Critics Want Biden Off 2012 Ticket After Taliban Gaffe

Former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder weighs in


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Oh, that Joe given a pass consistently for a lot of gaffes, but did the veep get in a little too deep?

Vice President Joe Biden telling Newsweek -- and I quote -- "The Taliban, per se, is not our enemy."

To Democrat Doug Wilder, who wishes Joe was no longer on the president's ticket, the former governor of Virginia joining me now.

And to be fair to the governor, he was saying this a year ago ahead of all these faux pas storms here.

But, Governor, you are making a more general statement, that he's just a weak link on this ticket. Explain.

DOUG WILDER (D), FORMER VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, Neil, you look great and congratulations on continuing to look great. And have a merry, merry Christmas.

And, all of you, happy holiday season.

CAVUTO: You too, governor. Thank you very much.

Half of what you said was right. But I do wish you a merry Christmas as well, sir. But go ahead.


WILDER: Well, you go -- thank you.

You go back to the reasons that Joe Biden was put on the ticket in the very first instance. It was supposedly because he had the great experience. He had been there for years. He had been the Foreign Relations chair. He had been chairman of the Judiciary and supposedly knew the workings of the Senate.

Now, has that worked to the president's better interests, or has it taken away from the president? And the gaffes, it's not just a question of, will Joe Biden make a gaffe? And, incidentally, I like him. Personally, I think he's a fine fellow.

But is he the person that you would want in place you? You know you always hear that thing, suppose something would happen to the president. Who would be in charge?

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

WILDER: Vice President Joe Biden? You've got to be kidding today when you say the Taliban's not our enemy?

CAVUTO: Right.

WILDER: I fought in Korea, front line. I knew who the enemy were. The enemy were the people who were firing at me and shooting at me.

And so for some guy to come back and today, incidentally, to meet with the returning veterans and their families, and I don't believe he would tell them oh, look, the Taliban is not your enemy, just like they would have told us in Korea, well, you know, the Chinese are not really your enemy. They are just helping out the North Koreans.

Get ahold of yourself, Joe, not just that. Look what happened just last week or so in Europe, when you go and you make the joke, guess who I have with me? I have representatives from the Treasury Department with hundreds of millions of dollars. Are you going to give this money to us?

No. And then what do you really have to say to those people who are suffering? Hang in there. It's tough. And so when you find these gaffes, the question is who is going to be in place of the president in these instances?

Last year, I said that, you're absolutely right, earlier part of the year. You'd be surprised, Neil, at the numbers of people who now say, you know, the president ought to make that change. And he is -- it's not too late for him to do it. He could do it as late as May or June.

CAVUTO: Do you think he will?

WILDER: No, I don’t.

CAVUTO: There used to be a time -- you and I are old enough to remember when vice presidents were changed.


CAVUTO: FDR went through them like tissue paper.

WILDER: Oh, my gosh. Let me tell you something.

CAVUTO: Right? The fact of the matter is Roosevelt had Harry Truman there at that last time. It was stop the music.


WILDER: That's right.

CAVUTO: But now it's much less common, maybe the case of Spiro Agnew leaving and Gerald Ford coming in, but really very unusual. What would it take for the president to do something like that?

WILDER: It is unusual, but I'll tell you who would make the change if he were the president and needed to do it? Lyndon Johnson would have done it in a heartbeat if he were faced with this kind of situation.

CAVUTO: Yes. Yes.

WILDER: And I said this to someone recently who knew exactly what I was talking about.

The problem that the president has is the parking place. And members of the media asked me last year, where would you put Joe Biden? Some would say, well, he has always wanted to be secretary of state.

No way. We cannot as a nation afford to have Joe Biden speaking for the nation. Not only that. Here's how it would also help the president. Next time around, it would be assumed that whomever is the vice president would be the person next in line to be president.

I don't believe that that's going to be the case if he sticks with Joe Biden, because I frankly don't see Hillary Clinton staying on for another term as secretary of state. But I wouldn't rule her out at all. To the contrary, I would say she would be preparing to make a run in 2016 for the presidency.

CAVUTO: As a vice president?

WILDER: No, sir, as the president.

Well, if she were the vice president that would be the stepping stone.

CAVUTO: I see.

But you would rather see her and think the Democrats' chances are better with her as the number two on the ticket than Joe Biden?

WILDER: I think unquestionably, that is the case. And I think polls might even suggest that. I know surveys do.

And I can tell you a whole lot of Democrats feel somewhat the same as I do.

CAVUTO: All right, Governor Wilder, you ought to speak your mind more often, though. We really never get an opinion out of you.


WILDER: Well, you know, you never give me the chance, Neil.


CAVUTO: Governor, have a merry Christmas.

WILDER: And the same with you, good friend. God bless.

CAVUTO: You're a historic figure. I always tell people -- and I say this repeatedly, so I don't know that it's good or bad -- but we wouldn’t have a Barack Obama in the Oval Office if not for that gentleman. So, again, depending on your point of view, depending on your point of view...

WILDER: Right.

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