Joseph Biden

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Joseph Biden
47th Vice President of the United States
From: January 20, 2009-January 20, 2017
President Barack Obama
Predecessor Dick Cheney
Successor Mike Pence
Former U.S. Senator from Delaware
From: January 3, 1973 – January 15, 2009
Predecessor Cale Boggs
Successor Ted Kaufman
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Jill Biden
Religion Roman Catholic

Joe Biden (born Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. on 20 November 1942) was the Vice President of the United States. Biden has been roundly criticized for his racist, sexist, and bigotted handling of the Clarence Thomas hearings,[1][2] and his pattern of offensive and disrespectful treatment of women and girls.[3] Biden is as of 2018 the most popular candidate among Democrats to challenge President Trump in 2020.[4]

Liberal Biden, notorious for his long-winded speeches and his foot-in-mouth moments, as illustrated by his declaration that "we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt."[5] A favorite of the liberal media, Biden avoids the mockery that greeted a less gaffe-prone predecessor, Dan Quayle.

Biden got a pass from fellow liberals in the media despite acting like a rude clown during his vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan in October 2012. Biden repeatedly interrupted Ryan and engaged in other offensive behavior, and even complained about not getting more time despite talking more than Ryan did. At one point Biden even nonsensically interjected, "so now you're Jack Kennedy?" in interrupting a valid point being made by Ryan.

Biden is the first Roman Catholic Vice President. He won few votes when running for president in 2008; he dropped out after placing fifth in Iowa in January, 2008. Biden became Barack Obama's vice-presidential running mate. His campaign stressed his Irish Catholic roots in appeals to working class Democrats, who had deserted Obama in the primaries but returned in the fall.

Biden, as a senator from Delaware from 1973-2009, chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and subsequently the Committee on Foreign Relations. Biden in 2007 was ranked as the third most liberal Senator by the non-partisan National Journal.[6] Biden is a serial plagiarizer. He was accused of, and ultimately admitted to plagiarism while a student at Syracuse Law School.[7] He ran for President in 1988 but dropped out of the race after admitting he had plagiarized a speech by the leader of the British Labour Party.[8]

Early Life and Education

Biden was born at Scranton State General Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania[9] and grew up in New Castle County, Delaware,[10] in a middle-class family. His father was a white collar businessmen who did well, but had fallen on hard times when Biden was a youth.[11] Biden attended Archmere Academy, a private Catholic college-preparatory high school in the Wilmington, Delaware area, graduating in 1961.[10] Biden took a summer job to help his family pay for his schooling.[11][12] He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965, and from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1968 near the bottom of his class.[10] While attending Syracuse Law School, he submitted a paper in which he plagiarized from a law review article. After receiving a grade of F, he was permitted to retake the course.[13]

In 1966, while still in law school, Biden married Neilia Hunter.[9] They had three children together: Joseph R. "Beau" Dien, III, Robert Hunter, and Naomi. Shortly after his election to the Senate in 1972, his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident, and his two sons were seriously injured.[9] He eventually remarried to Dr. Jill Biden (née Jacobs), an educator in Delaware's schools.[10] She currently is an instructor[14] teaching at Delaware Technical Community College. Together, the couple added a daughter, Ashley Biden, to the family.[10]

Since 1991, Biden has been an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on constitutional law.[10]


Biden is the father of Hunter Biden, who was thrown out of the US Navy for cocaine use. In April 2013, Hunter Biden joined the Board of Directors of Burisma, a Ukrainian oil and gas company.[15][16] The status of an independent Ukraine became the focus of much fake news reporting by the Washington Post to drive a wedge between President Donald Trump's efforts to improve relations with the Russian Federation following the disastrous foreign policy of President Barack Obama, which created a "zone of chaos" throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caucus region.

