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. Anonymous

    The speech last night was nothing better than a good old Prep Rally!

    No Substance, No Mention of a Economy Plan, No Mention of Health Care, No Mention of the war.

    No Positive Paln to led this country. This is the kind of experience you get from an individual who runs a state of about 660,000.

    What a Joke.........

    September 4, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    The relevence of the VP is a little more important this time around because of McCain's age and health issues.

    Do we want Palin crinkling her nose and making cutesy, condescending faces at Putin and Ahmadinejad?

    One other scary thought: do we want Paling to choose the next Supreme Court justices? Yikes.

    September 4, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Seth

    Every speech politicians make is written. Most of the time, they are written by somebody else.

    She did masterfully, showed poise, sharpness and maturity. I'm looking forward to more.

    September 4, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. John in Ohio

    He's a vice presidential candidate, not a comedian.

    Sarah Palin is a comedian and a joke.

    September 4, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. khritteroo

    Obama/Biden pulling punches and making nice-nice is exactly what lost Gore respect -and- the election. What women want is equality. She says she's a pit bull? Fine. Make her Bring It. She needs to be put in her place, and wimping out serves neither the country or feminism.

    September 4, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. robert

    biden doesnt have to attack he will fight her with policey issues health care and economy and she will show her weaknesses by answering them.

    September 4, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Barb

    I would also like to respond in regards to a previous post of mine : ..............""Maybe Obama could help and support his family, by doubling his brother(George Hussein Onyango Obama's) monthy income to $2.00! For just one dollar a month Barrack could do just that!""" My point is, community should start at home....fighting for the poor is a wonderful thing to do.....but when your brother makes a dollar a month in Africa, it makes America's POOR look Elite! Obama refused comment on the Vanity Fair issue the story was reported in ( I guess his speech writer wasn't available for Comment)!

    September 4, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Interesting...

    Wait until the National Enquirer breaks the story about Palins alledged extramarital affair with her husbands business partner...or her daugher's baby's daddy's My Space web page that was mysteriously taken down yesterday where he admits to being a "red neck" and not wanting any children!!! I'll like to see how she handles the media without a telepromptered speech. Give it a few days......the mud will start slinging the other way........

    September 4, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Chris @ ASU

    Giuliani + Bush + Rove = McCain (new Giuliani/Bush) + Palin (the new Rove)........................see how that works?

    Oh wait typo. McCain is OLD not new.

    btw...McCain/Palin are going to get FRIED during debates.

    September 4, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Rodham Democrat

    I didn't see Sarah Palin as presidential, or vice-presidential last night...

    While she delivered her speech well, it seemed more to me like a speech delivered by someone running for student council vice-president than vice-president of the United States...

    Maybe i should cut her a break because she doesn't have much experience doing this, but that just exposes a much larger problem

    September 4, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Carl

    With all due respect to many of you on here, we will have no idea how they will be against each other until they debate.

    That's it. End of story. Many of you are making fools of yourselves, and I'm having fun reading your lack of clear thinking during my lunch break.

    September 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. ray still offended

    Please do not forget she has foreign policy experince because she lives the closest to russia. Now that was the funniest crap i have heard yet. Please do not forget that she is pro-life no matter what. We would have no choice but it was her daughters choice to keep a baby out of wedlock. Please do not forget that this woman is a ploy for this republican party to get women to swing their way. All i hear is she changed Alaska ok she voted for a bridge to knowhere , she voted to cut things that most americans care about. What i get from this woman is that all goes for us but we will stop your choices as we please. What a hiprocracy this party has become. I keep watching these clips on cnn from when hillary was running every republican attacked her full force. But now we the Palin family has to have privacy in all matters. Talking about a double standard!

    September 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. PA for Obama

    No need to lower expectations Sen. Biden. By the time your debate date rolls around, she'll have dropped out due to "personal reaons". In a battle of wits on policy and substance, you'd be fighting an unarmed opponent anyway.

    September 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. clean up washington

    She says she will shake up washington. How? By insulting the leaders she would have to work with. When she says Washington needs shaking, one has to ask: Isn't the GOP at the helm in the Executive and Judiciary branches of govt in Washington DC?

    September 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. thomas

    I've seen Joe Biden in action and I would rather debate Joe McCarthy than him. Nice feint Joe.

    September 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Matt, Pittsburgh

    Biden is just a blowhard. Everyone knows he can speak for hours and say nothing. sorta reminds me of Lord Obama's acceptance speech. He's just lining up his excuses now.

    VP debate is a meaningless exercise. I'd rather see a 4th presidential debate... this one in a town hall format where Lord Obama can't sit there and make those pontificating algore gestures like he's better than us.

    September 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Breck

    Biden will eat the woman alive she has no experience above state level not to mention the ethics scandals and extreme right wing beliefs.

    September 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Unbelievable!

    They accuse the democrats of sexism, and some even criticized Biden for his "she is cute" comment – but did you see what the republican audience was wearing? "Hottest VP" buttons! Talk about hypocrites.......then again, this is no different than conservatives opposing sex outside marriage, just to turn around and act like Palin's 17 year old's pregnancy is a "good thing."!

    September 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Biden will be great and a gentleman. He is far more qualified to run for office than Palin.

    I also cannot wait for her to come out of the closet and talk to the media without a script. Where was she this morning on the talk shows? Where was the follow thru... oh yeah, they sent pundits.

    September 4, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Ron L

    Joe Biden will do very well in the debate...When you KNOW you have a huge advantage over an adversary there is NO NEED to be pompous about it.....
    I just hope that we get to see Gov. Palin give one on one interviews on the major news networks. Until we hear real answers to real tough questions on the Situation Room, Meet the Press, Anderson Cooper, Face the Nation, ABC News, etc. we don't really know how she will react under tough questioning which is nothing compared to the pressure of the White House.

    September 4, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Michael

    Joe just needs to rememeber two things:

    (1) To avoid the (IMHO highly justified) temptation to answer anger with anger and sacrcasm with sarcasm. He is running for the second-highest office in the United States, not trying out for the Jerry Springer Show.

    (2) To wear a cup. The "Barracuda" is, by her own admission, a "pitbull with lipstick." (Eat your heart out, Lorena Bobbitt.)

    September 4, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Beth

    Promoting teen pregnancy by showing off her pregnant daughter and her boy friend (unmarried) on national TV. Mistakes happens but did they need to show it off to the nation? As a woman and a working mother, I was disgusted and concerned that my 17 year old son was watching TV and worried that my son thinks this is ok and destroy all the teaching I have had for him. GOP are far away from their values just to win an election. It is a shame for this party.

    September 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Patty, Big Bear, CA

    At first glance I was a little worried about how Biden was going to debate this woman....go too far and be labeled a woman hater, but don't go far enough and be labeled a wimp.....fine line to walk....but now that she has allowed the republican speech writers to label her a "pit bull with lipstick" I would think the gloves are off and anything goes....but I do know that Biden will be the gentleman he always is and leave the slander and insults to the "hockey mom" can she have any self respect allowing her party to use her this way....

    September 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Marie-Lynn

    Go Obama Biden America is with you both.

    September 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. real mom

    i think it was a disgrace and very untasteful for sarah palin to allow her 17 year old pregnant daughter to be in the spotlight on stage holding her boyfriends hand as though they are married. It made her look like she's ok with teenagers having sex. It didn't send out a good message to our youth of today. I'm a mother of teenage daughters and i would never allow that. i question her parental skills

    September 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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