Biden: Conservative groups spending $200 billion on midterm elections

posted at 12:40 pm on October 25, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Remember, Barack Obama says that choosing Joe Biden to be one heartbeat away from the presidency is “the single best decision I have made.” At least Obama applied the right scale in his statement. Biden told Bloomberg News that Democrats would definitely hold the Senate and likely keep the House despite the “$200 billion” conservative groups have spent in the midterm elections:

Bloomberg News tried rescuing Biden from himself in their report:

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says Democrats will retain control of the Senate while he worries that hundreds of millions of dollars in anonymous donations to campaign groups backing Republicans could cost his party its House majority.

That isn’t what Biden said, however.  Isn’t a news organization supposed to report the news rather than act as a translator for math-challenged officeholders?  The New York Times blog The Caucus does better:

In an interview with Al Hunt of Bloomberg News scheduled to be shown Friday night, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. commented on the need for disclosure when corporate interests contribute to political groups.

“I was amazed at the amount of money, this $200 billion of money that is — where there’s no accountability,” he said. “When I say accountability, we don’t know where it’s coming from. There’s no disclosure, so the folks watching the ad can’t make a judgment based upon motive when you say it’s paid for by so-and-so.”

Mr. Biden clearly meant “million” with an “M,” not “billion” with a “B.”

But did he?

But his tongue slipped again a moment later. “So it really — I’ve never seen this before, so the only caveat I’d put in terms of the House is how much impact this $200 billion are going to mean.”

Million, billion, trillion … nothing this administration has done in two years demonstrates that they know the difference anyway.

Steve Chapman at Reason writes that the entire “foreign money” and corporate speech argument is hogwash anyway:

But the president is right in believing that if people reject the agenda of the corporations that are spending money in this election, they can vote against it—and win. Americans are about as likely to vote for every candidate a corporation favors as they are to buy every product a corporation advertises.

It’s not as though Mammoth Amalgamated Corp. or China World Takeover Inc. is going out and paying citizens to cast Republican ballots. It’s not even as though corporations, foreign or domestic, are trying to buy off politicians with direct campaign contributions—which remain illegal.

All they can do is finance broadcast spots or newspaper ads with messages intended to sway voters. As more than half of all political candidates discover every election year, such efforts often fail. Unless the ads make a case that is persuasive and believable to a majority of voters, they are wasted.

Most corporate executives seem to understand as much and choose not to bother. When the Supreme Court decision came down, critics predicted a tidal wave of corporate spending on elections. What they overlooked is that in about half the states, such outlays were already allowed, without that dire consequence.

All the evidence indicates that corporate electioneering makes no difference in election outcomes or legislation. John Coleman, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, examined the period 2000-2008 and found that states permitting such spending were no more likely to have Republican legislatures, business-friendly regulatory policies, or low business costs.

As for the impact of outside groups in this election, perhaps Joe Biden should take a look at this chart:

The biggest outside-group spending in this election has come from government-employee unions, not the conservative groups, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.  They have spent $171 million, compared to the combined total of the top two conservatives groups, which comes to $142 million.  Unlike the conservative groups, the unions want more than hundreds of billions in extra government spending, they want trillions of government spending and expansion of the public sector.  Those are the numbers which worry Americans.


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Well, the Repubs DO have to cover 57 states you know.

44Magnum on October 25, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Remind me, was it Dan Quayle these people thought was a moron?

dentalque on October 25, 2010 at 12:44 PM

heh.

Bloomberg tries to rescue Biden from himself…

good luck with that.

ted c on October 25, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Well, Al Gore said the earth’s core was millions of degrees…

It’s a VP kind of thing.

taznar on October 25, 2010 at 12:46 PM

TWO THINGS:

1. Okay, is he letting it slip that $200 BILLION is what he and the DOTUS asked for from George Soros for the Dems 2010 mid-terms?

2. Palin was supposed to be embarassing and a idjit?

***Party like it’s 1773!!!

PappyD61 on October 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM

He’s so used to hearing those big numbers flying around it’s common thought for him. 30billion here 700billion there a trillion here and 200billion must be what the gop is spending right?

The Expert Knows
http://theexpertsblog.blogspot.com

HotAirExpert on October 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Whatever you do, don’t tell the donks what comes after trillion.

Sarah P.

GnuBreed on October 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM

When you are surrounded by zeroes, you tend to lose count.

reaganaut on October 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Pelosi said something simular Saturday night with Scooter at a fundraiser in Minnesota.

