Entries in Vice President Joe Biden (19)


Biden Asks Ecuador’s President to Deny Snowden Asylum

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a phone conversation Friday, Vice President Joe Biden asked Ecuador's President Rafael Correa to deny NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s request for asylum.

In what the White house is calling a friendly conversation, Correa told Biden that they can’t consider granting Snowden asylum until he is actually in Ecuador. He went on to say that, should the time come, they will consult with the United States before making any decision.

Correa also reportedly brought up the Roberto and William Isaias, two brothers of Ecuadorian nationality wanted for embezzlement. The two are living in Florida despite the Ecuadorian government’s attempt to have them extradited.

The White House said Biden and Correa addressed a wide range of topics in addition to Snowden, but did not provide any further details.

Snowden is currently believed to be in a Moscow airport's transit zone waiting to see if any country will grant him asylum.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Biden Campaigns for Senate Candidate, Bashes Republicans

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images(DARTMOUTH, Mass.) -- Ed Markey got some help from the vice president on Saturday.

Markey, who has represented Massachusetts in the House for 36 years, will face off Tuesday against Republican Gabriel Gomez in the state’s Senate special election. Vice President Joe Biden campaigned with him at two events in the Bay State, tying his opponent to notable tea partiers in D.C. and urging Democrats not to take the election for granted.

“This is going to be the most informed freshman senator in the history of the United States of America,” Biden said of Markey, before a crowd at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Markey is expected to win — last weekend, a Boston Globe poll found him leading 54 percent to 41 percent — but Biden cautioned against surprises in a low-turnout election.

“Look folks, don’t put yourself in a position where you get up Tuesday morning, and it’s an incredibly low turnout, and you say, ‘Good God, if I’d only gone down one more block, if I’d only made 20 more calls, if I’d only spent a little more energy this wouldn’t be the case,” Biden said. “This is the first time, in my understanding, that you’ve ever had a vote for a major office in this state in the middle of June.”

The last time Massachusetts held a special Senate election, Democrats missed their chance. Republican Scott Brown flew under the radar for much of his race against Martha Coakley, and a once-bankable Senate seat fell out of the Democratic Party’s hands.

Gomez has called himself a “new kind of Republican,” but Biden spent much of the day likening him to tea party Republicans who have exerted influence over their party.

“This guy looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck,” Biden said earlier in the day, in a similar speech at the Ironworkers Local 7 union hall in South Boston. “That is a new Republican. That’s a new Paul Ryan Republican. That’s a new Ted Cruz Republican.”

Biden challenged Gomez’s opposition to the Democratic health care law and suggested he backs the same policies as Republicans in Washington.

“Why does Mitch McConnell want him so badly? Why does Newt Gingrich talk about him like he’s the second coming?” Biden asked. “Why does Marco Rubio want him so much? Look at how they vote. Look, I know Mitch McConnell pretty well, and if he wants Gabriel Gomez in his caucus, it’s not because he thinks he may ever disagree with him, it’s because he wants a Republican majority and because he knows he can count on the guy to vote on everything that he needs.”

Markey introduced the vice president at both events.

Between the two appearances, Markey and Biden made a brief stop at Sullivan’s Castle Island, a beachfront food stand in South Boston. Upon exiting his limo, Biden asked, “Are there any hot dogs here?”

After working the crowd, he ordered one with mustard and relish.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Biden, Sen. Ted Cruz Speak in South Carolina Amid 2016 Buzz

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- South Carolina got a taste of two very different political acts Friday night.

On one side was Vice President Joe Biden, a 35-year veteran of the Senate who showered praise on his old congressional colleagues and drew on his standard stump speech from the 2012 campaign, talking about Democrats’ commitment to the middle class and declaring that Republicans are “down on America.”

“One of the things that bothers me most about the new Republican party is how down on America they are, how down on our prospects they are, how they talk about how we’re getting clobbered, how they talk about things that have no relationship to reality, all in the name of making sure that the very few at the top do very well,” Biden said at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner Friday night.

On the other side, two miles down the road, was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a rising star in the Republican Party, less than six months into his first term as a senator. Cruz wooed the South Carolina Republicans with his talk of repealing President Obama’s healthcare plan and protecting constitutional rights.

“We should be defending the fourth and fifth amendments against an administration that recognizes no limits on its powers,” Cruz said at the South Carolina GOP’s Silver Elephant Dinner as he went through each of the constitutional rights he believes the Obama administration is threatening.

Biden and Cruz each traveled to South Carolina, known as the “First in the South” primary state, to honor leaders in their respective parties, but the visits fueled speculation about each man’s intentions for the presidential election three years from now.