United States Senate

Biden on Meet The Press, 09/09/07
In 1972, Biden unseated the liberal Republican Senator Cale Boggs. In 1973, he hence became the fifth-youngest U.S. Senator in U.S. history. He was later reelected six times. On the abortion issue, Biden is pro-abortion and opposed President George W. Bush's two nominees to the U.S. Supreme court. On Roe v. Wade he said, "I strongly support Roe v. Wade....That’s why I led the fight to defeat [Robert] Bork. Thank God he is not in the Court or Roe v. Wade would be gone by now."[17] He received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006,[18] but not in other years because of his opposition to partial-birth abortion and public funding for abortions.[19] On government spending Biden requested 116 congressional earmarks in 2008 alone, resulting in $342 million in taxpayer money.[20] He is a strong opponent of 2nd-amendment rights, earning an F by the National Rifle Association. Biden has also voted to give Social Security benefits and citizenship to illegal aliens. On energy, he opposes increased domestic oil production, saying proponents of offshore drilling want to "rape" the Outer Continental Shelf.[21]

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden was a major player in making foreign policy. He voted against aid the government of South Vietnam leading to its collapse in 1975. He called the fall of the Shah in the Iranian Revolution in 1979 a step forward for human rights. He opposed Ronald Reagan's development of the missile defense system. He voted against the Persian Gulf War in 1991, but voted for the Iraq War Resolution in 2002, although he criticized the Bush administration's management of the war. He voted against setting a timetable for troop withdrawal and is against cutting off funding for the troops on the ground. In a 2005 interview with Meet the Press, Biden said, "I’ve been calling for more troops [in Iraq] for over two years, along with John McCain and others subsequent to my saying that." On July 23, 2007, Biden said, "there's not a single military man in this audience, who will tell this Senator he can get those troops out in six months if the order goes today, let's start telling the truth." [22] He has also proposed dividing the Iraqi Population by giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis their own regions.

Biden was a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which he chaired from 1987 until 1995 and served as ranking minority member from 1981 until 1987 and again from 1995 until 1997. He almost never supported a supreme court nominee who was not in his party and presided over two of the more contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings ever, Robert Bork in 1987 and the racially motivated hearings for Clarence Thomas[23] in 1991.

Joe Biden has close ties with lobbyists, receiving $5,133,072 in contributions from lawyers and lobbyists since 2003.[24] One of Biden’s sons, Hunter Biden, has been a registered Washington lobbyist since 2001.[25]

Embarrassing or silly remarks

  • When Representative Gabrielle Giffords returned to Congress after a long hiatus (which was the result of her being shot in the head), Biden (who had a brain surgery in the past) remarked to her that "Now we're both members of the Cracked Head Club".[26]
  • When he met Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, Biden said "God rest her soul" in reference to Cowen's mother. However, it was Cowen's father that died, not his mother.[27]

Hostile comments

  • At one 2005 political event he said, "The next Republican that tells me I'm not religious, I'm going to shove my rosary down their throat." [28]
  • In March 2007, Biden was criticizing President George W. Bush for vetoing a bill that would set a timeline for troops to be removed from Iraq, saying that Congress should "shove it down his throat."[29]
  • In February 2019, Biden criticized U.S. President Donald Trump in Germany, breaking a longstanding tradition of not criticizing the current commander-in-chief in foreign countries.[30]

Remarks about race or ethnicity

  • In July 2006, while speaking to a group of Indian-Americans in Delaware, Biden stated, "You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." His comment was caught on C-SPAN.[31]
  • In August 2006, Biden was on Fox News Sunday and bragged about his state being a former slave state. "You don't know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state is the eighth largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a northeast liberal state." [32]
  • Talking about his fellow Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama he said in January 2007, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, ... I mean, that's a storybook, man." [33]

Quotations about Guns

  • During a February 2013 interview, Biden said that if there was a “problem” that his wife should “walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.” [34] Doing so is of course, illegal, and would leave his wife holding an empty shotgun while dealing with the “problem”.
  • In another February 2013 interview, Biden said "[if] you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door." Coincidently, a man from Virginia Beach had done just that a few days before, and was arrested.[35]

