An unfortunate gaffe. But the irony is just what the right wing thinks (or say they think)—that more bullets will prevent violence
President Obama appointed Vice President Biden on Wednesday to lead an effort to develop new policies to combat gun violence.
“We have a deep obligation — all of us — to try” and end gun violence, Obama said at the White House. “This time, the words need to lead to action.”
He added: “It won’t be easy, but that can’t be an excuse not to try.”
This is not “your typical Washington commission,” the president said. He said Biden will complete his work in a month, and that the horror of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting should remain vivid in so short a time.
Obama picked Biden, he said, because of his experience in the Senate, including a major role in the 1994 crime bill that included an assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004.
The real story is Mitt saying he wanted to “unchain Wall Street.” Why doesn’t he just pardon the Manson gang while he’s at it?
On Tuesday, speaking at a rally in Danville, Va., Vice President Joe Biden told a group of supporters that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would “put you all back in chains” if elected.
The vice president was arguing that Republicans plan to “unchain Wall Street” with deregulation.
“He said in the first hundred days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street,” Biden said during a speech at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. “They’re going to put you all back in chains.”
The Romney campaign took issue with the comments.
“After weeks of slanderous and baseless accusations leveled against Governor Romney, the Obama Campaign has reached a new low,” Romney press secretary Andrea Saul said in a statement. “The comments made by the Vice President of the United States are not acceptable in our political discourse and demonstrate yet again that the Obama Campaign will say and do anything to win this election. President Obama should tell the American people whether he agrees with Joe Biden’s comments.”
A spokeswoman from the Obama campaign defended Biden’s remarks, saying there was “no problem” with the accusation.
“For months, Speaker Boehner, Congressman Ryan, and other Republicans have called for the ‘unshackling’ of the private sector from regulations that protect Americans from risky financial deals and other reckless behavior that crashed our economy,” said Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. “Since then, the Vice President has often used a similar metaphor to describe the need to ‘unshackle’ the middle class. Today’s comments were a derivative of those remarks, describing the devastating impact letting Wall Street write its own rules again would have on middle class families. We find the Romney campaign’s outrage over the Vice President’s comments today hypocritical, particularly in light of their own candidate’s stump speech questioning the President’s patriotism. Now, let’s return to that ‘substantive’ debate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan promised 72 hours ago, but quickly abandoned.”
ice President Joe Biden drew cheers from the nation’s biggest civil rights group on Thursday with a fiery defense of President Barack Obama’s record, and he warned that the election of Republican Mitt Romney could reverse years of economic and civil rights gains for blacks.
The day after Romney was booed during an appearance before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People convention, Biden said Republicans had blocked Obama’s efforts at every turn and their policies would halt progress for blacks in housing, education and a variety of economic issues.
“Their discipline has been amazing. They have never let up. But neither has my guy, Barack Obama,” Biden said. “This election, in my view, is a fight for the heart and soul of America. These guys aren’t bad guys, but they have a fundamentally different view.”
It was a rousing speech to a friendly crowd by Biden, who has proved to be a passionate campaigner for Obama, drawing on his folksy charm and connection with working-class America.
Biden asked the audience to imagine what a Romney presidency would mean for the Justice Department, the Supreme Court and voting rights.
“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” said Biden, the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “They see a future where voting is made harder, not easier.”
He condemned Republican support for voter ID laws that critics say will disenfranchise many black voters.
“Did you think we’d be fighting these battles again?” he asked the crowd, which roared “No!” in reply.
President Obama, along with his vice president and the secretary of homeland security, honored 34 law enforcement officers chosen as the year’s Top Cops, 31 of whom joined them on a spectacular Saturday in the Rose Garden; the three absent winners are recovering from gunshot wounds.
Mr. Obama, with the honorees standing behind him and their families in the audience, said they had survived “the day when just doing your job and being a hero are exactly the same thing.”
He earlier met with each officer in the Oval Office, and said, “Some of them will tell you they don’t deserve to be called heroes. They’re entitled to their opinion. I disagree with them.”
Mr. Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. praised the officers, and also each other, in their first public appearance together after a week of tension over the issue of same-sex marriage. Mr. Biden’s unexpected comments in a TV interview last Sunday saying he supported the issue, which he had once opposed, appeared to have forced Mr. Obama to announce his own election-year change of heart on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, sooner than he had planned.
A big part of President Obama’s political mastery resides with his sense of timing. If Biden forced the timing, perhaps that will make the Democratic Convention more than just a show.
But Biden’s remarks on “Meet the Press” deeply annoyed Obama’s team, people close to the situation tell POLITICO, because it aggrandized his role at the expense of Obama’s yeoman efforts on behalf of the community and pushed up the timing of a sensitive announcement they had hoped to break — at a time and place of their own choosing — in the weeks leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this fall.
Nor did it tickle anyone, from Obama on down, that Biden — who backed the Defense of Marriage Act while serving in the Senate in the 1990s — seemed to be getting more credit in the LGBT community than a president who has actually taken steps to repeal the Clinton-era law that defined marriage as something that could only take place between a man and a woman.
And it chafed Obama’s team that Biden had, at times, privately argued for the president to hold off on his support of marriage equality to avoid a backlash among Catholic voters in battleground states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to two officials familiar with those discussions.
It’s true, as alleged by Williamson, that Obama has consulted with other nations on sanctions against Iran. It’s also true that he has tried to maintain good relations with China and Russia. Indeed, these two facts are related: Obama has sought—and gotten—support for a potent United Nations sanctions regime against Iran. Naturally, this involved consulting with other members of the UN Security Council. It certainly involved consulting with—and maintaining at least minimally good relations with—China and Russia, since they, like the US, France, and Britain, have veto power in the Security Council.
I assume Obama’s logic went like this: Sanctions that have the participation of the international community will be much more powerful than unilateral sanctions—especially when the country imposing the unilateral sanctions is known in Iran as “the great Satan.” Plus: With multilateral sanctions, the US won’t have to bear the whole cost of the sanctions regime (in foregone commerce) but instead can spread that cost around.
So Obama wasn’t playing “Mother may I?” but something closer to “Mothers may we?”—which, for better or worse, is the way you have to approach things if you want collective international action and haven’t been appointed emperor of the world.
Is Williamson saying that he’d rather the sanctions imposed by the UN were being imposed only by the US? Is there something he finds attractive about sanctions that cost us more and accomplish less? Or is Williamson saying that he’s figured out a way to get things passed by the Security Council even if they’re vetoed by members who have veto power? If the latter, he should share this technique with us.
ice President Joe Biden stepped up the Obama administration’s attacks on Mitt Romney over taxes and outsourcing.
In a campaign appearance in Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday, Mr. Biden first accused Mr. Romney of shipping factories offshore as CEO of Bain Capital, and then offshoring government services as governor of Massachusetts.
“Now, as a presidential candidate, [Mr. Romney] has proposed a new international tax system that zeroes out taxes for companies that create jobs outside the United States of America,” Mr. Biden added. “President Obama and Gov. Romney, Joe Biden and whoever the [GOP vice presidential] nominee is going to be, we are talking about taxes and the burden on manufacturers. But there’s a big difference. Our tax cuts go to companies that create jobs over here. The Romney tax cut goes to companies that create jobs overseas. It’s a fundamentally different philosophy from ours.”
The comments show how Democrats hope to use once-obscure international business tax issues in the 2012 campaign, as a way of shifting blame for the nagging job shortage onto big businesses and their GOP allies.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday after Biden suggested that rape and murder incidences in the U.S. would increase without passage of an Obama administration-backed $35 billion jobs measure. Carney told reporters that the president “absolutely” shares Biden’s belief that an increase in law enforcement “would have a positive impact on crime.”
Biden incited the ire of Republicans on Wednesday when he doubled down on the suggestion that the country would see an increase in rapes and murders if the jobs bill, which would provide funds for state and local governments to hire teachers, fire fighters and police officers, is not passed.
“Police departments, as I said, in some cases literally cut in half like Camden, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan,” Biden said in Washington, referencing remarks he made in Michigan last week. “In many cities the result has been, and it’s not unique, murder rates are up. Robberies are up. Rapes are up.”
Asked if the president agreed with Biden’s comments, Carney said yes.
“I think it would be hard to find anyone who doesn’t agree with the simple equation that fewer police officers on the street has a direct effect on the crime rate,” he told reporters.
Biden, in a conversation with a conservative journalist following his initial remarks, pointed to rising crime rates in Michigan to back his claim.
“I said rape was up three times in Flint. Those are the numbers. Go look at the numbers. Murder is up, rape is up, burglary is up. That’s what I said,” said Biden.
Carney said the president “absolutely does share” Biden’s belief that an increase in the number of law enforcement officials on the street will lead to a decrease in crime.
“We saw this in the ’90s…I don’t know that anybody, any lawmaker up on Capitol Hill, will contest that simple fact,” he said. …Having more law enforcement officers on the job, police officers on the job, would have a positive impact on crime. That’s the point he was making. And that’s a point that the president absolutely does share.”
When asked how Mr. Obama would respond Republicans contending “they’re being told their opposition means more people will be raped; more people will be murdered,” Carney wondered if the GOP was trying to argue that there was no correlation between the number of employed police officers and crime rates.
“You know, you can focus on the words or you can focus on the simple fact,” Carney said. “The president put in the American Jobs Act a provision that would provide assistance to states to put teachers back to work and to put firefighters and police officers back to work, first responders.”
“I mean, are they arguing — are Republicans arguing that there is no correlation between the number of cops on the beat and the crime rate?” Carney asked. “That would be an interesting argument to hear. It’s a new one, a novel one, but I’d like to hear it.”