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Biden: Tea Parties Aren’t Racist

In a sign that the Obama Administration is unwilling to associate it self with the “Tea Party = Racism” discussion that the NAACP started last week, Vice-President Biden said this morning that he did not believe it was true:

“Do you think elements of the Tea Party are racist?” This Week anchor Jake Tapper asked Vice President Joe Biden in an EXCLUSIVE interview. Biden equivocated at first, but then settled on a pretty firm no.

“Well, the truth is that at least elements that were involved in some of the Tea Party folks expressed racist views,” he said.

“I wouldn’t characterize the Tea Party as racist.  There are individuals who are either members of or on the periphery of some of their things, their — their protests — that have expressed really unfortunate comments.

(…)

“I don’t believe, the president doesn’t believe that the Tea Party is — is a racist organization.  I don’t believe that,” Biden said.  “Very conservative.  Very different views on government and a whole lot of things.  But it is not a racist organization.”

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. KMarx says:

    When will Plugs be thrown under the bus for speaking heresy?

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  2. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    You want to hear a racist? Listen to Shabazz or Wright. I’ll even throw in Jackson and Sharpton.

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  3. Jabba The Tutt says:

    Plugs, prove it: ““Well, the truth is that at least elements that were involved in some of the Tea Party folks expressed racist views,” he said.”

    Elements of the NAACP have expressed racist views. Elements of the Obama Administration have expressed racist views. Obama’s spiritual mentor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright has expressed racist, anti-semitic, anti-American, hate-filled views. Obama himself has expressed racist views or did you forget “the typical white person” comment?

    Personally, I believe the NAACP’s Tea Party attack was at the behest of the Obama Administration and the Democrat Party. Obama can try to distance himself all he wants, he’s the leader of the racial smear brigade.

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  4. [...] Outside the Beltway; H/t: Instapundit)  If this seems surprising, it shouldn’t be.  The NAACP has a goal; [...]

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  5. john personna says:

    Biden’s Comments: True. Fair. Maybe a little too generous.

    Of course as the up-thread comments demonstrate, saying true, fair, generous things will still bring out the wingnuts.

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  6. Tano says:

    The “Tea Party” does not exist as any singular coherent organization. So you cannot attach any adjectives to “it”, for there is no real “it” there.

    Are there racist people who associate with Tea Party events or causes? Obviously yes. Are there self-proclaimed leaders of Tea Party-associated organizations who are racists? Obviously yes, we have seen some just in the past few days. Are the overwhelming number of regular folks who might have gone to one of these rallies racists? Certainly not.

    I think everyone know that these are the facts of the matter. How different people characterize these same facts is a function of where they stand on the spectrum.

    Dems point to the racist signs, and statements and wonder why anyone would want to associate with such people. And the lack of denunciation is seen as an insight into the souls of those who stay silent.

    The Republicans see the TP as their base and sense that any charge of racism will be applied broadly rather than narrowly – especially if there is any admission that any racism at all is present.

    Biden does the smart thing and leaves this issue to the fringes of both parties who seem to enjoy the fight for its own sake.

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  7. John says:

    Kinda funny listening to Democrats whose most senior member of Congress was a Klansman, whining about racism.

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  8. ajax says:

    Plausible deniability – let the NAACP be the attack dog, and then deny complicity when they attack one of the administrations targets.

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  9. An Interested Party says:

    It’s all so confusing…on the one hand, the president and his administration are painted as being ineffectual, bumbling, and weak…but then, in situations like this, they are denounced as being involved in some grand, organized conspiracy…really, some people should get their stories straight…unless, of course, the whole point is to just smear the president with anything that will stick, no matter how inconsistent and ridiculous the attacks are….

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  10. Michael says:

    Biden is basically expressing the sentiment of most critics of the tea partiers. The movement as a whole isn’t racist, but there have been many expressions of overt racism and toleration of it.

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  11. buzz says:

    “Biden’s Comments: True. Fair. Maybe a little too generous.”
    Why too generous? How about backing that up a bit?
    And yeah, calling ANY of them raciest without any proof whatsoever other than people making stuff up, does call fora response. Even from wingnuts. JUst like you have the right to your stupid comment.

