Biden Defends Rick Warren Pick on Tonight’s Larry King Live

In a pre-broadcast transcript, Vice President-Elect Joe Biden defends Obama’s choice of anti-gay pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration.

BidenKING: There has been much controversy over the selection of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inaugural. He’s been a guest on this show an awful lot, and he supported California’s Proposition 8, a measure that outlaws gay marriage. He is also very opposed to abortion. I know the gay community in America appears to be up in arms. What do you make of this?

BIDEN: Well, I’d make of it [as] Barack Obama keeping his commitment. Barack Obama said you’ve got to reach out. You’ve got to reach a hand of friendship across the aisle and across philosophies in this country. We can’t continue to be a red and blue country. We can’t be divided like we have been. And he’s made good on his promise. And I would say to the gay and lesbian community, they have nothing to worry about. Barack Obama, every aspect of his life, every aspect of his public life, and every commitment he’s made relating to equality for all people, will be things that he will stick with and that they should view this in the spirit in which he offered the opportunity to — to Mr. Warren.”

Biden will appear on Larry King Live at 9 pm EST.

Biden made similar remarks yesterday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

“Barack Obama…has a stellar and outspoken record in support of equality for all Americans, including gay and lesbian Americans. But he also has made a judgment, I think correctly, that in order to heal the wounds of this country and move this country forward…that he was going to reach out. He made it clear there are parts of the positions taken by the Reverend that he strongly disagrees with, but there’s also some very positive things about what he did. He’s giving invocation. He’s not making policy. He’s not part of the administration.”

Earlier
Rick Warren Defends Inauguration Invite, Engages Melissa Etheridge [tr]

Comments

  1. says

    Rick Warren compared my nine-year, committed, loving marriage to pedophilia and incest. This is not just a difference in “philosophies.”

    Rick Warren is just another slick preacher who discovered there’s a lot of money in religion.

  2. Jimmyboyo says

    They know they F’d up

    Truth needs no advertising or defense. Their constant defense of inviting Warren is proof they know they F’d up.

    Too bad politics makes it impossible for Obama to revoke the invite= repubs would scream “WEAK!”

    Oh well, hopefully to appease us he will feel forced to move more quickly on revoking DADT and DOMA. I’m trying to look for the silver lining

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    “Proud to say I DID NOT VOTE FOR THAT ONE!”

    Are you proud that the “OTHER ONE” lost the election?

    “How about a minstrel show in black face to reach out to the Ku Klux Klan!”

    If that will make certain white homosexuals feel better, then fine, go ahead. But remember what city you are doing “black face” in…darlin’.

  4. Kyle Michel Sullivan says

    Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Obama and Warren agree on gay marriage, so flipping off the gay community is not that big a stretch.

    I’d like to think Obama’s doing this to show he’s willing to be inclusive so that later, when Warren turns on him (as those people do), he can say, “Look, I tried to deal with those people and they stabbed me in the back.” I’d like to think that — but I can’t, because it’s just bullshit.

  5. Kyle Michel Sullivan says

    Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Obama and Warren agree on gay marriage, so flipping off the gay community is not that big a stretch.

    I’d like to think Obama’s doing this to show he’s willing to be inclusive so that later, when Warren turns on him (as those people do), he can say, “Look, I tried to deal with those people and they stabbed me in the back.” I’d like to think that — but I can’t, because it’s just bullshit.

  6. sparks says

    I don’t think any politician, no matter how unity-minded, should feel the need to “reach out across the aisle” to people who espouse hatred and prejudice. This isn’t just a philosophical difference — it’s a matter of that preacher wanting to deny basic human rights to a segment of the population.

    Choosing Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation was no better than choosing the grand wizard of the KKK.

    No doubt in my mind: if Rick Warren had been preaching forty years ago, he would have insisted that whites and blacks should be separate. (And I can just imagine him saying he loves black people but thinks they should supress their natural urge to ‘be’ black.)

    Rick Warren is merely a less angry, less forthcoming version of Fred Phelps.

  7. Rick says

    This constitutes Obama’s first major misstep, and an indication that he may not have the real stuff of leadership. The Right, religious or otherwise, regard him with contempt and suspicion, and to them, hiring Rick Warren for the Inauguration is nothing more than a transparently phony — and extremely naive — attempt to hoodwink them into thinking that he has their ear, which they know full well he doesn’t.

    The Left, of course, feels betrayed, so he’s fucked either way. The fact is, he might have at least earned a smidgen of respect from some conservatives if he had picked a liberal or non-polemical pastor, because Obama would at least have come across as being true to his principles. Instead, he doesn’t come off as an inclusive centrist, but rather, like Bill Clinton, a nervous opportunist. This is a depressing harbinger of what we are in for during the next four years.

  8. says

    A different take on the selection of Rick Warren.

