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)
  1. joe

    sarah palin did a great job yesterday.biden is so borrring and so politicianisk. yuk! biden – obama would have been better and would have gotten my vote. we tried with a untested one in more on the job training.if he wins i am running next time as i am also a church organizer and better looking.i have to get somebody to write nice speeches. i will vote mccain and wait for hillary in 2008.

    September 4, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Cathy in MD

    Well said, Senator Biden.

    September 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. ray still offended

    When i watched this RNC i tried to watch with an open mind.But i just felt so aggrivated. This so called attack dog with lipstick gets on my nerves. So she say we have a freind with special needs children but she cut the funding by 62%, she says she wants to help teenage mothers but cut the funding for housing of these women. These repubilcans make me want to scream . They say Hillary should not whine when the boys come after her but we cant even say palin without it being sexest. I wish they make up there mind.They say she has all this executive experience and OBAMA does not but the experience they are talking about MCWRONG does not have it either. During this speech i wish one time it was about the people but why would they care about us when this government pays people to live in Alaska. I wish someone would pay me to live in California. LAst but not least why is her daughters boyfreind at the RNC what does he have to do with fixing the country. This all just comes across as an party that i want nothing to do with and is ashamed that they have signs saying "Country First" when the whole Rnc was about .......... i forgot the had nothing to talk about.

    September 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Sue, Greensboro, NC

    I would love nothing more than to see Joe Biden make Palin look exactly as she is....a puppet for the RNC. I mean this woman is considered by the right wing to be exciting as a VP candidate? Wonder how they'd act if someone actually qualified were nominated. Further, when are these people going to talk about issues? Never, I expect because in the Karl Rove playbook that is not how elections are won. I don't think Joe should hold back at all. She entered this arena as an equal and should be treated the same as a man. Give her hell, Joe.

    September 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. San Antonio TX

    I grew up democratic and voted democratic for many years. And like millions I watched I’ve watched Gov. Palin's speech last night. Now I'm considering voting for McCain/Palin. She gave a great speech and she reflected a great attack dog and a formidable opponent for Biden

    Was for Clinton , Thinking about Obama, But now for McCain/Palin '08

    September 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. larryj

    I don't understand why the Dems hate Bush so much. He's signed just about every spending bill that they put in front of him. And they blame him for the national deficit! That's like spoiled children blaming their parents for giving them everything they want.

    At least the Dems don't use as many character attacks as the GOP. If I have to listen to that Palin hick attack Obama again for being a good person, I'm switching parties. I don't know what's happened to my grand old party.

    September 4, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. President VS PITTSBULL OR DOG

    Palin will not succeed in touting tough women as pittsbull. She is just a republican toy that has no substance and is ben used to exploit the role of women and family.

    While Mccain and his camp are trying totake the focus of the fact that he doesn't get it, Palin's bush speech makes me confident that we have a trio MCCAIN/BUSH/PALIN who ar enothing but elites that don;t understand what it is tolose a home, lose a job or struggle in this bad economy.

    Women get respected for honesty and not lies. Palin is deceiving Americans when she cut aid for special needs children by 62%. No surprise..she does not need the aid.

    September 4, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. chris

    dubya robots = obama lemmings

    September 4, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Thinks on her feet

    2 pitbulls will go at it, my money's on the one with the lipstick.
    She can think on her feet. If you don't know already, the teleprompter guy screwed up last night & she used only notes and memory. Bet you didn't notice- neither did I!

    September 4, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Rich in Seattle

    One thing Palin was successful in doing was energizing the base, the Democrat base that is!

    September 4, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. linda n carolina

    Take the gloves off Joe. She's in the big leagues now.

    September 4, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Faithful American, USA

    Ask Palin where Washington DC is?

    September 4, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Obama Backer in Minneapolis.

    Joe is going to eat her up , their has been more protesters at the RNC then Republicans, that's why the little crowd that was their was so fired up buy that weak speech she gave. Watch the news, folks that were trying to make so money,are all mad because ,they were told that their was going to be 50 to 70 thousand people their sending money.The Republicans lied again. The people of the Great state of Minnesota cant take another four years of this and neather can the Great American People.

    September 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Axelrod said they were happy to respond to any “blatant distortions of fact”

    They have not responded saying that she lied about Obama. Every thing she said is fact, 100% truth. So for all of you on hear calling her a lier, even Obama's own campaign has confirmed that they would have cleared up anything she tried to distort. IT IS FACT

    September 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. chelle

    Go Joe. Just don't get over confident because the Republicans will spend the next month training Sarah Palin to give answers. It will be interesting to see if they turn her loose to the media before the debates. I have my doubts we'll be seeing her on the Sunday morning circuit anytime soon. And if we do, it will be more of last night's demeaning comments, not substantive answers as to her actual record in Alaska. The one where she ran a town into debt, her state into debt, was for pork barrelling as long as it worked for her, her willingness to censure the reading habits of her town, control the career of someone she disliked,.creationism in schools (that's what church is for there Sarah), no sex education. Wow that's quite the list isn't it? Can we have some answers? Anyone?? Anyone at all??

    September 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Marie in LB

    I was willing to give her a chance but after last night I just can't stand her. Everything she said was below the belt, nasty, and rude.

    September 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Jann, Denver CO

    The Republicans have no other platform besides abortion, therefore they have no other way to get through this election but to attack unfairly, be condesending and sarcastic. God forbid they should have to talk about the issues for which they have no idea, no plan and no real knowledge as to have to get us out of this whole

    September 4, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. America For the Truth


    September 4, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Dogs Rule

    you write: "All Biden has to do is ask her to explain her foreign relations experience – and it's over!"

    Please tell us all about Biden's & Obama's foreign relations experience and their economic experience and their military experience and . . . oh, never mind.

    September 4, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |

    Sarah Palin is about to have the bomb dropped on her.

    If you think what they did to Obama because of Rev. Wright, you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait for this shoe to drop!

    KARMA is a mother.

    September 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. simp

    I have no doubt that Joe is going to wipe the floor with this loud mouth ignorant patsy. Let's kill her with kindness, that's what Joe will do let her be the big mouth,sarcastic idiot in the debate, all Joe has to do is call her on anything she answers incorrect that will do it.


    September 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Spoiler

    No biden, you need to retaliate

    September 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. jenkins

    They are both going to be very solid IMHO.

    September 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Ty

    Biden is going to eat Palin alive. This is going to be more fun than Obama vs McCain. Have we forgot Biden has been a senator for almost as long as McCain. Palin who? I feel sorry for her. She won't be able to talk about foreign policy, global economy, or immigration issues. Why did McCain choose Palin? Because her husband is a BP Oil executive and they want to drill, drill, drill in Alaska. Goodbye polar bears, goodbye natural wonders, if Repubs get elected.

    September 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. JAH Concerned NV Voter

    I can understand Biden's concerns in debating a candidate who is unconcerned with facts. Palin is a very good speaker, given a speechwriter and teleprompter to guide her. Hoever, I am looking forward to seeing her in a debate where she must answer questions that haven't been already answered for her by Republican speech writers. She is very comfortable on the attack, though her attacks are baseless and divisive, appealing to the Christian-right base.

    It confounds me that she avoids issues and clings to divisiveness, which may be understandable considering she believes in creationism, banning books and abstinence as the only form of sex education. How is it again that Hillary Clinton supporters relate to her??

    September 4, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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