Vice President Biden said Sunday that neither he nor the president thinks the Tea Party is a "racist organization," after the NAACP voted Tuesday to condemn the "racist elements" in the conservative activist movement.
Biden, speaking on ABC's "This Week," said both members and those on the "periphery" of the movement have expressed "racist views" which he described as "really unfortunate."
But despite the differences the administration has with Tea Partiers, Biden says he does not think that certain behavior by some members accurately portrays the movement as a whole.
"I wouldn't characterize the Tea Party as racist," Biden said. "I don't believe, the president doesn't believe, that the Tea Party is a racist organization. I don't believe that -- very conservative, very different views on government and a whole lot of things, but it is not a racist organization."
The NAACP originally was considering a broadly worded resolution to "repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties," but afterward tailored the language last week to repudiate elements within the Tea Party ranks that express "racist" views.
Tea Party organizations roundly condemned the NAACP for taking the time out of its annual convention to target their movement. Organizers called the NAACP irrelevant and guilty of bigotry themselves.