacks on their political opponent. Makes for a lot of screw ups.

    September 13, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Malory Archer

    just asking

    those are liberal and democrat descriptions. to use the liberal and democrat phraseology...


    When did the 2012 also-ran become a liberal and democrat? Remember – HE was caught on tape making that exact comment at a $50k per plate fundraiser! LOL!

    September 13, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    Tony D

    Joe Biden is supposed to be 70 years old. Statements like this are what come out of a 7 year old. He is demonstrating horrendous judgement by making such statements. He is demeaning himself and his office by making such statements. To say it is uncivil language and behavior is an understatement.

    Somebody like this should never be allowed to hold our high offices.


    If that's the case the rethug party should just lock the doors and go home now.

    September 13, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Republicans have had the same message since slavery..They are unwilling as a party to change with the times..Majority of their members are old and near death, so they're a dying breed...They are misinformed elistist!

    September 13, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. sly

    So Republicans hate women ... no surprise. They hate blacks, asians, muslims, gays ... heck they hate everyone but White Christian Males.

    Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama are the only 2 Americans who are standing up for thousands of murdered children ... while the Republicans laugh at the videos of gassed victims.


    September 13, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Donna

    Donna: We have endured 5 years of Obama name calling and demonization, then wondering why people won't work with him. Heck, he is even out there insulting the leaders of other countries (Israel, Russia and I am sure others).
    Huh? You clearly live in an alternate universe.

    Here is another one like Joe Biden. Can't you address specifically the statement which you have called out and prove me wrong? It has been widely reported about the insults Obama has made to Netanyahu and Putin. At least it has in my universe!

    And the name calling and demonization by Obama are legendary, even continuing to this day. Insulting others just to throw red meat to your supporters is not how Presidents and Vice Presidents should be acting. They are supposed to be representing ALL Americans in their positions of power, not just the people that voted for them. The others that did not do not warrant and should not receive insults like the ones Mr. Biden has used.

    September 13, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. chgo1945

    The sum total of this administration is personal attacks on their political opponent. Makes for a lot of screw ups when the task at hand is obviously is not domestic politics.

    September 13, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    Ron Davis, it's really difficult to take you seriously. If you're going to attempt to impress people with big words, at least learn to use them properly. The word you were looking for is "incites". You're welcome.

    September 13, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Skarphace

    just asking: 47% of americans are tax free riders.

    Really? So you are sticking to Romney's talking points? Ok, let us break this down, then. Of those 47% who do not pay Federal Income Tax (as clearly nearly 100% of us pay one form of tax or another), how many are retired and owe no FIT? How many work full time but don't make enough to afford to pay FIT on top of all the other taxes they pay? How many are disabled? How many are incarcerated? Once you leave all those groups out, how many are actually riding the system and both paying no FIT and accepting government handouts? It is probably closer to 10% then 47%.

    September 13, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Guest

    And they wonder why they can't unite the country. Leadership starts at the top.

    September 13, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. just asking

    Malory Archer
    This from a guy whom I would NOT buy a used car from.

    I wouldn't buy a used car from ANYBODY.

    or go to a 7-11 because they are all run by indians??? another of joe bidens racists insults.

    September 13, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Donna: "I still have not decided and am open to any and all callers, EXCEPT supposedly mature adults that cannot have a debate or exchange of ideas or view points, without resorting to name calling. Because at that point, nothing productive can come out of the discussion."

    I agree to a point: perhaps if we too would stop our own name calling and bickering with one another our elected officials might follow our examples?

    September 13, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC


    @Skarphace – Again I am amazed at how Liberals can never answer a question –

    Liberals on this and other sites spew venom and hate towards republicans yet refer to the GOP as the party of hate. If you believe that Republicans are the party of hate then you shouldn't be surprised that others in the party will defend GOP hate speech (at least they are being consistent with your perception of them).
    Amazing. You've just defended GOP hate speech by justifying the use of even more hate speech.

    September 13, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Yabochuk

    Yup Joe and dodobirds drive cars, Bigfoot is really in those jerky commercials, And dinosaurs are made out of candy. Angy senility has taken a foothold. Time for the old bird to retire

    September 13, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. T-Thaddeus

    Nothing like damaging the economy right before Xmas! – all I want for xmas is this administration to stand up to these T-baggers.. .no negotiations... we don't negotiate with toddlers,, terrorists or T Baggers.... Surprisingly they all have about the same IQ.
    Republicans have no interest either in jobs or economic improvement in general.
    They instead are doing everything they can to assure the economy stagnates so they can impeach President Obama.
    I really don't get how people can look at the sides the parties take and not immediately realize that the Republicans are just bad people. They are constantly fighting to harm the most vulnerable people in our society. That's all they do. Day in and day out. How can that not bother somebody? Are there really people out there whose conception of morality is so radically different than mine that in their world trying to harm the weak is "good" and trying to help those who need help is "bad"?!
    This level of political fanaticism is close to treason.

    September 13, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. CarrotCakeMan

    VP Biden is correct.

    September 13, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Caveman

    Joe Biden calling the GOP Neanderthals? LOL – this guy is probably the closest thing we have to explaining the origins of life on earth we have – and arguably hasn't evolved enought to have a spine!

    September 13, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. us_1776

    Jeez, Biden, let me give you real choice words to call these House GOP/TEA baggers.


    September 13, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Stacie

    ugh. does anyone else feel gross when Joe Biden says "the bigger the number (of women), the better our chances?"

    September 13, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. George Cook

    Mr Biden you keep stepping in "POO POO"..put your BOOTS on and save your ALLIGATOR Shoes

    September 13, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Sal

    I've got a better name for those republicans in Congress! 

    September 13, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. amercon

    Biden is in no position to lecture anyone with his record of sleaze.

    September 13, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Peg

    How funny – but true – good one Mr Vice President !

    However, than I remember the Geico commercial with the slogan "Even a cave man can do it," with Neanderthals complaining over a fancy dinner that someone should have done a little research fist.

    After all, scientists have recently discovered that many humans have some Neanderthal DNA and if the GOP were to collectively have their DNA tested and it were high (likely) for Neanderthal DNA, they could play the race card on this one.

    September 13, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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