The vice president acknowledged that his trip to South Carolina would create a buzz about 2016 but insisted he solely came to celebrate Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who was being honored at the evening’s fundraiser.

“I love coming down here to South Carolina…As soon as I show up in South Carolina, the Washington press corps comes out saying, ‘Is Biden getting ready?’” he said, before adding that he came at the request of Clyburn. “I’ve got to make clear — I would go anywhere Jim asked me to go.”

As they opined before their party faithful Friday evening, both politicians were very cognizant of the other’s presence in South Carolina. Biden referenced the Silver Elephant Dinner occurring down the road multiple times in his speech but refrained from mentioning the Texas senator by name, instead jokingly saying “I don’t want to make any news tonight.”

But Cruz was a bit more direct in his acknowledgement of Biden, who he challenged to a debate over the Second Amendment at the National Rifle Association in Houston, Texas earlier on Friday.

“So Vice President Joe Biden’s in town,” Cruz said to laughs. “You know the great thing is you don’t even need a punch line? You just say that and people laugh.”

Cruz admitted Republicans are “demoralized” by the results of the 2012 election but predicted the political fortunes of the GOP will change in 2014.

“Things can change quickly,” he said. “I am convinced with your help we’re going to take back the U.S. Senate in 2014.

Asked if Cruz is a viable presidential candidate, former Sen. Jim DeMint, head of the Heritage Foundation, who was being honored at Friday night’s event, told reporters that voters are clamoring for a leader like Cruz but said Friday’s speech wasn’t a signal of a presidential run.

“Give the guy a break, he’s just coming to speak for us here,” DeMint told reporters. “Everybody comes to South Carolina you say they’re running for president. I can assure you he’s thinking about Senate business and that’s about it right now.”

“He’s one of the strongest Republicans in the country now. I’ve been in 25 cities in the past few months, all I have to do is mention Ted Cruz’s name and people stand up and cheer,” DeMint said. “They’re hungry for someone who’s not afraid and willing to stand up, who’s trying to change the status quo.”

While he didn’t directly express a desire to run in 2016, Cruz did link himself to the early primary state by pointing out the connection between Texas and South Carolina dating back to the Alamo, similar to a story Texas Gov. Rick Perry often referenced while in South Carolina during his presidential bid last year.

“Texas and South Carolina have a long long connection, a connection that goes back centuries…There were two native South Carolinians – William Barret Travis and James Bonham in the Alamo,” Cruz said. “That’s the tradition, that’s the history of South Carolina and Texas, and it’s a tremendous thing. So thank you for the support South Carolina has given then and now as we fight side by side for freedom.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Biden: 'No Leadership' in GOP

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday that the Republican Party is struggling with an identity crisis, with “no leadership” and “the tail wagging the dog.”

“There is no leadership,” he told donors for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, according to the pool report. “There is nobody you can sit across the table from and shake hands, make a deal with."

“The problem is we have the tail wagging the dog in the Republican Party,” he added.

Biden led negotiations with Republican leaders in Congress in what resulted in the fiscal cliff deal earlier this year. While he did not cite the specific negotiations, the vice president said that in at least five instances, House Republicans took back an offer they had agreed to, calling Biden to say, “What we agreed to Joe, we can’t do.”

“The reason this is so dysfunctional now — with whom do you make a deal? With whom do you speak to get something done?” he said.

But Biden had kind words for one Republican senator, Rand Paul, calling him “a fine man, he’s a decent man.” When talking about Rep. Paul Ryan, his former opponent in 2012, the vice president got laughs from the crowd, saying “The Ryan budget is absolutely — the Ryan budget.”

The vice president thanked the crowd of 250 people at the DCCC conference for supporting him and other Democratic candidates in recent years.

“When I first ran, you just hoped that I’d turn out the right way,” he joked, adding that “some of you may still not be [convinced].”

And the vice president made light of his now infamous moment where a hot mic caught him calling President Obama’s healthcare plan a “big f***ing deal.”

“Thank God my mom’s not alive – can’t trust those microphones,” he joked.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Urges Vote on Gun Measures, Including Assault Weapons Ban

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the Senate set to consider a comprehensive gun package next month, President Obama urged Congress to seriously consider all of the gun measures which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, including the contentious assault weapons ban.

“These ideas shouldn’t be controversial – they’re common sense. They’re supported by a majority of the American people. And I urge the Senate and the House to give each of them a vote,” the president said in his weekly address.

