Biden calls on governors to lead

Vice president comments at governors' three-day conference
Associated Press
Jul 11, 2014


Vice President Joe Biden on Friday condemned the political gridlock crippling Washington, calling on Republican and Democratic governors alike to lead the nation "out of this mess" while insisting that Congress approve billions of dollars to repair the country's aging infrastructure.

"The way things have gotten today, and I'm not singling out any party or any group of people — the politics, the culture in Washington, it's become too personal, it's too corrosive," Biden said during a meeting of the National Governors Association. "I think you've got to lead us out of this mess we're in."

The vice president's comments came during the first day of the governors' three-day conference in Nashville, where state leaders from both parties gathered to collaborate despite intensifying partisan differences on immigration, health care and education.

Despite the bipartisan tone, the approaching midterm elections loomed over the gathering.

Many governors face voters in an election season that will decide the balance of power in statehouses from Nevada to New Hampshire and could end some presidential campaigns before they begin.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a first-term governor locked in a heated re-election battle, lead a group of ambitious Republicans that appeared at the downtown Nashville conference. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is among the Democrats weighing a 2016 presidential run.

"You can be in a room where you have six, seven, eight people who are thinking they might run for president in two years, which makes for some interesting personal dynamics at times," Tennessee's Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said.

Biden, a possible presidential contender himself, struck a distinctly cooperative tone in his remarks.

The political climate in Washington, he said, was less divisive when he began serving in the Senate more than three decades ago, a time when white segregationists served openly in Congress.

"Even in those days, the politics was intense, ideological differences were real, but it never got to where it is today," Biden said. "It was never personal. It was never cast in the context of you're good or bad."

Biden said Democrats and Republicans have long agreed on the need to invest in the nation's infrastructure and workforce development, although in the current climate even infrastructure spending is bogged down by politics. Governors have been concerned about the impending deadline for Congress to pay for the federal Highway Trust Fund, which helps states maintain their transportation infrastructure. While a short-term bill is expected to clear Congress, governors want a long-term plan.

But most governors attending the event were hesitant to suggest specific solutions to bridge a funding shortfall.

Fuel taxes are the Highway Trust Fund's main revenue source, but they haven't been raised in 21 years and aren't keeping pace with spending. A bipartisan Senate proposal to increase the federal gas tax has so far failed to gain traction.

"I'm sort of indifferent as to the source of the funding," said Jack Markell, the Democratic governor of Delaware, which was forced to close a damaged interstate bridge last month. "But I think what we can't have is a series of these eight-month stop-gap measures."

Walker, the Wisconsin Republican, would not endorse an increase in the federal gas tax when asked, but he called for "other revenue options."

"It's a big deal," Walker said. "So many states like Wisconsin are dependent on the federal gas tax."

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky said his state has had to put $185 million of road projects on hold because of the congressional impasse.

It's unclear what role, if any, infrastructure problems will play in the coming elections, although Washington's struggle with what was long a bipartisan issue is emblematic of voters' overall view of Congress, which is at historic lows.

"We're looking to you," Biden told the governors. "Continue to teach us a lesson by getting along with one another."


Darwin's choice

Somone needs to "lead", it sure isn't the incompetent foolin the White House!



You took the words out of my mouth.


One must wonder what you thought of Bush, who was a true incompetent. Can any of us forget the look of helplessness on his face during the 2007-2008 recession? The man sat there, piddling down his legs, with absolutely no clue how to fix the problem. I do remember Obama coming the rescue, actually taking steps prior to his inauguration, to right the ship.

History books aren't written by the losers, and Republicans lost in 2008 and 2012. History will show that things began turning around when Obama took office, and that Americans acknowledged that improvement by re-electing Obama in 2012. History will also show that Republicans stood in the way of everything Obama and Democrats did to right the ship.

JMOP's picture

The Vice President of the United States of America is telling the states to lead. Biden is giving up hope on Obama. Heck the Veep doesn't even want the burden on his shoulders.

"We're looking to you," Biden told the governors. "Continue to teach us a lesson by getting along with one another." Biden has been in this business for three decades, and still hasn't grasped the concept of bipartisan leadership. Will he ever learn? Good grief, he's a potential contender for the presidency? Good luck Dems!

The dems can twist and point fingers who's to blame for this catastrophe, but the buck stops at Obama, just like it did Bush.

Darwin's choice

Coasterfan, you're absolutely delusional. obama will be written as the most incompetent president in history, and rightly so. 5+ years, and he still can't accomplish anything, except scandal. The current administration is the most corrupt ever, and trying to pass blame is pathetic on your part.

obama/most "failed" ever

The Big Dog's back

durwood, have you started to walk upright yet?

Darwin's choice

You really need that de-worming, all that new blood flow will spread that parvo-obama virus faster... Plus, you'll enjoy having it administered, it's anal!


Re: "started to walk upright yet?":

Says the waddling fat canine. lol


In the last 4 days in almost every one of your post you refer to Bush in the first sentence pointing out how Bush did something first and how it was bad but excusable now your god is in office.(Your god has been pissing his pants for the last 6 years as he bounces from one crises to the next with his only solution being driving us further into debt) You do realize that is hypocrisy on a grand scale?
Seriously speaking why do you dislike Bush so much?

