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. Courtney in NC

    I absolutely agree, her attacks were very shrill and sarcastic. But on the other hand this is politics. But I think it is absolutely absurd to say that Barack Obama has got to take this beating lieing down just because she is a woman. That is absolutely absurd and unfair. This woman is strong and independent, and if she can deliver a punch I would certainly expect her to be able to take one. This is the same scenario where a man gets attacked by a woman but then gets attacked himself for defending himself. Men should absolutely not be able to beat up on women. But the same should be said of men. Noone should expect Barack Obama to sit back and take this beating lieing down and not respond. Theres too much on the line.

    September 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Very mad Republican

    He would'nt feel that way if it were Mitt Romney! Romney/Huckabee 2012

    September 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Kristen

    Community organizers:

    Susan B. Anthony (you know, the reason Palin is able to participate)
    Martin Luther King Jr. (reason Obama can participate)
    Jesus Christ (Palin's hero)

    Man, these people are worthless, right Sarah?!

    September 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Ron democrat turned independent

    who helped sen Obama with his first fund raiser?

    who did sen Obama turn to for help when he over-reached himself buying a mansion and couldn't close the deal?

    who did sen Obama depend on for spiritual guidance for twenty years?

    who provided the living accommodations for the people in the community he worked in?

    September 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. clean up washington

    The market reacts to her speech. Dow is 300 Points down!

    September 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Kathleen

    As an employer with less than 50 employees, I have many missed work days by moms with 1-2 children, even more so with newborn children. Here, Palin has five children, a teen pregnant daughter having sex in her sixteen's year and pregnant early in her seventeenth year, and a Down' Syndrome child. This four month old is more than "special needs child". This Syndrome has limited lifespan with nearly 25-50% of their life in hospitals and Intensive care settings. She will not be 100% available for her job even if her job was 30 hours per week, let alone a VP of The USA. This is an International Job and the consequences of her absence in some settings are unacceptable!
    As an American, I do not see her as a qualified VP applicant. If she ran for president would she have raised any appreciable amount of money or accumulated any votes? Is she more qualified than the nationally and internationally known republican females?
    I do not see it and I am frankly offended that anyone expects our votes just because she is a woman or bulldog or a pit-bull or a hockey-mom! We are talking about a world leadership and International job representing ALL AMERICANS-I can't honestly vote for this blunder and bad judgment of McCain!

    September 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. S. Scott

    ...and one more thing: How is Palin saying that a community organizer is not the same type of experience as a mayor and/or governor in any way a slam of community organizers? I heard nothing in her speech that could be construed as disrespecting comunity organizers for doing what they do. She attacked Obama for claiming that a community organizer should qualify as EXECUTIVE BRANCH experience that is every bit on the same executive level as a mayor's or governor's. Which we all know it is not.

    This is in no way diminishing the importance of the work performed by community organizers. If you are an oragnzier who think it does, you're pretty thin skinned. This is just the DEMOCRAT ATTACK MACHINE trying desparately to drum up SOMETHING to grasp onto for attacking Palin.

    September 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Larry Kincaid

    Poor white trash Sarah is.

    September 4, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Hopester

    Sarah Palin is hiding behind the idea of God, using phoney faith to push her own agenda. The Christian right is very good at this. When she loses will somebody please remind her it was Gods will. I expect Joe Biden to put her in her place.

    September 4, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Peter of Oregon

    Debate her on the issues and Obama/Biden and the American people will win easily. Debate her on McCain and her policy positions and it won't even be fair for Palin, Obama/Biden and the American people will win easily. If the debate is about how to levy baseless attacks, and fear monger than Palin will win.

    September 4, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Jazzplayer

    Insult community service workers, when the theme of your convention is 'country first'??? She is leader of the state with the lowest high school graduation rate in this country. She apparently has abused the power of her office, she consistently supports the increased use of fossil fuels, drilling in ANWR, strip mining, banning books, accepting earmarks, allowing the indiscriminate aerial hunting of wildlife, she 'heads' a state that is now $20M in debt. As a mother, she is comfortable with her pregnant, unmarried teenage daughter being used like a stage prop. She has refused to meet with the media – to answer unscripted questions. Her speech contained no substance. This is more of the failed Bush policies & crap. And people seriously are going to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket????? If that's the case, then this is the first time in my life that I honestly fear for this country.

    September 4, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Sylvia

    As the runner up in a beauty contest, Governor Palin won't be afraid of the North Koreans when it comes to nuclear disarmament. As someone who lived 60 miles from the Siberia border, she can handle the Iranians too. And just wait until the French find out she was a point guard. The woman is fully qualified to be a token female. Good choice John McCain. God help America!

    September 4, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. JOHfromATLforOBAMA

    She was a puppet last was said that her speach was being worked on to fit a woman, so all she did was deliver it well..Obama writes alot of his speeches..i'm sure he has help, but you can tell that she didn't write any of it.

    I think she is a selfish woman, she put her daugter out there like that, I think Joe biden should sucker punch her at the debate..she wants to play hard, lets play hard too.

    September 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. oz

    Democrats have a lot of nerve calling the kettle black (no pun intended). The problem here isn't just the Republicans. The problem is that the Democrats failed to produce a qualified candidate with appeal, for the past 3 elections. First it was Gore, the qualified stiff, then Kerry with his weirdness and zero appeal, and now this guy who is as qualified as GWB. I would have payed money for Hillary (in reality, Bill) to win this thing and get the country back on track, but Dems being as politically correct as they are, and afraid to break even one egg, and walked on eggshells around Obama. Even the media acts like he's some untouchable and to be frank, what really is the appeal? His life story is not interesting one bit. Let see, black guy knocks up a white girl and takes off leaving kid behind, kid does drugs and plays basketball, finds his "calling", meets woman , has own kids...snorrrr....and suddenly runs for President? WHAT?! Democrats, get a better candidate, and we'll talk.

    September 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Virginian

    The claim that Palin's teleprompter failed and she delivered the speech without it is a myth, just like the myth that the GOP will be different from the last 8 years this time around.

    September 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. RL

    I hope he does ask her about her foreign relations experience, and at the same time, I hope he explains his lack there of. Palin has more foreign relations experience than all of the other candidates combined. If you don't understand that then you don't know squat about the duties of a Governor, especially one in such a strategic location.Many foreign officials visit Alaska as a matter of relations with us.

    Commander in Chief? Yep, she is the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. But before you Poo Poo these guys and what they do, you should research their missions, past and present.

    Votes? She got one heck of a lot more votes than Joe Biden did in Delaware. Her popularity rating is 80% and rising. What is Biden's? You can't stand it when the tables are turned and a woman shoots straight from the hip. You may as well get used to th truth hitting you in the rear end.

    "When you're out of ideas, you just go on the attack", Well, what the heck has Obama been doing? That's what most politicians do. The difference is when the attack is based on truth and not lies.

    The only experience Biden has is running his disconnected mouth and most of the time, getting it wrong. That's the only thing he has ever run.

    Obama hasn't run anything but his mouth either. The truth makes you mad. His foreign Relations experience is relegated to moving into a mansion with 5 baths.

    BK, you're correct. Most folks are ignorant when it comes to the demographics of Alaska and usually have absolutely no idea of that which they speak. Since when does a few thousand more citizens in community make you more qualified for anything? The small towns of our great country make us proud and usually have a better grip on things.

    Usually one needs a Pit Bull to control rodents and miscreants who would take advantage of you. You may as well get used to it. She is going to hit back and it's going to drive some liberals mad. If you don't want a fight, don't get in the ring. We'll see where the shreds hang..HA!

    So, to those who think Obama and Biden have experience relevant to executive responsibilities, I don't want you hiring employees for me. The only relief for you now is another Prozac or some Lithium.

    September 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Darth Marley

    I can accept that the economy is bad, even if not technically in a recession.
    Purchasing power of the average income earners will continue to deteriorate as long as fuel and producer price inputs remain high.

    But feel good schemes are not a "plan" to fix that, and frankly, neither are alternative fuel research subsidies.

    September 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. ~DEM~




    September 4, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Clarke D

    Palin is quite a comedian. Might be a good career option for her after she and McCain lose the election.

    September 4, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Kevin


    I find it ironic that Sarah spent so much energy slamming the media last night, when it was the media that the GOP relied so heavily on the last 8 years to spin it's campaign of fear amongst our citizens.

    September 4, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. April Garlow

    The Democrats had better start worrying about Biden's health if they win, he's not exactly young–if something happens to him–Obama will actually have to be president.

    September 4, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. quent97

    I just hope she doesn't pull that 'Damsel in distress' mess, although I wouldn't be surprised with all the hype over the 'shrill' comment. And the games and gimmicks of the repubs.

    The political arena has mainly been run by men for a long time so when a woman wants in she had better man up. That's not to justify any negative treatment of women in politics but as women we really do need to pick our battles. I can think of a few names...ur adjectives for some men. If Sarah has substance then let her bring it and let these other women sit back and STHU.

    Barack / Joe '08

    September 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. RDS

    That's all you have to do when you actually have positions on things....the only people who waste time hurling one liners are those who don't have the policy to back it up. Americans have eyes wide open this election. After 8 years of getting screwed by GWB I think I'll start practicing abstinence with the republican party!

    September 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. scott - canada

    paint me white and call me simple, but it seems the GOP are nothing if not consistent. Pallin's speech was another "whole lotta feathers, not much chicken" diatribe where if you listened closely, more can be read between the lines than the ones she had written for her. Being neither Democrat nor Republican, if Oboma loses, I'm moving even further north.

    September 4, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Black Republican (until last night!)

    I want to apologize for all the negative things I have ever said about "the angry left". After watching the speeches at last nights RNC I was utterly disgusted at the treatment and disrespect shown to the democratic candidate and more importantly community organizers. My great grandmother and grandmother were both organizers before and after the civil rights movement. I chose my party because I agreed about the limitations of government and other conservative platform issues however after listening to speeches last night I can not believe I have been so dumb. "Gave up on America", "Community organizers...what?" "Community organizers=no responsibilities". And using 9/11, AGAIN, as a talking point!!! Never again will I make the mistake of voting for any conservative candidate. If this is the base of people that republicans think are important and want on their side, I no longer want to be there.!!!! Please we have to elect Obama and Biden to office. PUMAS, on the fence, etc.... if last night's speech can make me shift a 20 year allegiance to a party is should show you how divided, nasty and spiteful the Republican party has become. By the way I was ignoring the Rush comments before but I no longer want to hear sexist from my former party.
    Rush – "We have a babe on the ticket"
    Campaign Button – "Hoosiers for the Hot Chick" (though this is absolutley hilarious)
    You can't have it both ways and that is the revelation I had last night.

    September 4, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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