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. Perla

    What a misleading headline. If anything, Biden was RAISING expectations by saying that we can count on him not to resort to Palin's low-level distortion and defamation.

    If she is anything more than Rove in lipstick and pumps, she certainly didn't show it during her big debut.

    At least we can count on Biden and Obama for substance.

    September 4, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Spencer from VA

    If Palin wants to be an attack dog, she needs to attack on issues. Obviously she can't or she would have done so last night. I'm going to love watching Joe Biden pick her apart. Joe doesn't have to go negative because he actually has issues to debate, not a bunch of rhetoric. You're in the big leagues now Palin. So don't start crying sexism wHen the real punches get thrown at you.


    September 4, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. mjc

    Biden should be at the top of the ticket.

    September 4, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Len in Washington

    One line zingers won't fix our nations problems.

    I appreciate Bidens comments here. Palin is untested in front of National media. We'll all see how she handles it when this debate occurs. I want plans and details from both sides not petty name calling.

    September 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. CM

    When Biden debates her on the issues then it'll be a wash for the Dems.

    Palin is a token candidate brought in to appease the right wing base. She is being protected from the media like McCain so that they get schooled in what to say and what they're positions are.

    No straight talk, no honest responses. More of the same McCain.

    When they can't attack and need to answer questions lets see how they do. We already saw what happens with Tucker Bounds who couldn't sell the spin anymore.

    September 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Helene

    Attack her on what matters to voters like me ... SUBSTANCE. One liners delivered by white trash pit bulls do not impress me.

    September 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    Way to slam community volunteers sara, I guess those habitat for humanity people are scum too huh? You girl are ghetto minded and I can't wait til people see your true ugly colors and Joe Biden wipe the floor with your tears after your debates.

    September 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Mat

    She had a chance last night to act and sound like an inteligent well spoken politian who cares about this country. The only feeling I got was a power hungry woman who would probably eat her own children if it gave her a boost in the polls.

    Biden will treat her with kid gloves until she starts trying to attack him and then boom – he'll knock her down with the first question of Iran or Iraq – she hasn't even been there – could she even find it on a map?

    Look, she's a sell described pitt bull – and frankly I could see her blowing out of town as quickly as she blew in!

    The first speach Obama ever gave to a national audience was full of Hope and Change. Not attacks and bitterness! Look it up – DNC 2004 Obama.

    September 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Perla

    P.S. And I hope Palin won't be wired for prompts during her debate like Bush was.

    September 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Bring it on2

    Sarah Palin mission last evening was to prove she's tough and ready to play with the big boys. That being said as the campaign continues when she's challenges I don't want to hear the challengers are being SEXIST. I just don't want to hear it. When you throw punches expect to be punched back.

    September 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Britt

    I love it! FINALLY we get to see an adult statement. It should be about the issues and not backyard bully tactics. GO BIDEN!

    September 4, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Bayou Joe

    He mark ... the Socialist Democrats don't know where the high road is,
    Give it up you have no candidate with substance just fluff and speeches. Our country needs men and women with proven ability.
    John and Sarah have both been tested.
    John and Sarah believe in the American people and their ability to
    provide for themselves without government interference.

    In 2 years the Democrats destroyed the economy, now you want more.

    September 4, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Rave

    Palin is nothing but Cheap and Trash Talk.
    You can tell by her speech, she was inexperienced and doesn't know how to put together a public speech.
    This is not Hollywood or some Drama for God's sake.
    These 2 Rich Republicans who think anyone other than Rich are Whiners. Giuliani is a Stromboli, Huckabee teases poor people
    You want these people ruling us for the next 4 years??
    Obama and Biden will win comfortably in NOV 2008
    OBAMA / BIDEN (2008 -16)

    September 4, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Get informed!

    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. Before she had a special needs child, she cut aid to families of special needs children 62%. This is important people, don't let the Republican spin team fool you! Go Joe!

    September 4, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    Go get her Biden!! Joe is an astute debater all he has to do is ask her about her foregn policy cred, economy...any of todays issues and it's a wrap. Palin is good at exciting the base by being attack dog based on culture not the issues....I'm sooo popping pop corn to watch the debate...Can't wait!!

    September 4, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |

    aaw c'mon cnn... i'm not even getting the "awaiting moderation" msg today... just straight to delete....

    is THAT fair.... i still believe you are better than fox... but lately... not by much.....

    why did you guys take such a hard right?

    p.s. cheney in a wig, reading a speech written by limbaugh to the base...
    NOW "that" makes palin ready.....

    September 4, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Steve

    I'm Sure Biden would like to catch everyone off guard,especially Palin,by pulling a rabbit out of the Obama Hat ,once in a while,but ,I agree with his prediction that Palin will be able and willing to carry the debate to a Republican conclusion.

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. Chris W.


    Anonymous Republican

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Vonnie

    Will the real John McCain please stand up and tell that stiff tin man to give him his face back. That's right the real John McCain died about two battles of cancers ago. Has anyone really watched the chemistry between Govenor Palin and this man who people believe is John McCain. She seems as if she didn't want to be seen by that spook.

    During her speech, she seemed as if she was forced to say have of those cynical and sarcastic things that were on the teleprompter. They say she was rehearsing her speech that in my opinion was changed at the last minute by those manipulative republicans behind the scene.

    In my opinion, she might be the whistleblower that the country needs to expose the corruption amongst the republican party.

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Splurge

    Sounds like he's afraid of her.

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Len in Washington

    To: "ANON"
    Were you commenting about Biden or describing your Presidential Candidate. That description would match Mr. McCain as well.

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Phil in KC

    Like the Republicans have not been playing the expectations game? C'mon. They're the ones who tried to sell a record bounce out of the DNC. We all knew that wasn't going to happen, but they were trying to set expectations unrealistically high to make any bounce Obama did get look insignificant.
    Besides, I take Joe at his word. I don't think he is known for the one-line zinger. But I do expect him to get the upper hand in a discussions of the issues. I wonder if we'll get one?

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Biden doesn't have a prayer against Sara if all he is going to do is attack the GOP policies because they don't have any. How can you debate nothing and come out ahead.

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Evangelical for OBAMA

    Has a pitbull ever done anything good when not led?

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Bulldog

    Just Another Voter wrote:

    It may help Mrs Palin if someone informs her that Jesus Christ was a community organizer.

    GREAT POINT! What does the Evangelical Party have to say about that. She just attacked Jesus Christ as someone who did nothing.

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18