Erroneous comments

  • Joe Biden once told voters that his helicopter was "forced down" on "the superhighway of terror" by Afghan extremists. When actually, snow forced the helicopter pilot to land and wait out a storm.[36]
  • In the Oct. 2008 VP debate, Biden made numerous misstatements, on topics ranging from the Constitution to the Mideast.[37]
  • He said he was second in line to be President when he was first and Nancy Pelosi was second at the time.[38]
  • During the 2008 presidential campaign, Biden said that "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'look, here's what happened.'"[39] In actuality television wasn't in use for another twenty years and the president during the 1929 stock market crash was Herbert Hoover, not Franklin Roosevelt.
  • In another erroneous remark made during the presidential campaign, Biden referred to Sarah Palin as lieutenant Governor of Alaska, when in fact she the state's Governor at the time.[40]

Other quotations

  • During the 2008 presidential elections Joe Biden gave a speech in Springfield, Illinois in which he introduced the Democratic nominee for president as "Barack America".[41]
  • Biden remarked about the 2010 Midterm “I was amazed at the amount of money, this $200 billion of money that is — where there’s no accountability.” Clearly he meant $200 million says the New York Times.[42] Though just a moment later. “So it really — I’ve never seen this before, so the only caveat I’d put in terms of the House is how much impact this $200 billion are going to mean.”
  • During the 2005 confirmation hearings for Justice John Roberts, Biden asked Roberts, "Can a microscopic tag be planted in someones body to track his every move, you will rule on that." [43]
  • In 2008 Biden told a wheelchair bound State Senator from Missouri to "stand up".[44]
  • He said "Its easy being Vice President." Then a lawmaker said "It's like being the grandpa and not the parent," to which he responded "Yeah, that's it!"[45]
  • After ObamaCare was signed into law, Biden was caught swearing on camera while expressing his joy.[46]
  • Biden was caught swearing again while speaking to a former Senate colleague.[47]

Read more: Biden - "It's Easy Being Vice President", Fox News

1988 Presidential Campaign

Joe Biden announced his candidacy for President in 1987. He ran on his experience, saying in an campaign advertisement "The White House isn't the place to learn how to deal with international crisis, the balance of power, war and peace, and the economic future of the next generation." [48] His campaign was short-lived due to controversies. While campaigning in New Hampshire in 1987, a civilian asked about his grades in college, to which Biden yelled, "I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do." He went on to say that he "went to law school on a full academic scholarship - the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship" adding that he "ended up in the top half" of his class (Biden graduated 76th in a class of 85) and "graduated with three degrees from college."

Biden explained his comments "I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inacurate...I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors - I said 'three' and should have said 'two'." [49]

Later in the campaign he was found to have plagiarized a speech from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. The plagiarism was considered all the more serious, because it included details of Kinnock's life which were not true in Biden's case. Biden dropped out of the race in December 1987, and did not participate in the 1988 Democratic caucuses and primaries.

2004 Presidential Election

Joe Biden considered running as a Presidential candidate for the 2004 elections, but then decided against it, saying that it would be "now too much of a long shot.".[50] He was later mentioned as a possible running mate for Democratic Senator John Kerry, but he instead urged Kerry to chose Senator John McCain.[51]

2008 Presidential Campaign

Biden declared his candidacy for President on January 31, 2007 after months of prior discussions, but later withdrew after the Iowa Caucus when his candidacy failed to catch on with the voters.[52]

He ran on his foreign policy experience and credentials in the Senate. On November 15, 2007, during the CNN presidential debate, he said

"This is not about experience. It's not about change. It's about action. Who among us is going to be able to, on Day 1, step in and end the war?".

