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


    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"?

    September 13, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. rs


    And they wonder why they can't unite the country. Leadership starts at the top.
    Yeah, and unfortunately, the Democrats are having a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

    You cannot "unite" the country when one party (the GOP) has elected to oppose every initiative, and do nothing for the duration.

    September 13, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. scarf

    Both Obama and Biden have a tendency to say things that would be better left unsaid. (References to "red lines" comes to mind. But, the really sad thing about this is that Obama and Biden are STILL better choices than the alternatives put up by the Republicans in 2008 and 2012.

    September 13, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Did anyone besides me notice the double meaning and subliminal message by the word choice, "neanderthal"? Neanderthals and all of their descendents are extinct.

    September 13, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Fish

    You tell 'em Joe, although Neanderthal is too mild a word for these traitors who will do everything they can to ruin our nation for their own selfish reasons. It's past time to put these people on the street, since they have created so many unemployed Americans we should make them join their ranks to struggle for a while!!!

    September 13, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. TONE

    Biden is so correct.

    September 13, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Joe is being kind in his assessment!

    September 13, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Michael Benjamin

    How about the Violence Against Everyone Act?

    September 13, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. 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.

    September 13, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Mike

    Stay classy, Uncle Joe. :-I

    September 13, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Malory Archer


    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.


    So when is your big day? Are your coworkers giving you a party, or will they throw one after you're already gone?

    September 13, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. dh

    Repubs wake-up!! You lost (twice!) Because americans are tired of your bigotry, hatred and bs view of your fellow americans. So all of you repubs just keep on talking as you bury yourselves!!

    September 13, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. just asking

    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%

    so where were all these distinctions when it came to people getting free healthcare on the backs of others? no, they all were no just nasty healthcare free riders and had to be held to account and forced to get healthcare. why the free ride for tax free riders? why all of a sudden all kinds of waivers and distinctions on the paying side of the equation? everybody that lives in this country needs to pay something, no matter how small. tax free riders are no better than healthcare free riders. eveyrbody has to start contributing because we can't expect 1% of the population to pay for the other 99%. then numbers just don't work. liberals never were any good at math.

    September 13, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. BPepik

    Joe the Hair Transplant Biden – the biggest loser and confused uncle wearing a hat with little propeller on top just spoke... Just confirming that this administration is embarrassment to this country and is making this once great country a laughing stock of the world..

    September 13, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. DustyOnes

    Biden...typical Liberal. Resorts to name calling whenever wrong and does not get his way. Juvenile.

    September 13, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. MaryM

    Republicans hatred for The President is so great that they will try to bring down America and Americans so the Republicans can get back at the President

    September 13, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. MickeyOregon

    Hahahahahahaha... so they finally unlocked the basement and let Biden out. They sure hid him away and shut him up over the last two "Syria" weeks. What a buffoon.

    September 13, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. sly

    Only 2 people in America who are standing up to the Nazi's using chemical weapons: President Obama and Vice President Biden.

    The rest of Americans are afraid of Syria – they think Iran will come in and kick our asz.

    Have some guts Americans. Stand up for freedom and don't let the Nazi's whoop you.

    September 13, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. MgoBlue

    Soooo...let me get this straight. The Republicans are the only ones that lie? LOL..wait a second...LOL...ahhh thats to funny.

    September 13, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Data Driven

    @just saying,

    Obamacare addresses your concerns about healthcare "free riders" by mandating personal health care coverage. Fail to sign up, you get fined. No more free riders on health care.

    Go, therefore, and rejoice!

    September 13, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. TommytheT

    Hey Smirky Joe, still dodging the bullets on the golf course near the Amish school killing? You know the one 5 miles away that you were never at?

    Not only are you one of the biggest Liars in Washington DC, I am sure you boss will soon be telling us all how we have to be civil.

    September 13, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "why the free ride for tax free riders?"

    Because there are ZERO...count them...ZERO...people in the US who pay ZERO taxes. Once you get that through your tinfoil hatted skull, you'll stop sounding stupid.

    September 13, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Southern Snottie

    Republicans hatred for The President is so great that they will try to bring down America and Americans so the Republicans can get back at the President

    Obama needs no help in bringing America and Americans down. He is doing a bang up job all by himself. Five years of record unemployment and now his mouth is posed to get us into another war. What a collossal mistake it was voting for this guy.

    September 13, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Quixote

    How dare he disparage neanderthals!

    September 13, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. LoboLoco

    I wouldn't call them that, more like retro humans, somewhere between. Like missing links or something.

    September 13, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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