Everything was going great and all of a sudden secret money from God knows where – because they won’t disclose it – is pouring in.

Hey, soon to be deposed Madame Speaker, what about Candidate Obama’s Campaign donations from the Gaza Strip?

kingsjester on October 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Another stupid clown. Let’s march these idiots out of power next week folks!

Hummer53 on October 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Perhaps Joe should have donned his Dr. Evil outfit and droned out “Two-Hundred BILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLION DOLLARS!!!!” At least he would have had a tad bit more credability.

On the other hand, we’re talking Joe Biden here!

So forget about it!

pilamaye on October 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Million, billion, trillion

Who cares? It’s all the same, isn’t it?
_______________

Plays to the nincompoops who think Fox News and the Chamber of Commerce are buying the elections.

tru2tx on October 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Million, billion, trillion, quadrillion; it’s all the same to Plugs.

steveegg on October 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Biden is a Blubbering Buffoon with Billions on his Brain and BloomBurg has to Bail him out.
B+

Electrongod on October 25, 2010 at 12:50 PM

If Palin or O’Donnell had said this, it would be quoted – accurately – and then displayed as to why they are idiots. But Sheriff Joe? What he meant was …

Leopold Stotch on October 25, 2010 at 12:50 PM

heh, Bloomberg should’ve written ‘thousands of millions’
At least that would’ve been somewhat accurate.

negentropy on October 25, 2010 at 12:51 PM

what’s a letter between friends

phreshone on October 25, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Scary stuff, considering his position and this is far from the first idiotic thing this numbskull has said.

dogsoldier on October 25, 2010 at 12:51 PM

All they [corporations] can do is finance broadcast spots or newspaper ads with messages intended to sway voters. As more than half of all political candidates discover every election year, such efforts often fail. Unless the ads make a case that is persuasive and believable to a majority of voters, they are wasted.

I think that’s mostly true. However in those states that permit such corporate-funded ads, I can see where a local or state election can be turned because of massive funding for a candidate (judicial elections, for example).

I fully supported the ruling in Citizens United. But let’s no kid ourselves about the potential corruption that it might lead to.

But the solution to that, of course, is not to suppress the speech but prosecute the corrupt officials.

SteveMG on October 25, 2010 at 12:51 PM

And the unions are spending bjillions, Uncle Joe.

publiuspen on October 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Bidenism Of The Day brought to you by The Letter 200.

Christien on October 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Whoever came up with the idea that citing phoney outside funds supposedly going to the Republicans would win the election for the Dems sure sold them a bill of goods.

kingsjester on October 25, 2010 at 12:55 PM

100 BILLION GAILLION FOFILLION shabbadoodaloo lammillion shamaglashalllion…

rollthedice on October 25, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Million, billion, trillon, who’s counting.

rjoco1 on October 25, 2010 at 12:56 PM

To quote Gwen Ifill, “Ummmmmmm……”

hoosiermama on October 25, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Million, billion, trillion … nothing this administration has done in two years demonstrates that they know the difference anyway.

They don’t know the difference… and they don’t care either.

zmdavid on October 25, 2010 at 12:57 PM

I can see where a local or state election can be turned because of massive funding for a candidate (judicial elections, for example).

Massive ad campaign for a candidate, that is. Not funding.

SteveMG on October 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Ummm,
isn’t Sheriff Joe the one that Obama put “in charge” of monitoring where the stimulus money went?
So shouldn’t he have a clue about how much money is spent on things?

Shudder….

mjk on October 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Joe Biden’s COSMOS!

Billions and billions and billions and………..

pilamaye on October 25, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Of course this coming from Mr. “President Franklin Roosevelt went on television after the stock market crash of 1929″.

Facts? Who needs ‘em? Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

tru2tx on October 25, 2010 at 1:01 PM

The point of this is not to directly persuade voters. The point is to get ahold of the donor lists so they can sick the IRS on them, deny them government grants and/or bus a bunch of union goons in to harass them.

zmdavid on October 25, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Remind me, was it Dan Quayle these people thought was a moron?

Yes. There was also a lady from Alaska, a former mayor, I think, but her name slips my mind. Perhaps Mr. Biden was just repeating something he heard his British Communist hero, Neil Kinnock say.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/2607505/Joe-Biden-plagiarised-Neil-Kinnock-speech.html

oldleprechaun on October 25, 2010 at 1:04 PM

They knew what he meant…shame NPR is not that clairvoyant.

d1carter on October 25, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Well, at least Biden saved or created a GAZILLIONTY jobs.
What a friggin’ idiot.

