The Tea Party Patriots is the latest group to blast Vice President Biden over reports of a private meeting he had with House Democrats in which Tea Party Republicans were compared to “terrorists," though Biden denies he described Republicans that way.
The comments were made Monday during a heated conversation Biden had with liberal House members, like Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., who were venting that Republicans got too much out of the debt ceiling deal unveiled the night before and "acted like terrorists," a senior Democratic official told Fox News
The Tea Party Patriots are calling for Biden to apologize.
"It is offensive, false and shocking that the person one step away from the presidency calls members of Congress, who were elected on Tea Party principles, a term used for the attackers on 9/11," said Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of the group.
"For someone who's known for his gaffes, this one shows Joe Biden has a gross favoritism toward one group of people," said Mark Meckler, national coordinator of the group. "Vice President Biden, along with the president, was elected to serve all of the people in the United States, not just his liberal friends in Washington."
White House chief spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that neither Obama nor Biden think calling political rivals "terrorists" is appropriate.
"And I think the vice president spoke to this and made clear that he didn't say those words," Carney said. "Any kind of comments like that are simply not conducive to the kind of political discourse that we hope of have."
A Democratic official stressed that Biden made the comment to move the conversation along. According to the official, Biden added that despite the Republicans’ behavior, “we got a lot out of this deal.”
The vice president's office also downplayed the quote.
"The word was used by several members of Congress. The vice president does not believe it's an appropriate term in political discourse," Biden spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said.
And in an interview with CBS News, Biden said he did not assert in the meeting that he agreed with the sentiment.
“What happened was there were some people who said they felt like they were being held hostage by terrorists,” Biden said. “I never said that they were terrorists or weren’t terrorists, I just let them vent.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., one of the most outspoken Tea Party-aligned lawmakers in Congress,called the remarks “insulting.”
“With the president holding the American economy hostage, I would prefer to think of myself as a Freedom Fighter,” Paul said in a statement.
Fox News’ Ed Henry contributed to this report.