September 4th, 2008
11:35 AM ET
10 years ago

Biden lowers expectations in upcoming debate against Palin

Sen. Biden said Thursday that Republicans are distorting Sen. Obama's record.

Sen. Biden said Thursday that Republicans are distorting Sen. Obama's record.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (CNN) - Joe Biden warned supporters Thursday not to expect him to unleash “one-line zingers” in his debates with GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin — even if she does.

“I will be unrelenting in my debate with governor, the governor of Alaska in terms of the positions she has taken,” Biden said. “But I will not do what she is able to do so well, and many others–not bad. I am not good at the one-line zingers that go at, you know, that’s not my deal. So if that is going to be the measure of how these debates go, then I’m not going to do very well.”

Palin attacked the Democratic ticket in her speech to the Republican National Convention Wednesday, belittling Obama’s experience and charging he cares more about his career than about achieving victory in Iraq.

Biden broadly condemned “distortions” from Republican opponents at a campaign event Thursday, but took only a veiled swipe at Palin.

“[You’re] seeing distortions from opponents — this thing of 'country first,' this awful line about Barack Obama being more concerned about his career than winning a war,” Biden said. “I thought we were beyond that.”

A voter in the audience asked the Democratic senator to “please promise us that you will go at her” when the two candidates meet at a debate in October.

Biden warned her she might be disappointed, but promised to press Palin on the issues.

“If that is the measure of the debates are, me stating forthrightly about me and Barack Obama and what we’ll do to change the country, I think you’ll be proud. At least I hope you will,” he said.

Filed under: Joe Biden • Sarah Palin
soundoff (443 Responses)

    IF THE DEFINITION OF "christianity" is what is taught at the churches attended by that group, then sign me up for Rev. Wright!

    September 4, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Gretchen, MS

    The new generation is not going to stand still very long when they find out Sarah Palin doesn't believe women should get equal pay for equal work.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 4, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Typical White Person

    ...and I see everyone got their Obama talking points memo today to twist her comment about community organizers...

    She is right. Community Organizers can quit, they can refuse to show up, they can vote "present". A mayor and a governor can't.

    September 4, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. JB

    Ha ha, it's so funny to see the Obama worshippers upset that Palin can make speeches as good or better than his. Speaking of substance in Palin's speech. I don't remember any substance in Obama's speech at the democratic convention. All he did was attack McCain in his speech. Community Organizers that organize community panics all over the country are very upset about what Palin said about community organizers. ha ha ha ha

    September 4, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Ken in Los Angeles

    Governor Palin showed me apparent contradictions to what she'd want us to believe. Her stance in favor of offensive military action, her misrepresentation of the truth, her sheer nastiness - all of these make it obvious that she is decidedly un-Christian, and not a good person.

    September 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. indy

    September 4th, 2008 1:07 pm ET

    Hmmm. Wonder if he will make her cry.

    What she read last night was written for her.

    What will she do without a script?
    Actually she didn't have a script. The tele-prompter wasn't functioning correctly. The times that it was, she couldn't see it anyway because of all the signs. The pit-bull joke was a totally ad-lib. Whether or not you support her, and I'm not sure if i do, she was pretty cool under pressure.

    September 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Donna

    Biden isn't worried about all...all the training and briefing on foreign policy won't help her during the debate...

    For everyone singing her praises today, they'll be holding their breathe during the debate and then whining/crying about sexism the next morning...

    Let's just hope that she isn't "fed" the questions ahead of time so we can see her answer on the cuff...

    September 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Napoleon Complex

    McCain made a fundamental mistake by playing to the base during a change election. People are tired of the right wing and they've trotted out someone who's worse than Dick Cheney. Palin's so-called reforms are based on her vindictiveness toward the people involved. I live in rural North Carolina and she's not like anybody I know.

    September 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. beth

    Big deal, so she can read from a teleprompter pretty well. To everyone praising her speech...haha...she didn't write it. I'm withholding judgement about how good she really is until I hear some unscripted words coming out of her own mouth. My money is on Biden.

    September 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Debbie, Independent Voter, MO

    I have not seen substance yet at the Repulican convention. They don't want you to know that it will be more eight more years of the same.

    Fear will not get us to vote for your team Sarah/John.

    I will vote on real issues.

    Economic Recovery
    Green Jobs
    Healthcare for all Americans
    Getting America off of foreign oil using all available options
    Educate all Americans who would like to go to college
    Foreign diplomacy
    Stabilize Social Security and Medicare
    Fair Taxes
    Reduce our national debt
    Bring our troops home safe and sound
    Going after Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan
    Keeping America Safe
    Right to choose
    Equal pay

    September 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. The Bush Twins : George and John

    One other thing : I'm tired of hearing people say the DEMS are attacking Palin's family. No one has attacked her family, it's her stance on family values that she talks about but at the same time clearly doesn't live by. How can she tout family values but put her career first ?. How can she talk about abstinance but not teach it at home ?.
    I am a grandmother of a handicapped child. I know how much a handicapped child needs their mother. I have watched as my daughter and son-in-law have tried to balance their jobs and care for their special needs child at the same time. How does Gov. Palin expect to execute her job as VP and take care of her children at the same time?. One or the other will suffer from lack of attention. Get the picture ?.