Lockstein13 on October 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

VERY OT:

WSJ:
Sacrosanct tax breaks, including deductions on mortgage interest, remain on the table just weeks before the deficit commission issues recommendations on policies to pare back with the aim of balancing the budget by 2015.

The tax benefits are hugely popular with the public but they have drawn the panel’s focus, in part because the White House has said these and other breaks cost the government about $1 trillion a year..

This is how Obama will thank all of us for voting out the Democrats.

tru2tx on October 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Joe Biden’s COSMOS!

Billions and billions and billions and………..

pilamaye on October 25, 2010 at 1:01 PM

As our friends at Democrat Underground remind us, Carl Sagan was one of the Top 10 Potheads on the planet.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=7810501&mesg_id=7811974

Del Dolemonte on October 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Biden splits billions and billions of atoms…with his mind.

Christien on October 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Million, billion, trillion, quadrillion; it’s all the same to Plugs.

steveegg on October 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM

When real money becomes Monopoly money, as it has to these bureaucrats, the actual figures don’t matter. It’s all just pieces of paper.

UltimateBob on October 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Flashback video parody: Obama as Dr. Evil claiming health care bill with bring down premiums $3000

Mervis Winter on October 25, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Dr. Evil

fossten on October 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Any time someone in Delaware tries to tell me how nutty Christine O’Donnell is, I remind them what a blithering idiot Biden is.

Then I ask them how many times in their life they’ve voted for him, and if they’d vote for someone like that, why not Christine?

UltimateBob on October 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

From the movie “Dave”:
I once caught a fish thiiiiissss biiiiiiig.
Does the word Dork still carry an weight? No? Ok then, he’s a Dork.

Yellowdog12 on October 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

“When I say accountability, we don’t know where it’s coming from. There’s no disclosure, so the folks watching the ad can’t make a judgment based upon motive when you say it’s paid for by so-and-so.”

Not true, we know your money is coming from George Soros.

rbj on October 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Back off Joe::

Unaccountable no more. I gave them 199.99 billion.

The rest came from a few of other guys I know; Sam, Joe, Tom and Rufus. We all hang out at the 49th street bar, you can find us there nearly every night, if you wanna talk to us. I’m the tall bald guy in the Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants.

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2010 at 1:17 PM

tru2tx on October 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Deductions on mortgage interest were a bad idea from the state.

Distorts the market and it exasperates unemployment by conning people into buying homes when they otherwise wouldn’t, making it more difficult for them to move later.

It contributed to the housing bubble.

There are better ways to cut taxes that don’t grossly distort the market for homes.

NoDonkey on October 25, 2010 at 1:17 PM

When real money becomes Monopoly money, as it has to these bureaucrats, the actual figures don’t matter. It’s all just pieces of paper.

UltimateBob on October 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Funny you should mention Monopoly money – the entirety of Monopoly money, if it were real, could not cover the current federal debt.

steveegg on October 25, 2010 at 1:18 PM

I’ve never seen this before

Shorty memory Joey? How about alllll the way back to the presidential campaign of 2008? All that unverified money coming into the Obama camp didn’t bother you then.

Or is this just more Democratic “nuance”?

GarandFan on October 25, 2010 at 1:20 PM

It’s not a gaffe, he just doesn’t know…he is really that stupid.

right2bright on October 25, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Reminds me of the Clinton official who claimed they had created 300 million new jobs. The reporter tried to save her, but she replied they were very confident in that number.

Kafir on October 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Funny you should mention Monopoly money – the entirety of Monopoly money, if it were real, could not cover the current federal debt.

steveegg on October 25, 2010 at 1:18 PM

And the scariest part is, the Fed will just keep printing more and more to make up the difference. And we all know what that will do the the value of our currency.

UltimateBob on October 25, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Heh, and people STILL give Skippy crap for stating the obvious, that Slo-Joe as his backup singer was the best political move he’s ever made.

True, dat.

Somebody goes nuts and bumps off Skippy, we get Joe.

Congress impeaches Skippy, we get Joe.

Skippy chokes on an arugula stuffed waffle, we get Joe.

That, ladies and gents, is known as job insurance.

Sucks when Skippy lies to us. Sucks harder when he tells the truth.

