Vice President Biden tried his hand at racial politics Monday, indirectly – but unmistakably – suggesting that use of the term “Food Stamp President” to describe Obama indicates Republicans are racist.
Biden, who spoke in Tallahassee, was referring to a term used routinely by Newt Gingrich, but he associated other Republicans presidential contenders with the remark.
From the pool report:
“For the first time, the Republicans are not – as we say, to use a football metaphor – they’re not hiding the ball. They’re saying exactly what they believe. For real – no, it’s good – it’s good because for the first time we can have an honest debate. These guys aren’t out there saying, ‘We’re compassionate conservatives, we want to fight to protect Medicare and Medicaid …’ They’re just being straight up, saying what they believe.”
“Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, I think they’re slightly different, and I mean this sincerely. I think it’s more about obstructionism for them. For them, their actions say what they really believe.”
“These are the same guys who are calling the president a ‘food stamp president’ – a thinly veiled, I don’t know what it is, but it’s inappropriate. It’s inappropriate.”
Biden in the last sentence is clearly pointing to the comments of other Gingrich critics who, unlike Biden, have finished the sentence, asserting that Gingirch’s remark is a thinly veiled derogatory reference to black people on food stamps. Gingrich has denied the comment has anything to do with race, saying he is pointing to the record numbers of people receiving food stamps during Obama’s presidency.
What’s more, Biden’s preceding comment about Republicans “saying exactly what they believe” would appear to be a play toward fears that Republicans are closet racists.