Aug. 2, 2011 -- Sarah Palin is the latest politician to slam Vice President Joe Biden for reportedly saying that Tea Party lawmakers "acted like terrorists" during the debt-ceiling negotiations.
At a meeting with House Democrats on Monday, Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., reportedly told Biden that "the Tea Party acted like terrorists in threatening to blow up the economy." The phrase was allegedly used several times. Several sources told website Politico that the Vice President responded, "they have acted like terrorists."
"I think we're getting kind of used to being called names -- racists, inciters of violence, being accused of things that we having nothing to do with," Palin said on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show Monday night. "I suppose it's a bit more appalling to have been called acting like terrorists by he who is second in command of the most powerful office in the world. It's quite appalling. It proves how out of touch this White House is."
The former Alaska governor and Tea Party activist added: "To be called a terrorist because of our beliefs from the vice president, it's quite appalling, it's quite vile."
Whether Biden did in fact use the word terrorist is unclear, as he denied it Monday while speaking to CBS News' Scott Pelley.
"I did not use the terrorism word … What happened was there were some people who said they felt like they were being held hostage by terrorists," Biden said. "I never said that they were terrorists or weren't terrorists, I just let them vent. I said, 'Even if that were the case, what's been happening when you now have taken and paid the debt and move that down so we can now discuss, the nuclear weapon's been taken out of anyone's hands.'"
Kendra Barkoff, a spokeswoman for the vice president said that "the word was used by several members of Congress. The vice president does not believe it's an appropriate term in political discourse."
GOP Takes Umbrage at Alleged Comment
Along with Palin, several members of the GOP have responded to the reported comments. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., on the Senate floor Monday evening called it "deeply disturbing" to hear the reports of the comments.
"It's deeply disturbing to hear the vice president refer to tea parties as terrorists as did he today, holding a gun to the heads of Republicans and forcing us to make cuts," DeMint said, "Clearly Vice President Biden and many here are not listening to what Americans are saying and are trying to diminish what Americans are saying by suggesting this is part of one small group."
And Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted the veep: "Laughable to be called 'terrorist' by those holding economy hostage. Prefer to be thought of as freedom fighter. #teaparty."
On Susteren's show Monday night, Palin lamented the current debt deal but called it a "victory" for "Tea Party patriots."
"Yes, this is a victory because Tea Party patriots shifted the debate, however there is so much work to do," she said. "I think that we shall take this victory and make sure that our politicians in office today are learning from this victory."
Earlier this year, former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told Bloomberg Television that "the people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of al Qaeda terrorists. Really -- they're really putting our whole society at risk by threatening to round up 50 percent of the members of the Congress, who are loony, who would put our credit at risk."