In the 2007 ABC debate with the Democratic presidential candidates, Biden was asked about the statement he made earlier regarding Barack Obama. He said:

"I think he can be ready but right now, I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training." Biden replied "I think that I stand by the statement." [53]

Joe Biden withdrew from the presidential race on January 3, after coming 5th in the Iowa caucus, receiving only 1% of the vote.

Vice Presidential Nomination

Biden campaigning for Barack Obama, 09/24/08
Biden had been mentioned as a Vice Presidential candidate for Senator Barack Obama, in that he would add foreign policy experience to the ticket. When asked in June over the speculation, Biden stated, "I'd make a great president. I'd make a great Secretary of State. I'd make a great vice president." [54] On August 19, Biden was asked by reporters of his VP status, to which he replied "Hey guys, I'm not the guy. See ya." [55]

In August 2005 Biden paradoxically and nonsensically said, "John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off."[56]

However, on August 23 it was announced that Biden would be Obama's 2008 running mate. They appeared together in Springfield, Illinois. Obama proudly introduced Senator Biden,

"Let me introduce to you, the next president — the next vice president of the United States of America, Joe Biden."

Biden took the stage and endorsed Obama, saying,

"In this election year the choice is clear, one man stands ready to deliver change we desperately need, a man I'm proud to call my friend, a man who will be the next President of the United States, Barack America."

Obama hoped Biden would help the ticket in multiple ways:

  • Biden has extensive foreign policy experience in the United States Senate and as such could have helped to bolster Obama's comparative lack of experience in this area.
  • Biden is Catholic, and Obama was weak with that key voting bloc; however, the Catholic Church may have taken offense at Biden's pro-abortion positions (see below).
  • Biden was born in Pennsylvania, a must-win state for Obama where he was thought to be weak;[57]
  • Biden's son is going to Iraq, which may have helped to rehabilitate Obama's image as anti-military; however, Biden himself never served.

Almost immediately after his selection, the conflict between his pro-abortion position and that of his church surfaced:[58]

Biden has said: "I am a long-standing supporter of Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose." But Biden's own bishop, Bishop Michael Saltarelli of Wilmington, Del., has ... denounced the notion that politicians can 'personally oppose' abortion, but refuse to pass laws protecting the unborn. He made clear that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should refrain from receiving the Eucharist:
"The promotion of abortion by any Catholic is a grave and serious matter. Objectively, according to the constant teaching of the Scriptures and the Church, it would be more spiritually beneficial for such a person to refrain from receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. I ask Catholics in this position to have the integrity to respect the Eucharist, Catholic teaching and the Catholic faithful."

In September of the campaign Biden asked Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham, who has paralysis, to "Stand up, Chuck, let 'em see you. Oh, God love you. What am I talking about? I tell you what, you're making everybody else stand up, though, pal. I tell you what, stand up for Chuck." [44]

Biden's Republican opponent for the Vice Presidency was Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. They participated in their first and only Vice Presidential debate on October 2 in St. Louis, Missouri. Biden was elected the 47th Vice President of the United States on November 4, 2008.

Vice Presidency

Biden's responsibilities as vice president are not yet clear. He has no specific portfolio of responsibilities. He alarmed the nation on April 30, 2009, by going on network television to warn Americans to stay out of confined spaces such as subways and airplanes, lest they catch Swine Flu. People health officials rejected his scare tactics and the White House immediately repudiated them.

Under President Obama the budget deficit reached over $1 trillion for the first time in history. When asked over the fate of the United States' going into bankruptcy, Biden stated at an AARP meeting, "Now, people when I say that look at me and say, "What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’" Biden said. "The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you."[5]

Biden was placed in charge of promoting the Administration's Recovery Summer in 2010, an attempt to highlight the Democratic Congress's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or "economic stimulus program. During Recovery Summer, the workforce shrank, unemployment swelled, and economic growth slowed to less than 2%. As more Americans became the victims of joblessness, by the 2010 Midterm elections more than 27,000,000 people were unemployed or underemployed.


