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Rudy Giuliani: Biden’s a joke

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) suggested Sunday that his previous criticism of Vice President Biden might have been a little over the top, but reiterated that he has real concerns about Biden's gaffes on the campaign trail and labeled the vice president "a joke."

"Joe's a laugh riot on Jay Leno; he's not a vice president," Giuliani said on NBC's "Press Pass." "He's a joke."

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Giuliani has suggested in recent days that Biden doesn't have the "mental capacity" to be president and "just isn't bright." Asked in another Sunday show appearance by Bob Schieffer on CBS's "Face the Nation" whether he thought Biden was "nuts," Giuliani said no.

"I'm just saying, I wonder if he's got the kind of balance -- probably what I should have said was the balance -- to be the President of the United States," Giuliani said. "This guy is like one gaffe after another. ... I don't know what's going on with him, but somebody should explain it."

Giuliani also suggested that there is a double standard at work in the political media.

"I think we feel that if this were Cheney or Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle, my goodness, all you guys on television would be going crazy about, 'How could he say this' and 'What's wrong with him,'" Giuliani said. "So maybe I was just trying to even up the score a little bit, but I do think there are some serious questions."

Appearing with Giuliani on CBS was Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who defended Biden as a former Senate committee chairman and said Giuliani is out of line.

"I know Joe Biden; Joe Biden is my friend. Rudy Giuliani, that isn't fair. What you've said has gone too far," Durbin said. Durbin added the Giuliani "told America at the Republican convention that Sarah Palin should be the vice president of the United States, that she was ready to be commander in chief and president of the United States. I think that speaks for itself."

Biden responded that Palin "is operating at a level quite a bit above Joe Biden."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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