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)

    As a volunteer working and huge supporter of community organizations I took offense on Palin's remarks but there is not enough room to list them all here.

    This is why I am a proud citizen who will be voting Democratic in November. GOP talks about less government being involved then my question to Palin is: Who does she think will be running and keeping the country afloat if government does not want to step in and help. It will be the American People and those same community organizers and communities that come to the rescue to this country because the GOP will run it into the deep!!!

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

    John McCain's dad died when he was 70, his grand dad died when he was 61. John McCain just turned 72 last week. According to the conservatives Palin has more executive experience that McCain, Biden, and Obama. Should that make her president now? Why wait till McCain kicks the bucket?

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

    B I D E N,,,,,,,,I S,,,,,,,,,G O I N G,,,,,,,,I N T O,,,,,,,," J A W S "

    September 4, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Lisa

    Strap a pair on Joe! No more "she is better looking than me" discussion. Remember she has a degree in journalism from a C rated school...couldn't find Malaysia on the map and is from a state with more grizzly bears than people!

    September 4, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Marsha

    The Republicans are riding high now, but Palin can't sway the independents or the Hillary supporters–she's a staunch social conservative. Now that we know the Marsha Blackburn Sex Tape doesn't exist, is it too late for us to go back and pick Marsha? Not looking forward to an Obama administration

    September 4, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Very Enlightened Voter

    BO was not a volunteer, he was a paid community organizer, working mostly for the corrupt Chicago unions. Palin didn't slam any "volunteers". She was saying that being a community organizer in no way prepares one to become President of the United States. Nor does 143 days in the Senate.

    September 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Kim Ca

    Biden, ask her why she said special needs parents now have an advocate in the white house?

    Didnt she drop funding for special needs children 2yrs in alaska? Now since she has a baby with downs she's changed her mind?

    I thought it was utterly pathetic and lowdown how she held her baby up in front of that convention I was disgusted how can a woman parade her own child that way, the RNC was a circus

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    After her name and family were trashed how do you expect her to react?

    September 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Go Joe!

    Biden will win. He just needs to stick to the facts. That as mayor, Palin hired an administrator to do the administrative work (of a town that had a population of 5000 at the time) She became mayor of a town with 0 debt, and left with an indebtedness of 22 million. She remodeled city hall and built a park, didn't build a sewage filtration plant. She cut taxes to businesses, but put taxes on food for families. She tried to fire the town librarian because the librarian wouldn't let Palin censor books. She questions Michelle Obama's patriotism, but doesn't mention her husbands affiliation with a party that wanted Alaska to leave the US. This is important people, don't let the Republican spin team fool you! Go Joe!

    September 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. BK

    Wow! I didn't hear any Obama followers talking last week when Obama and Biden attacked McCain. Remember "John McCain said he would follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell. He won't even follow him to the cave he lives in.' Like Obama would. Oh but thats ok because Obama said it.

    September 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. If you liked Bush you will love McCain

    BK – you are the one that is spinning.
    B.A in political science from Columbia University, with a specialization in international relations
    J.D. in Law from Hardvard, graduated magna cum laude; President of the Harvard Law Review
    12 years (92-04) teaching constitutional law
    7 years State Senator: sponsored more than 800 bills
    4 years Senator for Illinos, a state with 12.8 million people

    Bachelor's in journalism from University of Idaho
    4 years Wasilla City Council (8000 people)
    6 years Wasilla mayor (8000 people)
    1 year "Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission"
    20 months governor of a state with 660,000 people

    Get a clue
    Palin is more of the same. Not sure about the "pit" part, but the "bull" is certainly correct

    September 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Ed

    All Joe Biden has is foreign affairs, other than that, he is as pathetic as Barrack Hussein Obama. Barrack is a boy scout compared to the Republican ticket. Biden or Omama serve our country's armed forces? I think not...What makes Obmama think he is WORTHY of the highest office in the world? Get a clue America. People are not Pro Barrack they are anti bush. If Bush was not president Nobody would even give community leader Obaby and ole man biden a second look....Lol.....

    September 4, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. CB2

    Pit bulls are actually nice animals when they are not trained to be attack dogs. Over the last decade or so, many Americans have been bitten and even killed by vicous pit bulls. So, I wouldn't want to compare myself to them. Not all are bad, but it depends on the owner, right?

    And...let's not forget that pit bulls can turn on their owner. Hmmm McCain. If Palin claims to be such a reformer that goes against the ole boy network.