Wind Rider on October 25, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I’d bet Biden does a mean PeeWee Herman impersonation, at parties.

Republicans spent a million, billion, trillion dollars trying to get elected! UGH!!!

What as the American voter done to this country???

capejasmine on October 25, 2010 at 1:26 PM

The really scary part is that selecting Biden may actually have been the best decision Obama made.

Merovign on October 25, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Wind Rider on October 25, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I get tired of having to restate the obvious on every Biden thread.

Better an amiable, corrupt fool as President than an evil America hating, capitalism hating, whitey hating, middle class hating ‘genius’ as pResident.

The Founding Fathers designed a nation that can survive its fools as the head of the Federal Government. They never thought to design a system of government to prevent the President from intentionally trying to destroy the Nation.

At least Biden doesn’t actively hate the USA.

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Remind me, was it Dan Quayle these people thought was a moron?

dentalque on October 25, 2010 at 12:44 PM

On his Sunday show yesterday Chris Matthews spent a good five minutes chuckling and showing videos of gaffes made by Dan Quayle, Gerald Ford and George Bush. His roundtable of liberal puppetheads joined in the fun, laughing away at the republican “morons”.

No videos were shown of the Gaffe Master Joe Bite Me however.

Amazing isn’t it, with a republican coup just around the corner with the biggest win over the incompetent Democrats evah, Matthews decides to make fun of things republicans said decades ago.

Stick a fork in the Democrats.

fogw on October 25, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Gotta love Joe. Doesn’t even try to pretend they aren’t just making shit up.

evergreen on October 25, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Princess Nanny claimed last year that we were losing 500,000,000 jobs a month without the Porkulus program. Once or twice is a slip, but there seems to be a pattern of democratics not understanding very basic arithmetic.

slickwillie2001 on October 25, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Baby Biden has a cold ad deeds his Dyquil to save the Debocrats. Wake hib up on Dovebber 3.

Steve Z on October 25, 2010 at 2:07 PM

“I was amazed at the amount of money, this $200 billion of money that is — where there’s no accountability,

Something like those 500 million jobs a year Pelosi was losing.

Steve Z on October 25, 2010 at 2:09 PM

The picture on Drudge of joe sure looks like the ‘Joker’ in Batman!
L

letget on October 25, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Well, he’s going to be the President for a year and a half once Obamalinsky does the Perp walk after Darrell Issa gets done with him. I’m taking a ride to South Carolina(from Florida) to get fireworks this year to celebrate Joe becoming POTUS right around the Fourth of July…

adamsmith on October 25, 2010 at 2:22 PM

The biggest outside-group spending in this election has come from government-employee unions, not the conservative groups, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. They have spent $171 million, compared to the combined total of the top two conservatives groups, which comes to $142 million.

Pot meet kettle.

Yakko77 on October 25, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Million, billion, trillion … zillion, bazillion…. BAZINGA!

Biden & BO should just say BAZINGA everytime they talk about screwing over the American people.
It has a nice ring to it & I really prefer it to a kiss before the deed.

Badger40 on October 25, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I was told there would be no math.

/Biden

meep on October 25, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Why make trillions when we can make billions?

- Dr. Evil Joe Biden

malclave on October 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM

And Biden has 200 billion hairs on his head, too

entagor on October 25, 2010 at 3:38 PM

When Obama’s people can’t tell the difference between millions and billions it’s no wonder they are putting the US into trillions of debt!

paulbriggs on October 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Plugs ought to be THRILLED! Just think of the economic stimulus that $2 billion is generating .

MJBrutus on October 25, 2010 at 4:22 PM

It’s not as though Mammoth Amalgamated Corp. or China World Takeover Inc. is going out and paying citizens to cast Republican ballots. It’s not even as though corporations, foreign or domestic, are trying to buy off politicians with direct campaign contributions—which remain illegal.

All they can do is finance broadcast spots or newspaper ads with messages intended to sway voters.

How come no one makes this argument when talking about the influence of the unions on votes? Even if you jump up and down and sing the praises of unions, aren’t you alone when you cast your ballot? Or does belonging to a union mean you stopped thinking as a rational being and vote however your masters tell you?

JSobon on October 25, 2010 at 5:21 PM

200 BAZILLION dollars!!

Way to go, VPOTUS!!

Khun Joe on October 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

YAY! We’re the rich old white guys again!

hawkdriver on October 25, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Who needs another stimulus ?

J_Crater on October 25, 2010 at 11:45 PM