  5. 5.0 5.1 Joe Biden: ‘We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt’, Cybercast News Service
  6. Biden's Senate Vote Record, National Journal
  7. Biden Was Accused of Plagiarism in Law School, The New York Times
  8. Why Biden's plagiarism shouldn't be forgotten. - Slate Magazine - Aug. 25, 2008
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Joe Biden Timeline
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Joe Biden Biography
  11. 11.0 11.1 Joe Biden's Mythical Blue-Collar Roots, Real Clear Politics
  12. Archmere Academy [1] Tuition for 2008-2009 is $18,450.
  13. Biden Admits Plagiarism in School But Says It Was Not 'Malevolent', By E. J. DIONNE JR., SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES, Published: September 18, 1987
  14. Delaware Technical Community College - College Catalog
  17. Where Do the Candidates Stand on Abortion?, National Right to Life Committee
  20. Biden, Obama helped keep 'Bridge to Nowhere' alive, CNN
  23. Clarence Thomas High-Tech Lynching
  24. Statesman known for slips of his tongue, Politico
  25. Biden's son a registered lobbyist since 2001, USA Today
  26. Biden jokes Giffords is in 'Cracked Head Club' , USA Today
  27. Joe Biden loses the gift of the gab on St Patrick's Day - The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph
  28. Does Biden Have a Catholic Problem?, Time Magazine
  29. Biden on Iraq Bill: 'Shove It Down His Throat', Newsmax
  30. Gehrke, Joel (February 16, 2019). Biden tells Europeans in Munich that America is 'an embarrassment'. Washington Examiner. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  31. Biden explains Indian-American remarks, MSNBC
  33. Biden's description of Obama draws scrutiny, CNN
  34. Biden Shotgun Advice Draws Quizzical Response, The New York Times
  35. Biden Advises Shooting Shotgun Through Door, U.S. News & World Report
  36. Fact Check: Biden's Chopper Was 'Forced Down' by Snowflakes, Fox News
  37. Did Biden Get It Wrong? You Betcha, Fox News
  38. Bozo the VP botches line of succession, Michelle Malkin
  39. Behind The Scenes With Joe Biden, CBSNews
  40. Biden's Palin Demotion, Time Magazine
  41. Barack America and President Biden? Ooops..., Christian Science Monitor
  42. $200 Billion in Ads, Mr. Biden? That’s Real Money, The New York Times, October 22, 2010
  44. 44.0 44.1 Joe Biden to Man in Wheechair: "Stand Up, Chuck. Let 'Em See Ya!", Rush Limbaugh
  45. Biden - "It's Easy Being Vice President", Fox News
  46. US health care: Joe Biden swears after Barack Obama signs historic reforms , Daily Telegraph
  47. Joe Biden swearing in senators makes great TV, Fox News
  48. Biden's Foreign Policy Background Carries Growing Cachet, Wall Street Journal
  49. Biden Admits Errors and Criticizes Latest Report, The New York Times
  50. Who is in, who is out 2004, CNN
  51. McCain urged to join Kerry ticket, MSNBC
  52. Biden, Dodd Bow Out of Presidential Race After Poor Showings in Iowa, Fox News
  53. McCain Launches TV Ad Using Biden’s Words Against Obama, Fox News, August 23, 2008
  54. The Hill's Blog Briefing Room: Biden: I'd Make a Great President, Secretary of State, Vice President
  55. Biden on Obama's VP Pick: 'I'm Not The Guy' ABC News, August 19, 2008
  56. 'Just Words' That Joe Biden Would Like To Forget, National Review Online
  57. Hillary Clinton defeated Obama by a wide margin in the Pennsylvania primary; in August polls show Obama leading McCain by an average of only 5.8% in Pennsylvania RealClearPolitics Pennsylvania Tracking
  58. Choice of Biden Re-Opens Catholic Wound, Reuters

See also

External links