    “Might this be the basis for President-Elect Obama’s choices of Inaugural speakers? Maybe he is not so much giving Rick Warren a platform for his archaic and offensive beliefs, but rather delivering a statement that any continuation of the animosity of the culture wars is not going to emanate from this Administration. Let’s not forget the inclusion of Rev Lowery and Elizabeth Alexander. These are two of the most valiant voices against bigotry in all forms, and both can be quite provocative. As we look at this Inauguration Day, this “New Birth of Freedom”, perhaps it is important to look at the program in its totality. The religious right has been invited to join this “New Birth”, now it’s up to them whether they display a Christ-like love towards our gay brothers and sisters when President Obama extends equal protection to all.”

    http://www.obama-mamas.com/blog/?p=126

  9. Jersey says

    So for the sake of unity I’m supposed to just nonchalantly laugh at Warren saying my relationship is just like me fucking a child, or my brother? They are really losing me on this.

  10. damien says

    I just don’t know what to say:

    On one hand, I agree with everyone here that Rick Warren’s “policies” on GLBT marriages are hateful and disgusting.

    On the other hand, I agree with Obama/Biden in that, though I don’t think they fully agree with Warren on his views about GLBT marriage, it’s important not to ostracize someone because of it. (I don’t agree with lots of things Mormons believe, but I wouldn’t want to be ignored if Romney were president.) I think this is the mistake Bush made – only he ostracized liberals and moderates.

    Yeah…. I’m kind of torn. And, I agree with Sam that Warren’s views aren’t just a “policy” difference.

  11. yeahisaidit says

    …while not supporting gay marriage didn’t obama come out, (no pun intended), against pro 8 and if so why isn’t this more a part of the debate…and what of the pro gay rights afro/am preacher…what’s his name? *crickets* …yeah, just as i thought, no response to his inclusion, lost somewhere in the shuffle…does this mean that all this remains a complex issue in our times or is it simply a black and white issue with no gray in between, kind of like BO himself….black and white…inbetween…hmmm, just wondering…

  12. John in CA says

    Depends on what you mean by “came out” against Prop. 8. Schwarzennegger, Obama, and Pelosi issued written statements against it. Which, of course, is the political equilvalent of: “Whatever.”

    At least Fienstein, much to my surprise given her farily conservative record, did a TV commercial. And Clinton did some election day robo-calls characterizing Prop. 8 as “unfair and wrong.” But even these efforts only materialized at the last minute.

    Although we can’t blame the political class for our own failure to mobilize an effective response, their help was less than enthusiastic. If you read between the lines, you definitely get the feeling they just didn’t care.

  13. David says

    It’s insulting to be told we have nothing to worry about when those in California had their civil rights stripped. Clearly, we have a lot to worry about or there would be no need for the outcry against this decision. I don’t expect them to necessarily “get it,” but the condescending attempts at reassurance need to end.

  14. Bill Perdue says

    Biden was picked to be VP because he’s totally on board with the islamophobic war for the oil riches of the muslim Middle East. He and Obama support continued US funding of the ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies committed against Palestinians. Both supported the idea of calling the Iranian Revolutionary guard a terrorist group, opening the way for war. Both support ramping up the murder of civilians in Afghanistan and cross border raids against Syria and Pakistan. McCain has the same politics.

    Biden voted for DOMA. He opposes same sex marriage and GLBT equality. He and Obama are bigots. McCain has the same politics.

    Biden is the Senator form BoA who wrote the bankruptcy bill that allows credit cardsharks to take bigger bites from working people and consumers, many of whom pay medical bills with their plastic because Biden and Obama and the Clintons oppose socialized medicine. McCain has the same politics.

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    “Why doesn’t Obama invite some member of the KKK or a neo-nazi to the Inauguration”

    He can’t find any available. They’re all busy posting on Gay Blogs.

    Are you free on the 20th?

  16. NickC says

    I can understand reaching “a hand of friendship across the aisle.” But can anyone tell me what Obama has done to extend that hand of friendship to the gay community as well as to bigots like Rick Warren.

    Did he speak up to encourage people voting for him in California to also vote against Proposition 8? No.

    Has he appointed any openly gay people to his Cabinet or high level positions in his administration? No.

    Has he committed to pushing quickly on any single piece of legislation imporant to the gay community–including abolishing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? No.

    The gay community has gotten exactly one token of recognition and inclusion by Obama so far–we’ll have a marching band in his parade.

    I wouldn’t call that a hand of friendship. Might be more accurate to say he’s given us the finger.

  17. Jimmyboyo says

    LOL

    Derrick from philly

    Thanks for the laugh. Sadly too many who never voted for Obama and never will no matter what are using this as an opportunity to be concern trolls.

  18. dc8stretch says

    Jimmyboyo-

    The only opportunity I’m taking is to point out that the next time you cast your vote, drunk on Kool-aid, pause and consider what your candidate really stands for. How could you rationalize that Barack Obama was for equal rights for all people, yet he himself believed that gays don’t have the right to marry?

    I hold you unquestioning lemmings responsible for this president-elect. A Clinton would have done a lot more for us- they’ve always walked the walk, even when they’ve failed, they brought us closer to equality.

    And for all of you who bashed McCain’s man Mark Buse, at least McCain wasn’t afraid to surround himself with gays.

    Change. You can shove it up your ass.