    I feel sorry for Palin because she is really a pair of empty panty hose. They wrote her a speech and told her to go out and deliver it. Which she did ok. But does she really feel that way about all the things she was saying about Obama, democrats and community organizers??? If I'm not mistaken, she praised Obama's energy plan. Now she is saying that he doesn't have one.

    Wow!! The good ole boy network in effect. She doesn't even have a bark. Ah...I mean voice.

    September 4, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. David Alberstrom

    wow. if nothing else, sarah's nomination has demonstrated, on reader-comment boards and blogs all over the country, just how paper-thin is the average liberal's commitment to the ideals of feminism, racial equality and decency that their creed is supposedly founded on. presented with a smart, successful woman who embodies the opportunities available to women in this country, a really surprising number of you leap immediately to chauvinistic crap about crying or needing to stay home with the kids or racist anachronisms like "white trash" and "ghetto minded."

    most of the comments you folks are making about sarah and her family are so ignorant and disingenuous...i think many of you might be qualified to work for cnn!

    September 4, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. kendall

    When asked about VP slot Biden also said " I am not the Man" don't count him out until he's out there

    Obama/iden 08/12

    September 4, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Peg

    Looks like Biden is on the defensive here. Guess he has to warn us ahead of time that he may have problems debating Palin.

    September 4, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    She makes a big deal about being a Washington outsider, but Obama has only been in DC four years.

    September 4, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Independent, Georgia

    I'd love to know what she thinks about Biden's legislation that protects women against violence. Perhaps this has some relevance for her and for her fellow women in Alaska? What has she done for women?

    If she is opposed to choice – what is her solution for women who aren't capable of raising the child or are horrified at the thought of raising a child that is a product of rape or incest? Where would she have that baby go? How will that be funded?

    I'd also like to know how she feels about the constitution – we know she likes guns, but apparently she's worried about books... what books did she want banned from the library? Why?

    What does she think needs to be done to get the economy rolling again (in the lower 48 – so that people start purchasing home, goods, etc. again)? And drill is not the answer.

    The election should be about issues – not lipstick, not one liner nasty barbs...

    September 4, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. rstarr

    I find it amusing that so many are so upset and seething that Gov. Palin said some things that they don't like about their guys. How thin are their skins, anyway? Remember, conventions are nothing but pep rallies. Nobody ever reveals their entire game plan at the pep rally. They save it for the game. Folks, the game begins today. The "zingers" were flying just as freely last week. Also, I guaratee that not a single speaker at either convention wrote their own speech or spoke without a telepromter. So let's grow up, stop whining and let the game begin. I for one have never been so fired up about an election.

    September 4, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Sarah Bell, Cleveland OH

    Sarah Palin is DICK CHENEY WITH LIPSTICK!! You got to give it to Karl Rove though, he sure knows how to pick a VP for his party. The FEARFUL RIGHT ate it up. Watching the Fear Convention yesterday, it looked more like a klan meeting to me. Anyone else get that vibe?

    September 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Lorenzo from Atlanta

    Can't you all see. Palin is a putppet controlled by the GOP. They wrote her speechand toold her what to say. This idiot just went along with it not knowing what is in store for her. Have Biden ask this fool what her new job description is and watch her choke.

    September 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Hillary Supporter in St.Paul

    Joe hit her in the mouth! Republicans have been crying all week about the sextism that Palin is getting, but when Hillary was getting it they said your running for office. The Republicans make me sick with all their Karl Rove B.S. Don't be fooled by this pandeing fellow Hillary Supporters, now it's personal! VOTE OBAMA!!!

    September 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. hillary fan totally insulted !

    yeah...we know what Mcbush means by country first...just look at the last 8 years and you 'll understand considering that McCain agreed 90 % with george bush !

    How can american people BELEIVE anything the repuclicains say. Last election they lied, and we only found out after...

    how can you people trust anything they say ??

    And Palin is a disgrace to all women... I expected her to have some integrity, instead she got into the repugs lies and distortion. And since when was selling a plane on ebay executive experience ??.. And how do you belittle community organisers who actually care about the people ? That woman is a shame !

    as a Hillary Clinton Fan...i am totally insulted that republican think they can fool me around by choosing a woman as their Puppet and attack dog......


    September 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. Dylan Los Angeles

    Biden is old enough to be Obama's dad, yet still much younger than McCain.

    People feel 100x more safe with Biden as the VP than a hockey mom that was mayor of some tiny village nobody ever heard of.

    September 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Steve Harrison

    GOOD! I hope to God he does not, because then he'll have to debate on a field of "common sense" something that hasn't been part of politics in a long, long time.

    September 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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