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  12. Occam's Beard says:

    It’s all so confusing…on the one hand, the president and his administration are painted as being ineffectual, bumbling, and weak…but then, in situations like this, they are denounced as being involved in some grand, organized conspiracy…really, some people should get their stories straight…unless, of course, the whole point is to just smear the president with anything that will stick, no matter how inconsistent and ridiculous the attacks are….

    Grow up.

    No one mentioned a “grand,organized conspiracy.” Obama is ineffectual, bumbling, and weak. Manipulating the media – who are only too willing to comply – is about the only thing he and the Dems are good at.

    The closest thing to a “grand,organized conspiracy” mentioned upthread was possible collusion with the NAACP. One phone call between comrades would suffice for that, although it’s probably unnecessary, since they’re already singing from the same hymnal.

    But I take your point: we should just let Buraq enjoy the rest of his term before kicking his useless butt out in 2012. Then he can golf full-time. Maybe join the Tour even. But only if he improves a hell of a lot.

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  13. Franklin says:

    Occam’s Beard says:
    Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 13:22

    Grow up.

    Kettle, or pot? Inquiring minds want to know.

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  14. James Y says:

    There is only one real form of racism in this country (by “real” I mean not held by the 2-5% of the population that is literally insane) and that is black racism. Let’s buy these racist whiners their own island and give them Obama as their King and see how well they do without the Ice Devils oppressing them. Anyone care to give odds on how long before the whole edifice came crashing down? Liberia, anyone?

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  15. [...] Biden: Tea Parties Aren’t Racist (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  16. IanY77 says:

    Perfectly fair evaluation. It’s nice to have a sane VP again. I guess if Biden had snarled that the Tea Partiers could “Go [Cheney] themselves”, conservatives would have been happier.

    Kinda funny listening to Democrats whose most senior member of Congress was a Klansman, whining about racism.

    Actually no. What is funny is how the only old-timey racist that conservatives couldn’t bring themselves to forgive was the only one who actually changed his views and worked to atone for his past sins. They’re cool with Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond, but somehow Byrd (who unequivocally renounced the Klan and called it the biggest mistake of his life) is just unforgivable.

    “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.” – Robert Byrd

    OTOH, Strom and Jesse were unrepentant racists to the end. Of course, Strom did have a…ahem…certain affection for minorities, IYKWIMAITYD.

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  17. AC says:

    In all fairness, the Tea Party isn’t racist – you’re probably thinking of the **members** of the Tea Party. Easy mistake to make.

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  18. An Interested Party says:

    “Grow up.”

    Considering the juvenile rant you delivered, you really should follow your own advice before giving it to anyone else…

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  19. An Interested Party says:

    If people in and sympathetic to the Tea Party Movement are so worried about that movement being painted as racist, perhaps they shouldn’t have people in positions of power like the character who wrote this lovely rant…

    “‘Dear Mr. Lincoln,’ began the fictional letter posted by Williams. ‘We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!’”

    “‘Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for?’ the posting said. ‘What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds!’”

    Of course, this was defended as being nothing more than “satire”…I wonder how many black people would find it funny…

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  20. john personna says:

    I don’t actually keep up with this stuff … buzz says it’s all without proof. Was this one disproved?

    http://www.pensitoreview.com/2010/01/04/photo-shows-top-tea-bagger-holding-sign-with-n-word-which-he-misspelled/

    And as a curious note, I consider myself an independent, but I am still registered Republican.

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  21. Crazy Horse says:

    Perhaps it’s the word ‘Racist’ no one likes to be called.

    Truth is, your bloody country has had a bunch of morons in power and
    run the stupid thing into the ground… Economically…. Socially…. etc.

    Why is Obama ineffectual? B/c he’s not lacing his agenda with payouts.

    People put up quite a fuss when they find themselves not receiving the
    fat cheques they once knew for dishonest work … so use derogeration
    to discredit those who aren’t paying.

    Weaker minds follow suit believing the b/s. It’s about control… for those who
    can’t form their own opinions of judgements.

    Grow up, standing on the backs of other men will only get you so far.

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  22. [...] Biden: Tea Parties Aren’t Racist (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  23. Seerak says:

    john personna @ 10:27: Yes, that one was disproved. That guy is a loose cannon who registered that domain in 2004.

    http://www.whois.net/whois/teaparty.org

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