Joe Biden's 'God-Awful' Message

Eric Scheiner
By Eric Scheiner | November 2, 2012 | 2:31 PM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden has a tendency to use a certain adjective to describe a variety of issues and items.


Usually an audience is treated to the term when he’s describing the economic recession at his many campaign stops.

But Biden has used the adjective on many other occasions.

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

The Vice President used it as part of his description of the Republic of Chad during his speech on USAID’s 50th anniversary on November 3, 2011.

“I tried to get into Darfur and for good reasons, as you all know, couldn’t make it. And I remember us being in a small aircraft landing in a god-awful portion of the world -- Chad, one of the poorest nations in the world,” Biden told the audience.

Also “big, ugly, bags” used by his wife, Jill Biden, to carry her papers have been described as “god-awful”. During his speech at the American Federation of Teachers conference on July 29, 2012 he shared a story about the papers his wife takes on their travels.

“I tell her Jill, please, don’t walk off the plane with that god-awful, big, ugly, bag with 300 papers in your bag.”

Just because something is deemed "god-awful" by the Vice President doesn’t mean he doesn’t also find it “understandable”.  Biden has used both adjectives to describe China’s one child policy, which includes forced abortions and sterilizations as well as fines for non-compliance.

On February 6, 2012 Biden told students at Florida State University that China’s one child policy was “god-awful” and would cause future problems for it’s economy.

“Because of that god-awful one child policy they have, what happens now is in the next 20 years is they’re going to have such an inverse proportion of the number of people working - to the number of people retired -that there’s no way they can sustain that growth.”

While in China in August of last year, Biden also argued that the one child policy was “not sustainable” for economic reasons, but failed to mention the other coercive aspects of the policy.

“But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China,” Biden said. “You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand – I’m not second-guessing – of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.”

“God-awful”, indeed.

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for