Since yesterday afternoon, former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder and the Obama White House have been engaged in a back-and-forth spat that began with Wilder criticizing Vice President Joe Biden for seemingly dragging slavery into the current political debate.
That led to a response from White House press secretary Jay Carney, calling the governor’s remarks pointless.
Wilder appeared on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Fox News Channel Thursday to react to the White House’s response. Wilder first explained that the job of White House press secretary is a tough one. But with that in mind, he explained that his remarks from the previous day reflected not only his own feelings, but also the feelings of friends and former colleagues. And the former Virginia governor said that the reaction he has received to his remarks has been positive.
“Sometimes when I say these things it may give someone the impression I am speaking for me,” Wilder said. “You would be surprised that the numbers of calls I have gotten since being with your show and on your show from people and e-mails from all over the country. People are saying, ‘Thank God somebody is saying it like it should be said.’ Speak to people as equals, not ‘they are going to do this to y’all.’ What ‘y’all’ are you speaking about? Now, you can try to say it was Wall Street, but you are not no better. To argue that point really reduces itself to absurdity.”
Wilder said that the “chains” remark and the gaffe mixing up North Carolina and Virginia suggesting that the vice president doesn’t have his “act together.”
“I don’t think it is too late ever to say ‘I was wrong,’” he said. “I don’t think it is too late to say ‘I goofed.’ But you got to remember something we didn’t say or speak about yesterday, one of the first things that Joe Biden did when he came to Danville, Va., was to say, ‘Guess what, y’all, we are going to carry North Carolina.’ You are in Virginia, man. Get your act together. You shouldn’t be surprised, you shouldn’t be surprised — but they will pass it off as just another Malaprop by a guy who is known for it. But does this help Obama? I am here to tell you that from what I have heard and from what I think other people have heard, this doesn’t help the president. And, so is it too late for him to do anything about it as you interviewed John McCain and others yesterday? Yes, it is too late. But it is not too late for Joe Biden to clean up his act.”
Wilder said that Biden’s mistakes will hurt the president’s re-election bid.
“The unfortunate thing for the president as I said yesterday, he doesn’t need this,” Wilder said. “He doesn’t need anybody injecting race into a campaign in which one of the persons running is of a different race and that has been there all these years — the last thing Obama needs. And he knows that. He is not a dumb man. I did read something that shocked me today also that I saw — not shocked me. I shouldn’t have been shocked. But Biden said this in 2010. It was in a Washington Post piece today. And they were saying how he is getting ready to deal with Paul Ryan. And in fact in 2010, this is what Biden said about Obama: ‘You know, he is smarter than I thought he was.’ What did that mean? If he is smarter than you thought he was, did you think he was just ordinary? Did you think he was below par? If he is smarter than what you thought he was, what does that mean? Why would you say that two years after the election and the guy that brought you along to a position that you never would have occupied, but for his being there. Did Joe Biden get him elected in 2008? He may have helped, but will he help him this time is the real question?”