“Right now, we have a real chance to reduce gun violence in America, and prevent the very worst violence. We have a unique opportunity to reaffirm our tradition of responsible gun ownership, and also do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or people with a severe mental illness,” he said. “We’ve made progress over the last three months, but we’re not there yet. And in the weeks ahead, I hope members of Congress will join me in finishing the job – for our communities and, most importantly, for our kids.”

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved the Senate Democrats’ gun control legislation to the calendar, which sets up its consideration for when the Senate returns from recess next month. The bill includes a gun trafficking proposal and the controversial universal background check, a portion which Republicans and moderate Democrats have voiced concerns about.

But stripped completely from the bill is the assault weapons ban. Instead, it will be considered as an amendment to the bill.

In a news conference in New York City on Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden urged those who are skeptics about the assault weapons ban to “Think about Newtown” when weighing the need for the legislation.

After issuing his proposals for gun reform in January, President Obama remained relatively silent on guns while lawmakers have hammered away at the details of the proposals as he has dealt with a budget battle. The vice president has served as the administration’s main mouthpiece on the topic of guns in recent months.

As the country still grapples with how to prevent tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School three months ago, the president extended his condolences to the families of the 20 children and 6 educators who lost their lives in the massacre last December.

“For the families who lost a loved one on that terrible day, three months doesn’t even begin to ease the pain they’re feeling right now. It doesn’t come close to mending the wounds that may never fully heal,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama, Biden Could Be Out of Country at Same Time

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) -- For the first time during this administration, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden might be out of the country at the same time next week.

President Obama is scheduled to depart for Israel on Tuesday evening, the same day that the vice president attends the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in Rome.

The vice president’s official schedule for the trip has yet to be released, but there might be a few hours of overlap, with Biden flying back from Italy while the president is already en route to Israel.

“There certainly is a chance that that could happen. I think some of the schedule details are still being nailed down,” White House spokesman Joshua Earnest told reporters Friday aboard Air Force One. “President Obama is President of the United States everywhere he goes. Vice President Biden is Vice President of the United States everywhere that he goes. … This administration is deeply engaged all around the globe to make sure that the interests of the United States are well represented.”

The president and vice president typically do not travel out of the country at the same time for security reasons.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


White House Launches 'Being Biden' Series

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann(WASHINGTON) -- The White House has launched an audio series called “Being Biden,” where the vice president will share the story of a photograph in which he appears.

The first picture featured in the series is of Biden’s serving rolls at a wild game dinner in Delaware earlier this month. The vice president is shaking hands with a man wearing a hunting-style shirt featuring deer in the woods as Biden holds a tong in his other hand.

“Hey folks, I want to tell you about this picture you’re looking at,” Biden said. “These are a couple of guys in their hunting shirts that I’m serving a meal to, along with the folks you see in the back gourd and the occasion is once a year, the Whitehall Neck Sportsman Club holds a dinner.

“I’ve been attending it for over 30 years. It’s called a wild game dinner and they go out and they hunt for wild game that they then cook up and serve at the Leipsic fire hall, as you see in the background. All the money goes to charity and then there’s an auction and they auction off guns and bows and all that money as well goes to, originally went to [defray] the costs and expenses of a buddy of theirs who was injured in a hunting accident years ago, now it goes to help people in need.”

Biden then detailed how important the right to bear arms responsibly is to himself and the hunters.

“They believe there is a Second Amendment right to own a weapon. So do I, but they also believe that it’s for self-protection and legitimate uses like hunting and these guys have the ethic, an ethic that I find most sportsmen have, one that demands responsibility in terms of their case how you deal with, treat, and store your weapons, and there’s an ethic that they have that says we’re going to help those in our community who are in need,” Biden said. “I know these guys, and I know an awful lot of them.  I’ve been doing it for over 30 years.  They’re my friends, but the point is they are absolutely, totally responsible.”

The vice president noted that Thursday marks three months since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, and urged Congress to pass gun legislation to help prevent such a tragedy in the future.

“This is the third-month anniversary of those twenty beautiful little babies who were massacred up in Connecticut in Sandy Hook and those six brave teachers and administrators that tried to protect them.  And the country cries for responsible action, to do everything we can to see to it that these kinds of events don’t happen again,” he said.

“I’m pleased to say the Judiciary Committee, that’s the committee in the United States Senate, has passed out the major elements of what we’ve proposed. They’ve passed out a gun-trafficking piece of legislation, a universal background check piece, a school safety piece, and I think they’re going to do more,” Biden said.