The Big Dog's back

The only time I mention bush is when you right wingnuts go into denial mode.


I was responding to Coaster. You also refer to Bush constantly as all liberals do, It the only thing you have. The problem is every time you point out that Bush did it first you also point out how your god is just a Bush wanna be and the only reason you hate Bush and love Obama is because your racist.
Common sense, Buy some.


coaster says he is an atheist, former music teacher that drives a Prius. Money says he never saw a real Bush.


Re: "Republicans lost in 2008 and 2012,"

Per usual, off-topic blather, however:

And the Dems lost the HOR in 2010 and the Senate became essentially a stalemate.

Wait for the Nov. mid-term elections. Should be interesting.


Re: "2007-2008 recession"

Again for the totally clueless: Caused and then papered over by the Federal Reserve.

The "Priests of the Temple" were in the dark, so how did Pres. Bush know?

"The Fed Was Clueless About The Financial Crisis":

The financial crisis was world-wide, Sport. Europe is still in a funk.


Repubes also took control of a majority of State legislatures in 2010. The 2010 midterms were even worse for the dims, than most people think. In 2011 the voting districts are redrawn using the census. The states redraw the districts, with control of most state legislatures now repube... it is an advantage.... 2010 elections really sucked for the dims.

Before the midterm elections, Democrats controlled 27 state legislatures outright. Republicans were in charge in 14 states, and eight states were split. (Nebraska, which has a single legislative chamber, is officially nonpartisan). Today, Republicans control 26 state legislatures, Democrats 17, and five have split control. In New York, officials are still determining who is in charge in the state Senate. Republicans control seven more legislatures outright than they did after 1994 and the most since 1952.

Add the results in the gubernatorial races, and the picture brightens even more for the Republicans. Before the midterms, Republicans controlled the governor's mansion and both legislative chambers in only nine states. Today it is 21 states. Democrats are in full command in 11 states, down from 16, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


Now Darwin, your a racist, you need to stop. He had a rough childhood having to eat dogs and all!

JMOP's picture


There you go again

Joe Biden (and B. Obama, for that matter) wouldn't know what "leadership" is if it kicked him in the a$$.

Dr. Information

6 years into his presidency and his parrot is still telling people they need to lead. Let me guess, that will never happen.

The Big Dog's back

It never ceases to amaze me how dumb you right wingnuts are. Everything Obama proposes the Repubs shoot down. Repubs have no idea what to do, no plans, no looking forward. All they have done is say no.

Darwin's choice


.....step away from obama's urinal dog, you're polluted!

obama/worst president ever!

The Big Dog's back

durwood/goof, have you learned to walk upright yet?


Little mutt/coasternut, have you pulled the obamaprobe out of your keister yet?


Re: "learned to walk upright yet?"

Nothing but whining from the fat canine that waddles on four legs? lol


And all the bills harry Reid has molding on his desk are what puppy? Answer that


Re: "Everything Obama proposes the Repubs shoot down."

Yes, and I'd stop a two year-old from feeding mud to the baby no matter HOW often she tried it, and for pretty much the same reason...

Re: "Repubs have no idea what to do..."

I'd love to be able to argue with you with a host of facts to back me up, but I can't. There have been very few Republican plans laid out by very few Republican lawmakers, and some (notably those from well known RINOs) have been nothing but Koolaid-Lite.

The truth is that BOTH parties spend much too much, albeit on different things. BOTH parties are chock-full of politicians who will say/do anything to get through the next election. And BOTH parties suffer from corrupted members and institutions.

The only truth that you seem willing to deny time and again is that if a Republican administration was doing what this White House is doing, you'd be rioting in the streets. But because it's Obama, the Emperor isn't naked, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Is that because you're a racist? A hypocrite? Or just so thoroughly brainwashed by MSNBC, The Daily Kos, and The Huffington Post that you can no longer form your own opinions on ANYthing?


Re: "calling on Republican and Democratic governors alike to lead the nation 'out of this mess,'"



Indeed. But in fairness to Mr. Biden, he's really got nothing else...

As an aside, it should perhaps be noted here that the states led by Republican governors are doing much better than those with the Democrats in charge. Maybe we SHOULD let some of them lead!

Darwin's choice

For you obama leg humpers.......

"Even the most staunch among President Barack Obama’s supporters cannot deny that the White House is plagued by scandals and overrun by crises. The border with Mexico and violence in the middle east occupy many recent headlines, but Obama’s problems do not stop there.

This administration is also contending with a spate of legal reversals from the Supreme Court, a sluggish economy, the collapse of the VA healthcare system, and increasingly damning revelations regarding the IRS scandal, just to name a few.

What’s an embattled elitist president to do?!

Rather than complain, perhaps conservatives should be raising money to fund a 30-month vacation for President Obama…and whatever cabinet members he might choose to accompany him."


"president entitlement" and "affirmative action lady"

Erie County Resident

The first thing Biden has said that has any common sense in it.
The states do need to step up and take our country back after they disband the entire Federal government and get rid of the trash from both sides of the aisle.
Pick up a copy of the Constitution, dust it off, and start building the country back up from square one.
All the other liberal squatters are just as much to blame as everyone else so don't even go there piddle puppy and crew.