This Week’s Bidenisms

Collecting the vice president’s gaffes and head-slappers.

Vice President Joe Biden

The vice president produced three fresh Bidenisms this week, and archival research has uncovered several more from as far back as 1987. Please continue to send your nominations (with a link, please) to For more, and our stab at a definition, see “The Complete Bidenisms.”

Interviewer: “But a lot of people told the president, he should not [have] run for president.”                           

Biden: “I was one of those guys. [laughter] I was running, you know what I mean, I had a selfish motive. I was out there running like the devil myself. And by the way, had I known that he was this good, I would have joined him right up front, I wouldn’t have gone through all of this.”—responding to a comparison between New York Gov. David Paterson and President Obama (administration officials have reportedly told Paterson not to seek re-election), Sept. 28, 2009

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments. The Bidenism is at 0:27.

“You have a great Georgia team here. Your local officials, your first responders, your state FEMA … [t]hey’re all doing one heck of a job!”—echoing former President George W. Bush’s infamous compliment to FEMA director Michael Brown for the agency’s response to Hurricane Katrina, during a survey of Georgia flood damage, Cobb County, Ga., Sept. 25, 2009

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments.

“These guys are smart. Some of the guys Chuck and I have campaigned for are turkeys. Not all Democrats are created equal, while most Republicans are.”—complimenting three Democratic nonturkey congressmen at a fundraiser in the home of former Sen. Chuck Robb, Alexandria, Va., Sept. 24, 2009

“You heard it in the debate, John McClain. John McClain, excuse me—John McCain. I don’t recognize him anymore. I used to know him well. … Bad joke.”—Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 24, 2008

“The idea that we’re not building these new Humvees with the V-shaped things is just crap, man. Kids are dying that don’t have to die. Second thing is we’re going to shove it down his throat.”—proposed response to then-President Bush’s decision to veto Iraq funding bill, Columbia, S.C., April 27, 2006

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments.

“I told him he was welcome to use them whenever he liked, with or without attribution.”—joking with reporters after having handed British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock—whose speeches Biden plagiarized during his failed 1988 presidential bid—a bound copy of his own speeches, London, Jan. 13, 1988

“I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship. … [I] went back to law school and, in fact, ended up in the top half of my class. I won the international moot court competition. I was the outstanding student in the political science department at the end of my year. I graduated with three degrees from undergraduate school and 165 credits, only needed 123 credits, and I’d be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours, if you’d like, Frank.”—misrepresenting his academic record and comparing IQs with a questioner at campaign stop in Claremont, N.H., April 3, 1987

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments.