Biden’s snippy exchanges with reporters mask midterm fears
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with reporters shortly before leaving the White House after an Oval Office meeting with China’s leader on Thursday. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Vice President Joe Biden is often seen on Capitol Hill, where he is frequently at odds with President Obama, who has had to deal with his sharp tongue and high-pitched voice.
But in the final week of the election, Biden can also be found among reporters, talking to them about policy — though often with a snide edge.
Obama and Biden met with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House on Tuesday, marking a significant test for Obama. Many in the room wondered whether the U.S. president would be able to make the Chinese leader see the U.S. in the same light as Obama does.
“It’s pretty clear that the president hasn’t been able to do it,” said Bob Woodward, who interviewed Obama after the meeting.
“That’s in part because of Joe Biden,” said one person who attended the meeting.
Biden has been criticized for his public statements and his aggressive, often confrontational style as vice president. He has also been blamed for the decision by the Obama administration to release some Guantanamo detainees and for the decision by the State Department to close its consulate in Cuba after the U.S. withdrawal from Libya.
Obama, who has had his share of frustrations with Biden, said after the meeting that the two of them got along well.
“It was a very good meeting, I can tell you that much,” Obama told reporters.
“This is a guy in the White House who is going to try to make the case for an ally over the long-term relationship with China,” said one Obama adviser, noting the president’s admiration for his foreign policy team.
Biden is known to be very hands-on in his foreign policy.
“I used to tell him all the time, ‘You don’t have to be so aggressive!’ But he