August 24th, 2008
05:27 PM ET
10 years ago

Analysis: Biden's role is filling gaps and taking shots

Biden’s job will be to help fill perceived gaps in Obama's résumé and serve as Sen. John McCain's chief critic.

Biden’s job will be to help fill perceived gaps in Obama's résumé and serve as Sen. John McCain's chief critic.

DENVER (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, who chose a foreign policy expert with roots in Pennsylvania and an appeal to blue-collar voters as his running mate, wasted little time explaining his decision Saturday.

In choosing Sen. Joe Biden, Obama got what he described as a "scrappy kid from Scranton" - a battle-tested politician whose job will be to help fill perceived gaps in Obama's résumé and serve as Sen. John McCain's chief critic.

Biden wasted no time in taking jabs at McCain after being introduced by Obama at the rollout ceremony in Springfield, Illinois.

But Biden delivered the blows in classic "Joe style," saying McCain is "genuinely a friend of mine" and noting that the Arizona senator "served our country with extraordinary courage."

Then Biden unloaded on McCain, accusing him of giving "in to the right wing of his party" and then taking a dig at him for owning several homes.

Biden said he has known McCain for 35 years - enough time to know the good and bad about his "friend." The unanswered question is whether McCain's Senate colleague - turned Obama's running mate - will continue to amp up the criticism.

An Obama aide says that Biden will be charged with helping to explain to the "American people where Obama comes from, and what his vision is for the country," as well as lay out "the choice in this election." 

Watch more on Biden and the road ahead.

While Obama talks about running a 50-state campaign, Biden is likely to be a frequent visitor to Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where his Irish heritage, Catholic religion and lunch pail appeal could play well with skeptical voters: Reagan Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters.

Biden and Obama won't go unchallenged.

Within hours of CNN breaking the news early Saturday that Obama had chosen Biden, the McCain campaign released an ad highlighting Biden's criticism of Obama. The 30-second spot features an August 2007 Democratic primary debate during which Biden was asked if he stood by his criticism that Obama is not yet ready to be president.

"I think that I stand by the statement," Biden responded.

The ad closes with Biden praising McCain, saying, "I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off."

The Obama aide dismissed the Biden comment, saying "there may have been nuances and points of disagreement," and sought to highlight the sparring between McCain and Mitt Romney, who is said to be on McCain's vice presidential shortlist.

But McCain hasn't picked Romney yet, and even if he does, an aide for the Arizona Republican said to expect to see that clip run through November 4.

"It doesn't matter who we pick; there isn't going to be any footage or any video of John McCain's running mate saying that they would be honored to support Barack Obama for president because the country would be better off," the aide said.

McCain called Biden on Saturday congratulating him on being selected as Obama's running mate - the kind of call made between "friends."

Don't expect any more calls until a winner is declared in November.

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soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    Go get 'em!

    Obama-Biden 08

    August 24, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. S. Boatman

    Fill The Gaps. . . Take The Shots . . . Them Take The White House Back For The People!

    August 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Susan

    Punch <cCains lights out Joe! We are sick of his POW whine and of his lies!

    August 24, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Ridgeway

    Man, more good news on the energy front. Demand for Libs goes up as scientist discover pond scum is a good alternative fuel source.

    August 24, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. Raymond Duke

    Biden brings nothing new to the politics of this election. CNN after being in the tank for OBama how does it feel to be thrown under the bus with the typical white person (GRANNY). After seeing how mad Hillary's voters were with the three AM thing he now cjlaims he was really going to release it at 8 00 am. He must really believe that Hillary Clintons voters are stupid trying to push that story. If any of them vote for this man I have got to say they would be stupid. I know four voters that were going to support Hillary that are not that stupid. We will be voting McCain.

    August 24, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. Kenneth M.

    Bill Clintons birthday was last week on the 19th. That is the Dem's August Problem.

    August 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  7. pat C.


    August 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. Connie

    Sic-em Joe, Connie from Indiana

    August 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Debby

    Yeah maybe you should get your running mates name right before you start taking your cheap shots. Its O B A M A by the way Joe.

    August 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. tom, valley forge, PA

    Biden?? Come onnn....He's been in Washington forever. So much for change. They have no chance. Biden ran how many futile presidential campaigns?? Hill will torpedo the election so she can run in the next cycle, which, presumably, will start at the convention. Stay tuned...

    August 24, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. Fenarkleman

    The Daily Show reporting team is still way better than CNN, or anybody else. Stop tooting your own horn, CNN. You stink. TDS is way better and always will be. Stick that in Wolf Blitzer's beard and see if it sheds.

    August 24, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. No McWar

    Indiana bobblehead /Thank you you sure hit the nail on the head about these stupid Pharts /that blog is closed now

    August 24, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. Reality

    Wow, Biden as VP? This will be a slam Dunk for the McCain campaign. The GOP will lock up the white house for another 4 years. And there will be peace and sanity in the US.

    August 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. Lifelong Democrat

    Biden is no Hillary Clinton.

    We cannot trust Barack Hussein Obama.

    I am voting for McCain.

    August 24, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. jFA

    Find a good place, and stand FIRM.

    August 24, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. World Angel

    If Senator Biden is such a good running mate, why he never made any progress when he was on the ticket as a nominee for President. I believe he dropped out of the race after 2 months. Why all of a sudden he is capable of being President. If that's the case maybe he should be the president and Obama the VP. It doesn't matter how great he is, he's not running for President, Obama is. This shows me that Obama is not ready to be President, that's why he need someone of Biden's status. To me this is not good for Obama. He need someone to bail him out situations when he's confronted with them.

    August 24, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. JImmy in California

    WOW If scientist discover pond scum is a good alternative fuel source, we now have a good practical use for the Republican Party. After 8 long years they have built up lots of it in Washington so Obama and Biden can start cleaning house as soon as they move in.

    August 24, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. pa

    Biden is another dick
    and obama is Bush
    dick will run the country
    and bush will get us in trouble

    August 24, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Greg FL.

    Give it a break will ya. WE GET IT. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR OBAMA NO MATTER WHAT HE OR ANYONE ELSE SAYS.Great for you. Enjoy the loss of womens rights when Roe V Wade is over turned. Enjoy sending your kids off to die in another war, compliments of the GOP. Enjoy paying 5 dollars or more for gas. Enjoy the value of your house going down like the Titanic. Enjoy the economy compliments of a man who knows nothing about economics. Enjoy all that McCain will bring, just becuase your candidate ran a bad campaign and lost.

    August 24, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. barry

    good for joe...he's one of the good guys...but so is john mccain and mitt romney.....mccain 2008...hillary=2012..

    August 24, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Well there goes any perceived advantage McCain lovers thought he might have as now they can vote for someone who actually fought in the Viet Nam war.

    August 24, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. APS in Hawaii

    Who cares. Biden said it all last year, Obama is not qualified.

    August 24, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. RJ, CA

    Poor Joe - he deserved better than that!

    August 24, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  24. Preston

    I love Joe Biden! What a great choice! With the Obama-Biden ticket, we have a wonderful opportunity to help our country recover its soul after eight years of Bush-Cheney-McCain. I sincerely hope the American people finally – after having twice blown it – display the wisdom and insight we so desperately need to help restore our greatness as a nation.

    August 24, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. pa

    biden is old
    and us mean people from pa carry guns to church

    August 24, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
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