NBC: 'Ever-Outspoken' Joe Biden is Obama's 'Best Weapon' as 'Attack-Dog-in-Chief'

Reporting for Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Kristen Welker discussed the "remarkably ugly political week so far" in the presidential campaign following racially-charged comments by Joe Biden, but then touted him as "the ever-outspoken Vice President" who "today doubled down on being the President's other best weapon, attack-dog-in-chief."

In a report for Thursday's NBC Today, Welker similarly proclaimed that Biden had "doubled down on being outspoken" while "still taking heat from Republicans for comments" on Tuesday in which he ranted to a crowd in Virginia that the GOP would "put y'all back in chains" if Mitt Romney won the November election.

On Wednesday, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was tougher than Welker in his characterization of Biden's comments: "This was not the proudest day in the history of discourse in our democracy...This current round started yesterday with a Joe Biden comment that was immediately branded by some as race-baiting. And it went downhill from there."

Welker began her Nightly News story by portraying President Obama as above the fray: "While campaigning with his wife here in Iowa, President Obama, at least for today, stepped away from the personal attacks. The First Lady struck a tone of civility in Dubuque today." Welker added: "Mr. Obama still used strong language to refute Republican claims about Medicare."

On Today, Welker declared the President had "enlisted the help of his most powerful weapon, the First Lady."

In concluding both of her reports, Welker attempted to blame Republicans for continued negativity.

On Nightly News, she claimed: "And the ugly tone continued today. Vice President Biden while talking about American leadership referred to the 20th century when he meant to say 21th century. Within minutes, the Romney machine was mocking the mistake in campaign e-mails. And so it continues, Brian."

On Today, she remarked: "Now, one more point, Matt, the RNC is out with a new web video today entitled 'Anger and Division,' a sign that the contentious tone of this campaign is showing no signs of letting up."


Here is a full transcript of Welker's August 15 Nightly News report:

7:00PM ET TEASE:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Mean season. An ugly exchange of words. Romney calls the President angry and desperate. Team Obama says Romney has come unhinged. Even Rudy Giuliani takes a whack at Joe Biden.

7:10PM ET SEGMENT:

WILLIAMS: This was not the proudest day in the history of discourse in our democracy. And if the tenor of the campaign stays this way, it's going to be an ugly 84 days until election day. This current round started yesterday with a Joe Biden comment that was immediately branded by some as race-baiting. And it went downhill from there. Our White House correspondent Kristen Welker is with us tonight from Davenport, Iowa. Kristen, good evening.

KRISTEN WELKER: Good evening to you, Brian. It has been a remarkably ugly political week so far. But while campaigning with his wife here in Iowa, President Obama, at least for today, stepped away from the personal attacks. The First Lady struck a tone of civility in Dubuque today.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Because of you, Barack and I will always remember what this process can be at its very best.

WELKER: Mr. Obama still used strong language to refute Republican claims about Medicare.

BARACK OBAMA: They're being pretty dishonest about my plan. Because they are throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks.

WELKER: According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obama's reforms and the Medicare plan authored by Romney's vice presidential choice Paul Ryan, both slow Medicare growth by $700 billion but do not cut program benefits. Meanwhile, the ever-outspoken Vice President tried to stay on message a day after Republicans reacted angrily to this:

JOE BIDEN: Romney wants to let – he said in the first 100 days he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains.

WELKER: Romney said Biden was out of line.

MITT ROMNEY: An unfounded charge and a metaphor which is not uplifting, not uniting.

WELKER: And called the comment beneath the office of the White House.

ROMNEY: The president's campaign is all about division and attack and hatred.

WELKER: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani chimed in.

RUDY GIULIANI: I mean this guy just isn't bright. He's never been bright. He isn't bright. And people think, well, he just talks a little too much. Actually, he's just not very smart.

WELKER: Biden tried to clarify last night.

BIDEN: The last time these guys unshackled the economy, to use their term, they put the middle class in shackles.

WELKER: And today doubled down on being the President's other best weapon, attack-dog-in-chief.

BIDEN: I know I am sometimes criticizing for saying exactly what I mean. It's not going to change. It's not going to change. [Laughter]

WELKER: And the ugly tone continued today. Vice President Biden while talking about American leadership referred to the 20th century when he meant to say 21th century. Within minutes, the Romney machine was mocking the mistake in campaign e-mails. And so it continues, Brian.

WILLIAMS: Kristen Welker traveling with the President. Davenport, Iowa tonight. Kristen, thanks.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC