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. John C

    What I would like to see Sen. Joe Biden and the other Democrats do is explain how they are going to keep all of their promises while not only raising not raising taxes but cutting them. These are very expensive propositions they are making, with no explanation on how they promise to pay for them.

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

    Palin is merely another corrupt politician.....she just wears a skirt!

    September 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Richard Morgan

    My understanding has always been that Rove does wear lipstick and pumps. Oh I'm so sorry, I keep forgeting that only Republicans are allowed to make personal attacks.

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

    TheRepublicans know that they brought on an individual with nothing to recommend her. She is merely, as she put it, a pit bull with lipstick.

    anyone who thinks its okay to burn books, limit public education to her own narrow views, drag her 4 month old special needs child all over and expose him to numerous germs nd let her pregnant daughter be publicly humiliated is NOT fit to be dog catcher, let alone VP

    September 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. LilRedFox

    She is ready to take on the "big boys" and is a pit bull, but Biden is supposed to go easy on her because she is a woman? If you want to play in the big leagues you have to be able to take the hard hits. What hyprocrites people are about women's "equality." By the way, I am a mother and a feminist, and I am tired of women playing both sides of the fence.

    September 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. KT

    It is absolutely amazing to me how people view things. We heard the same retoric, the same snide remarks, the same everything at the democratic convention. Yet, when the republicans strike back, they are considered the bad guys. It goes both ways, all the time and in every election. The dems want their guy and the repubs want their guy. Get a grip people and just vote for who you think will be the best. Personally, I think it is time to divide the country – 1/2 to the dems and 1/2 to the repubs.

    September 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Joe

    Sarah is ahead of her time, she is exceptional for her age, she is one of a kind. A fighter, a leader, a winner. Don't have a closed mind. It is very likely that someone with Sarah's talent will make Joe Biden look like a fool. Barak Hussien Obama would do better against Sarah because Biden would not have much to say. Either way, Sarah is likely to rip apart anyone who gets in her way. She's a true winner. I can understand why many of you are jealous of her. Makes sense.

    September 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Helen

    Is been a state senate for 7 years not important?

    September 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. It's My Right

    The Republican party needs to wake up and see whats going on around them.

    Sarah Palin's speech lacked substance...if 'God forbid" John McCain dies and she takes over..what is she going to do? Deliver one liners to Al Qaeda? I mean what is her platform?

    Any Republican who thinks that she changed anything is grasping for straws...she didn't stand out...anyone can read a script and deliver lines and come off as scrappy...

    this woman is a fraud and if America is left in her hands...we might as well just go and find Bin Laden and make it a free for all for him...

    September 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Rob

    Gee, didn't know there were so many Democrat / liberal crybabies. Fact's a fact: Your candidates have nothing to stand on. Obama, who can dish out 100 million dollars yet can't account for any of it, who while yes has been a 'senator' for 3 1/2 yrs., has only attended 1 committee meeting, has spent most of that time dreaming about being president, and the only piece of legislation he sponsored funneled money to (surprise, surprise) Joe Biden's son. And Biden who has made a career out of bending, swaying, appeasing in order to keep his cushy senator job, does great at hurling allegations, but terrible at facts (unless he can lift them off of someone else's response and claim them as his own).

    October 2nd will be a very good night. Palin will mop the floor with Biden, and then we can wait for the blogs, and Obama emails claiming how Sarah was given the answers beforehand.

    Guess Gerber better bump up the production of pacifiers...looks like there are a lot of Democrat crybabies in the fix of a 68 day temper tantrum.

    September 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Get real Lisa, its not like Biden wasn't reading a speech written for him.

    Lets see how he does in the debate

    September 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. B Mac

    NEWSFLASH: Palin's teleprompter was broken! Her speech was from memory and an early version of partially hand written, hard copy notes carried by an aide. I'm impressed! Grace under fire!

    September 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. gm


    September 4, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. gerry

    Biden has seemed like a retired vacationer so far. I hope it's because he's been holding back while for the debates. He will HAVE to show some teeth...Stick to the issues, but try to be more energetic, have a redbull or something. You know you have have the guts.


    September 4, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Hillary now for Obama

    What aggravated me about the whole night is the way that they diminshed community organizers. For a political party of God fearing Christians, they don't have the first friggin' clue what it means to be one, including the "Goddess" Sarah Palin, who talked about God more than once.

    She as a God touting Christian, should know that the whole premise behind a community organizer is the same as in the bible where we learn that if you teach the people to fish they will never starve, but if you just feed them you will have to feed them forever.

    I applaud Barack Obama's reasons to be a community organizer and help get the people back on their feet and too greater lives.

    She just annoys me.

    September 4, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Larry from TEXAS

    I am so happy. that McCain cares so much about this country picking someone like Palin. I am thankful that he didn't pick some one like Kay Bailey Hutchinson who could have made a difference on being one heart beat away from the presidency. Every Republican in this country should really be proud that he picked the most qualified person for his running mate. What a choice.

    September 4, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Clingingto religion

    I think it is amazing how so many people are so blinded to the truth, that they will characterize the speech by Sarah Palin as "hateful, sarcastic, attacking".....when all of her remarks were nothing but the truth. How long and how far can liberals go deluding themselves that Obama is Presidential? Words like "empty suit" are not just words when applied to him. The man has done absolutely NOTHING to warrant where he is now. The Democratic lemmings will do their best to advance this man of no substance as far as they can, because, right now, he's all they've got. You'd think that the increasingly liberal direction of this country since the 1960's, and the abject failure of that direction to do anything other than dig the hole deeper, would be apparent. The Democrats are so blind and mindless that they actually think continuing down that same path, only stronger (Democrat President and Congress), is going to make things better. Ha, ha, ha, ha......To quote Abraham Lincoln, to whom Obama is so frequently compared (again....ha, ha, ha, ha), "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

    September 4, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. Jeremy

    It's absolutely hilarious to read Republicans desperately repeat the mantra that Palin has significant executive experience.

    Honestly, if McCain had chosen cup of water as his running mate, you lot would praise it to high heaven.

    You're all laughable.

    September 4, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. maynard hopkins wi

    Joe Biden can not hold a candle to Saraha Palin. I know that Saraha can and will be able to run this country, heaven forbid, something happens to John McCain.
    First empressions are hard to forget.... He stands a candidate who wants the presidency of the USA but cannot hold his hand over his heart while the pledge of allegiance is being said........Then there is the problem with the flag being worn on his lapel.....What does this tell you about his background....
    Lately Obama has been walking around and looking real smart and cocky in front of the camera. The American people deserve alot better picture of this candidate than he is portaying of him self.
    Next is the experience... He has none, however he sure wants everybody to believe he has some. Obama reminds me of a spoiled kid who is trying to make a name for himself and at the cost of the american voters...
    Its a time for the american people want a leader to lead however everybody is into this hipe thing about tearing the other opponent down that they cannot see thru the smoke screen that this guy is putting forth or the damage they are doing to their own party
    The press is also doing the americans a great unjustice reporting and digging for any dirt they can get on any candidate

    September 4, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. LS

    How funny that the republican supporters think Palin is going to overthrow Biden regarding the foreign relations issue. Just goes to show the low-level of their insight capability.

    Palin doesn't stand a chance against Biden.

    But then again, you repubican supporters have to have something to think about, more like wishful thinking.

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

    She's only a pit bull in a town full of people who've known each other for half their lives and already know / love her from the Miss Alaska pageant.

    Against Iran, North Korea, Russia? She's a chihuahua barking at rottweilers.

    September 4, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Hockey Moms for Obama

    We've got your backfield, Obama & Biden !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *******************HOCKEY MOMS FOR OBAMA !!! **********************

    September 4, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. S. Scott

    I just don't get all this. Palin is announced and the Liberals attack her for not having enough experience, even though she has more EXECUTIVE BRANCH experience than Obama and Biden combined. So, she makes her acceptance speech and points this out and then the Liberals cry that she is not "addressing the issues" and that her speech had not "substance". Good Grief, she addresses questions that have been foremost in the media about her and she is then condemned for not talking "substance". If she had not addressed the questions about her, you guys would be ragging on her for THAT right now instead.


    If you want to see an example of NO SUBSTANCE, go back and listen to any Obama speech which are all about style and personality and insubstancial, non-specific "change" and "hope". You Liberals need to apply the logic you are using against Palin against your own Presidental candidate (but I know you won't).

    And how exactly is her comparing her and McCain's experience to Obama's "hateful"? I guess the LIberals consider the Truth to be "hateful". She points out the differences between the two candidates and is labelled "a shril attack dog". So who is it that is truly being "hateful" here? I'd say it is the Liberal Democrats who have tro resort to all this name calling when they can't respond with logic, fact, and substance.

    September 4, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Kathleen Allwein

    I think it is amazing that the Democrats and their lackey media have no qualms about displaying their disturbingly double standard. Sarah Palin did nothing more than reply to Obama & his party's condescending comments. Had the shoe been on the other foot, what might Biden's reply been? And how would it have been portrayed by the media...?

    As jounalists, the art of viewing both sides has been frightenly absent in this campaign. Who ,out there, has the courage to ask the same questions of each party and its candidates? That would be refreshing!

    September 4, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. Gary

    I can't believe all these delusional comments. The McCain/Palin ticket carries much more substance and experience than Obama/Biden. Sarah Palin alone has more executive experience that the leader on the Democratic ticket. Face it, the Democratic ticket has no plan for boosting the American economy, ensuring national security, and providing the much needed lower energy prices that American families need.

    Biden is saying he is lowering his expectations for the debates so he will not look so silly when she makes him look like a fool.

    September 4, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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