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White House: Tea Party 'Terrorists' Criticism Inappropriate

Biden Tea Party Terrorists

First Posted: 08/02/11 06:03 PM ET Updated: 10/02/11 06:12 AM ET

The White House said on Tuesday that the use of the word “terrorists” to describe Tea Party Republicans is inappropriate and the “product of an emotional discussion” about the debt ceiling.

On Monday, Politico reported that, during a meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and House Democrats ahead of the House's vote on the debt ceiling deal, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) argued that Democrats “have negotiated with terrorists.”

Sources told Politico that Biden responded that the Tea Partiers “have acted like terrorists,” but Biden's office denied that he had used the term.

"I did not use the terrorism word," Biden told CBS Evening News' Scott Pelley.

"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," Biden continued.

Asked by a reporter whether President Barack Obama thinks the use of the term “terrorists” is appropriate discourse, White House spokesman Jay Carney said at Tuesday's White House briefing: “No he doesn’t, and neither does the vice president.

“I think it was a product of an emotional discussion, very passionately held positions in this debate,” Carney said.

“But that does not mean that it’s appropriate, and it’s not -- the vice president doesn’t think so; the president doesn’t think so. Any kind of comments like that are simply not conducive to the kind of political discourse that we hope to have.”

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Filed by Alexander Belenky  |