  19. Brandon says

    D: I’ve already posted twice today, so I was done. Then I saw your last post about KKK and the T-Road blog and figured I had to. I’m going get all crazy-deep here, but bear with me. So much of what we see is not what is, it’s a projection. And when your community, like T-Road, is made up of folks that in many cases have race privilege, gender privilege, class privilege, you can have a BIG disconnect.

    The prism that you (and I) use to look at the world is different. Think about it. You got people going bat-ish crazy because a pastor based in CA made some comments. We’re in fight for gay marriage when most gay people can be fired for being gay. Now think about who’s running the gay movement and you’ll understand why these issues resonate. If you’ve got race, class, & gender privilege, what’s your issue? Your issue is that as a gay person you’re not treated fairly. For a lot of gay white men in particular (and this is a generalization), the Prop 8/Warren issue may be the first time that water has REALLY been thrown in their face. It’s the first, closest, most bitter taste of discrimination many have gotten.

    Look, I have random white guys in the building I work thinking I’m part of the support staff. (I’m not.) I don’t live in the ghetto, but can’t get cabs to take me home. I’ve been stopped for driving while black. (One officer stopped me because I had a radar detector in my car. I told him I didn’t, but that he could search my car if he did not believe me. After that, he let me go. I did have valid temporary tags on a nice car.) And, I’ve had to hire a lawyer and proved, via statistics, that I was discriminated against at a place where I worked by my white bosses.

    My dad shined shoes as a kid. White people called him the n-word. He could not get served at restaurants. With that experiential backdrop, I cannot help but look at Rick Warren differently. I mean, I’m just not that pressed. (I am not saying that other people should not be pressed.)

    It goes deep. I didn’t realize how deep until I actually dated a couple of white guys. The critical race theory stuff I learned in classes became reality.

    I’m not saying that a black perspective is helpful or better. Black people can be prisoners of race. (See pre-Mecca Malcolm who thought that all white people were devils because of his experiences in America.) Anyway, I’m just saying that our experiences are different and you’re trying to have a dialogue via the internet with a bunch of gay white men and can’t understand what you’re hearing? (Wake up 6!– Said with love.)

    I think the key, and I know it’s hard, is to acknowledge that folks come at things from different places. When you do that, you can be more open and you can have constructive conversation. Otherwise, you’re just beating your head against a wall. I don’t know anyone who can, via blog postings, surmount the differences in perspective that race, class, gender, etc. cause in how we see things. Don’t let it get you down. Keep it real and keep going. B

  20. says

    It’s gonna be almost as fun to watch people post here when the Obama administration moves on DOMA and DADT and ENDA as it was watching FOX the night of the election.

    Except I suspect like Hannity that night most people will be completely AWOL.

    Still, I can’t wait! Or rather I can — at least until after he’s really President, and maybe even a few months after that.

  21. FunMe says

    Keep up the pressure.

    Obama was callous and insensitive to the GLBT community. I mean what do you expect from STRAIGHT MALES? Biden doesn’t rate any better.

  22. Sam says

    Derrick – No one here is seriously ASKING for a racist to be allowed to speak at the inauguration. It’s called sarcasm. What they’re suggesting is that if, in Obama’s quest to unite the country and reach out to people of differing views, he sees nothing wrong with inviting anti-gay Rick Warren to speak at the inauguration, then why not also a member of the KKK or an anti-Semite or Fred Phelps? Why does Obama find it OK to ask a very vocal homophobe to speak, but not someone with bigoted views toward another minority group?

  23. glennmcgahee says

    When Obama chooses somebody like Warren’s ilk for a seat on The Supreme Court as a way of “reaching across the isle” remember this:
    I TOLD YOU SO.

  24. Nick says

    I know this is an incredibly unpopular sentiment, but I could care less about gay “marriage”. I think the correct political tact would be to go for civil unions. It’s all about semantics and it’s the word “marriage” that freaks the wingnuts out so much. As part of the political process if we got civil unions first then we could work on “marriage” from a place of having rights already.

    Oh and for what it’s worth I’ve been in a ltr for 21 years. And as Canadian could move back with my American bf and get hitched and he could get residency anytime we wanted.

    This doesn’t change the fact that I feel betrayed by Obama and that I think Warren is a huge mistake that has already cause a lot of ill will towards a popular president who hasn’t even gotten into office yet.

    Yes, I suppose we will see, but I will do so without a single drop of glee or interest.

  25. Nick says

    I know this is an incredibly unpopular sentiment, but I could care less about gay “marriage”. I think the correct political tact would be to go for civil unions. It’s all about semantics and it’s the word “marriage” that freaks the wingnuts out so much. As part of the political process if we got civil unions first then we could work on “marriage” from a place of having rights already.

    Oh and for what it’s worth I’ve been in a ltr for 21 years. And as Canadian could move back with my American bf and get hitched and he could get residency anytime we wanted.

    This doesn’t change the fact that I feel betrayed by Obama and that I think Warren is a huge mistake that has already cause a lot of ill will towards a popular president who hasn’t even gotten into office yet.

    Yes, I suppose we will see, but I will do so without a single drop of glee or interest.

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