Biden apologizes for 'chains' commentby April Schauers
Aug. 27, 2012, TAMPA, Florida — Vice-President Joe Biden today surprised delegates gathered here for the Republican National Convention by apologizing for a racially tinged comment that he made on Aug. 14.
"Not only am I sincerely sorry for falsely stating that Mitt Romney wants to let the big banks write their own regulations," he said, "but I'm also deeply remorseful that I implied that Republicans want to return black people to the chains of slavery."
He explained that he was "merely caught up in a moment of political excitement" that caused him "to succumb to the impulse to perpetuate the stereotype that all Republicans are racists."
"Sometimes it's hard to forget that it was mostly Republicans who ended slavery and that it was mostly Democrats who opposed the civil rights movement of the '60s," he said. "I've been fighting stereotypes ever since I stopped telling racial jokes 30 years ago, and it is just as wrong to use stereotypes to denigrate my political opponents as to make fun of minorities."
Biden said he also wanted to apologize to African Americans who were offended by his "momentary insensitive remark."
"I know those people don't like to be reminded that they used to be owned by us white folks," he said. "I promise to make it up to them by never using the term 'chains' again. If I have to drive in the winter, I will put 'flexible traction devices' on my tires, and if I have to tie up my dog, I'll do it with a 'multi-segmented metallic restraining fastener.'"
The vice-president said he will make amends by eating nothing but soul food for an entire month.
"I'm gonna show those people I like fried chicken, collard greens and watermelon," he said. Then, slipping into the southern cadence that he favors when speaking to predominately black audiences, he said, "But I ain't gonna eat no chitlins, no sirree."
Biden said he will work hard to end all discrimination of minorities, including Mormons and Hispanic and black conservatives and to provide more federal help to all people of color.
"It's got to be cotton-pickin' tough being raised in the ghetto culture where most kids don't have daddies," he said, "and so I'll make sure the federal government takes the place of the drug addicts, alcoholics and common thieves who father these kids and then spend most of their lives in jail. The government can't take the place of their biological fathers, but it sure as heck can be their big brother."
The vice-president said he won't let his political opponents "jew him down" in federal funding of Planned Parenthood, an organization that he said has done more than any other group to help the black community.
"I'm a standup guy who will call a spade a spade," he said. "Unwanted children are gypped because they don't have mothers who love them. As a Catholic I believe that Planned Parenthood helps send those unwanted babies to a better place than this earth. The way I look at it, abortion keeps the crime rate down and our jails less crowded. And since a disproportionate share of abortions are performed on black women, then that means Planned Parenthood is helping to reduce black-on-black crime."
Biden vowed to take special pains to ensure that minorities who fought in America's wars receive free health care and larger welfare checks.
"They need to know they didn't fight the Krauts and the Japs and the Gooks for nothing," he said. "All our veterans deserve our respect, even the colored guys who weren't smart enough to get into college to avoid Nam and ended up as one-legged gimps or retarded bums because of injuries they suffered in southeast Asia."
He said he will host a special dinner in Washington in November to honor all minority soldiers who have suffered disabilities while serving their country. He said he will personally pay for the air fare of any Civil War or World War I veteran who wants to attend the dinner.
"And this time I can assure you I won't ask any paraplegics to stand," he said, joking about a gaffe he made in asking Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham, who is confined to a wheelchair, to stand at a rally.
The vice-president said he is "absolutely sure that he probably won't make" another racially insensitive remark but admitted that there's a 30 percent chance he might employ a term that is no longer politically correct.
"Look," he said, "when I'm speaking at the American Indian Museum next week and I accidentally refer to an American Indian as an American Indian instead of an American aborigine, don't beat me up about it because it's no big f--'in deal."
Biden implored the public to be forgiving of any future gaffes that he might commit.
"I travel so much that I can't always remember where I am or what century I'm in," he said, "but I'll never forget who my true friends are, and that's the labor unions, the minorities, the men who want to marry men, the women who want to marry women, the women who want to be men, the men who want to become women, the undocumented immigrants, the mainstream media, the people who want more food stamps, and the undocumented immigrants who want to vote for Barack and me."