    September 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Canadian POV

    The hypocrisy is truly mind boggling. Some say Biden has to go easy so as not to appear sexist. Didn't anyone take notice of the GOP paraphenalia at the convention with slogans like: "the hottest VP". That smacks of real sexism. Then again, the GOP doesn't seem to hold itself up to the same standards that they expect of anyone that disagrees with them

    September 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Leslie Napoles

    I truly hope Mr Biden does not go easy on her just because she is

    a "lady" (and she is not pretty either)she looks like my Wal Mart

    crazed third grade teacher

    Her "speech" did not impress e it was more of an embarrasment

    Her being chosen is not amazing,progressive or smart it is

    TERRIFYING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO OBAMA (from a very liberal female first time voter)

    September 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Phillis, NY

    Do people have manners in Alaska? Her entire speech was mocking Barack. What else does Sarah have going for her? Nothing–I thought so.

    Some mom, her youngest daughter just gave her baby a spit bath on national television and there was zero supervision from the dad.

    Yeah, she'd be great to run the country–NOT.

    September 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. McCain Lost Me

    I heard Biden this morning on TV raising the bar for the debates. He was praising Palin's skills and predicting she'd be a tough opponent. I thought it was smart of him to raise the public's expectations of Palin so that when the debate happens, she under-performs. I expect he'll calmly address policy and issue topics, and when she's stumped she'll resort to snide attacks against liberalism, full of the usual stock phrases.

    September 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Right now, the GOp has the media on their heels. Hopefully they will get back in the game and do their job!!

    Issues regarding Palin:

    – She supported her husband who was a member of a group that wanted to leave th United States.

    – She left her hometown in debt by the time she was done with her run as mayor.

    – She claims that our troops were sent to Iraq as a n act of God.

    – Alaska has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases out of all of the states but she cut funding for sex-ed, focusing only on abstinence instead.

    – She was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against.

    – She says that she wants to lower taxes but raised taxes while mayor.

    – Claims she wants wants to fight against the power of lobbyists but hired lobbyist to campaign for earmarks while mark, resulting in 27 million dollars being award to a town of less than 8,000. That works out to $3,375 per each person!!!

    – Has ZERO foriegn policy experience.

    Yeah, this is a real agent of change!!! YAWN!!!

    September 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. rory ryan

    I am concerned that all the reporting coming from CNN today make Palin out to be the saviour of the republican party.The word I just heard from CNN was "electrifying". How? Is it because she can cut down the opposing party with half truths and get away with it due to her preface autobiography and reps feel she is the replacement for hiliary votes. More substance is needed....... CNN I fel you vacillate between the two parties, tilted one way or the other depending upon poll numbers. Whom do you want to win? Nobody!!!! Your ratings will drop when when the soap opera is over .

    September 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Barb

    I have said for several months that even Obama knew he was too inexperienced to run for president but..........saw it as a great way to promote his books, and career! I'm glad Biden is preparing the democrats for a loss in the VP Debates, God knows Bush was horrible in debates as well!!! I was aghast when Bush was voted in, and see no comparisons with McCain, the Dem's need a better argument than that!

    September 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. RealityKing

    One thing is for sure...., we can expect the progressive media to focus on Biden's one liners while glossing over Obama's lack of substance.

    Personally, I would much rather have an experienced President backed by a successful Governor than an inexperienced Community Organizer backed by a Blowharded Doofus. But, that's just me..

    September 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Texas Straight Talker

    Obama & Biden need to continue to talk about the issues and not stoop to the levels the republicans have with attacks. We the people only care about the issues. It is insulting to continue to hear attack after attack when we are struggling to pay bills and find adequate health care. I trust the Obama/Biden ticket!!

    September 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Bruce

    Please stay with the issues and the planns you have to make change. Challenge her to state her plans. When she tosses one of the one line zinger look disdanted and ask for a proper answer , as AMERICA deserves a solutin not a slogan.

    September 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |

    Hmmm... People lets think here, does she really need to be good at foreign policy..... I thought that was the presidents job??? Not to mention, she bring a change to the typical political setting. At least she has experience. Obama to me is a moron.

    September 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. lou

    She is 'cramming for the exam' with Biden as we speak. Bet we don't see any reporters asking her questions until the republicans can stage and prepare for it.

    September 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. James in Ohio

    Biden wishes he could have the charisma to deliver a speech in the same manner Palin did last night.

    I for one am very interested to see the Biden/Palin debate. I think it will be a very good one.

    September 4, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Ric from NM

    Contrary to some believes, it is McCain who got trapped by Palin (actually, by the group she represents) and not Palin a puppet or attack dog of McCain. Yes, McCain/Palin in the White House will be "more of the same" but not in the sense that Obama's campaign claims. A McCain/Palin presidency will be directed from the VP office! What a nice, clever move! One for the history books. (It doesn't really matters who wins the primaries.)

    September 4, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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