YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Giuliani questions if Biden is 'balanced' enough for presidency

August 19, 2012|By Morgan Little

WASHINGTON -- Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani reiterated his doubts about Vice President Joe Biden’s cognitive capacity Sunday, questioning whether Biden has the “balance” needed in the Oval Office.

“I don’t think he’s nuts. I’m just saying, I wonder if he has the balance. Probably what I should have said is if he has the balance to be the president of the United States,” Giuliani said in an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Earlier in the week, after the vice president told a Virginia audience that Mitt Romney would allow big banks to “put y’all back in chains,” Giuliani wondered during a CNBC interview if Biden "really has the mental capacity to handle” the presidency.

Giuliani told CBS that he believes Biden’s remarks were “an absolutely blatant appeal to racism.”

Appearing on the CBS program Sunday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) defended Biden and took particular offense to Giuliani’s accusations of racist undertones.

“There isn’t a racist bone in Joe Biden’s body. To suggest that, I think, is over the edge,” he said. “It may have been a misuse of words, but to take it to that extreme is just too much, Mr. Mayor.”

“I’m not going too far. Joe Biden is going too far,” Giuliani replied.

And the media, Giuliani asserted, hasn’t gone far enough in critiquing Biden’s words.

“We [Republicans] feel that if this were Cheney, Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle, my goodness, all you guys on television would be going crazy about ‘How could he say this and what’s wrong with him?’” he said.

Giuliani also believes Biden has been “locked in his room for the rest of the campaign” after his many recent gaffes, an assertion that appears to have little credence given the campaign redoubled defense of Biden on Sunday. President Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter called Republican outrage a “distraction” on CNN’s “State of the Union” and redirected a question about whether the campaign would admit Biden’s words were poorly chosen into an attack on Romney’s rhetoric.

Biden and Giuliani haven’t been particularly warm to each other in the past, with Biden sharply critiquing the former mayor in 2008 as “probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency."

“There's only three things he mentions in a sentence – a noun, a verb and Sept. 11. There’s nothing else,” Biden said.

Follow Politics Now on Twitter

Los Angeles Times Articles