“I think it’s time the United States Congress act responsibly now and seriously debate the pieces of legislation we’ve talked about so that we can get to a position where we actually make our communities safer for our children, make our schools safer, and make society safer.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Biden: Romney's VP Pick Shows 'Etch-a-Sketch Is Gone'

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images(BLACKSBURG, Va.) -- Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate clearly indicates where the presumptive GOP nominee stands and throws out the ability for Romney to use an “etch-a-sketch” in this campaign.

“The Etch-a-Sketch is gone. This is sort of written pretty clearly,” Biden said of the meaning of Romney’s VP pick during a speech at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. “It's almost -- not in stone, but it's pretty clearly defined, and it gives us an ability and the American people to have an absolute, unfettered clear view.”

In his speech Wednesday, Biden did not touch directly on his controversial “chains” comments made yesterday, which Republicans pounced on, and he refrained from hitting back at Romney for calling the president’s campaign “angry and desperate.”

“I know I am sometimes criticized for saying exactly what I mean, and it’s not going to change,” Biden said without specifically referencing his “chains” comment.

During a stop at the River City Grill in Radford, Va., Biden avoided a reporter’s question about Romney’s statement that Biden’s remarks were a sign of desperation in the campaign.

On his second day campaigning in Virginia this week, Biden defended the president, attesting to his character and leadership.

“Barack Obama does exactly what he says he’s going to do. You don’t have to worry about Barack Obama changing positions mid stream,” Biden said.

The vice president tried to paint Romney as a candidate who is “out of touch,” pointing to his Swiss Bank account, money in the Cayman Islands, and refusal to release his tax returns as evidence, and Biden accused Republicans of obstructionism, saying the administration could accomplish “much more if they could just get out of the way, these Republicans.”

“This is not your father’s Republican Party.  This is not the Republican Party I worked with over the last 30 years in the United States Congress,” Biden said.  “They’re very different.  As a matter of fact, this is not even Romney’s father’s Republican Party.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden vs. Romney on Economic Blame Game

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden took to the pages of the Des Moines Register on Friday morning to go on offense against Mitt Romney.

“Romney appears satisfied to settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed, while the majority of Americans are left to tread water or fall behind,” Biden writes, turning Romney’s own words back on him.

The vice president also blasted Romney for blaming him and President Obama for creating an “entitlement society.” Instead, Biden blamed Romney’s policies an “economic catastrophe.”

“The only entitlement we believe in is an America where if you work hard, you can get ahead,” he writes. “And we know from recent experience that his policy prescription for an ‘Opportunity Society’ leads to less, not more opportunity for middle class Americans. How can anyone forget the economic catastrophe brought about by the same policies Mr. Romney’s proposing? His are the same policies that deregulated Wall Street and turned it into a casino that gambled recklessly with hardworking Americans’ money. As a consequence, Americans saw the equity in their homes evaporate and their 401(k)s plummet in value. Millions of jobs were lost.”

The former Massachusetts governor was quick to respond, calling Biden’s comments "delusional" and “another gaffe.”

On Thursday, Romney made a rather unusual promise to a college student, telling her students like her should vote for him because “when you get out of college, if I’m president you’ll have a job. If President Obama is reelected, you will not be able to get a job.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Biden Rallies Ohio Labor for Obama 2012

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(EUCLID, Ohio) -- Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday officially kicked off the Obama re-election campaign in Ohio, rallying with Cleveland-area firefighters who last week helped to lead a successful repeal of the state’s controversial new collective bargaining rights law.

“Folks, you fired the first shot. It’s not about Barack Obama. It’s not about Joe Biden. It’s about whether middle-class people are going to be put back in the saddle again – because you are the people who make this country move,” Biden told the crowd of 500 in a Euclid firehouse, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Biden mentioned only one GOP presidential candidate by name, the Plain Dealer noted, subtly referencing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s endorsement of an effort by Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich to curtail bargaining rights in the state.  Sixty-one percent of Ohioans ultimately rejected the Kasich-sponsored law in a ballot measure last week.  

Kasich “was the only state executive to go after police and firefighters,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who joined Biden at the event. “How dare he.”

The Obama campaign has plans to open several field offices across the Buckeye State in the next few weeks, focusing first on Columbus and areas south and then establishing outposts in the northwestern part of the state, a state Democratic official said.

Since April, when Obama announced his bid for a second term, more than 6,000 Ohio volunteers have enlisted to support Obama, organizing more than 3,700 events across the state, according to the campaign.

In 2008, Obama won Ohio by four points over Republican Sen. John McCain, but the state is expected to be an even more hotly contested battleground in 2012.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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