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. People make no sense

    I think he raised expectations. If you want tabloid debating then call Mrs. Palin & Mr. McCain. If you want intellectual debating then call Biden or Obama.

    I prefer the Biden/Obama. I'm into the intellect. – – – Not suggestion that they are not smart you sexist women, only that throwing trash around means that you are trash. McCain/Palin.

    How will drilling allowing me to not depend on foreign oil?

    Why did Bush relax the underwriting regulations that allowed the mortgage companies to profit and abuse our economy?

    If you are not for big government, then what regulations will you put in place to prevent companies from abusing the systems and their loopholes?

    Why are my tax dollars being shipped to other countries, yet social secuirty needs to be privatized because of the abuse of its funds?

    If you are not for big government, then why can't I have more control over where my tax dollars are distributed?

    Why isn't there a conflict of interest between business interest and administration policies that gain for those business interest?

    Economically how can we be fiscally responsible when we are borrowing money to fund our countries interest, and increase our national debt?

    Just a few. I'd welcome anybody to answer these questions for me. I enjoy intellectual conversations, now back to the trash with Palin/McCain.

    How can you be a war hero fighting for Americans' and you spent most of your military career captured and tortured?

    Did the military get McCain released or was it diplomatic conversations that got him released?

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. lisa

    Please Biden, And CNN- tell the public how Palin said she had no interests in Iraq, wants to ban books, teach creationism, ban abortion in every case, took the money for the bridge to nowhere, supports big oil, more details about her investigation and truth about how she's governed,

    September 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. FreeNLovIt

    She praised McCain, a decorated war hero, as a "true profile in courage."

    McCain a decorated war hero? Next to General Wesley Clark and Kerry, McCain HAS NEVER saved anyone's life.

    Kerry is the true war hero.

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Hank NY

    Good luck, Buddy, you're gonna need it. Palin has a quick, brilliant mind, expresses her postions clearly and completely (doesn't rely on generalities), and is clearly one tough opponent. I think you're gonna get bloodied up in the debate. (By the way, all you Obama supporters who are slamming this bright, dedicated woman are showing how scared you are by your unreasonable and unjustifiable criticisms.)

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. BlackMan4Mac

    God, what a bunch of whinners. I didn't see this reaction when they were ripping McCain at dem convention. I sure an tell that these bloggers are a bunch of young inexperienced first time voters that know nothing about real politics. The hard core truth is "being nice" is just Hollywood propaganda and you people are buying it hook line and sinker. When have you ever been nice. Look at the evil you did to Hillary. It appears to me that o-bambi supporters are just like him, two faced incompetent liars.

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Jimbo

    I heard on a morning news show this morning that Palin's telapromter went down just prior to her speech, and she still delivered a super outstanding speech. Obama's telapromter goes down, he's lost, dead in the water. And by the way last I heard Obama also has a staff of speech writers

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. mama4obama

    When Palin shows her true colors....all she has left is her guns, religion and antipathy!

    I believe our country deserves and wants more!

    I know Joe will be a true gentleman and stick to the issues....

    For the the people!


    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. YES WE CAN!

    Palin sure can bark... but she won't be able to bite.

    Get over McCain/Palin people... Obama/Biden will be in the white house.

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    No that isn't called lowering expectations MSM. It's called sticking to issues and not performing a political hit job. The Daily show > CNN at covering real news.

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Dean in Florida

    If Biden asks Palin to outline her foreign relations experience, all she has to answer is that hers is the same as Obamas.

    The V.P. debate will be nothing more than theater. No one will base their decision on this debate, only on the presidential debates.

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. JB

    I didn't expect or desire Biden to lower his standands or the standards of this party with senseless bashings and one liners. The fact of the matter is after Palin's speech last night many people are fired up enough to take it to the polls themselves. Barack challenged the people to take a stand for themselves and we will. We can go back and forth all day but McCain/Palin we'll see you at the polls. I've already began my rallies for Barack/Biden and I have some counter parts in Florida who has also. Getting as many people registered as possible. First time voters...etc. We'll see you at the polls. Palin took it there well let's go.

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Everyman

    No, Joe won't unleash zingers, he'll just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.....

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Generation X

    Thank you Sentor McCain for Ms. Palin. There is noway in hell this lady is going to be one step from the Presidency; with a hockey stick and a gun. ha...ha...ha...ha...The GOP is scared!!!

    September 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    The experience of Wesley Clark and Kerry outshines McCain's experience. They commanded army, navy, air force. They commanded men in battles.

    Talk about experience. McCain has 0 experience in commanding

    September 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. janine

    To all the people supporting John McCain:

    Republican Senator John McCain said he opposes a Senate bill that seeks equal pay for women, because it would create unnecessary lawsuits. The bill sought to counteract a Supreme Court decision limiting how long workers can wait before suing for pay discrimination. It is named for Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s plant in Gadsden, Alabama, who sued for pay discrimination just before retiring after a 19-year career there. Ledbetter made $6,500 less than the lowest-paid male supervisor and claimed earlier decisions by supervisors kept her from making more.

    Senate Republicans killed the bill Wednesday night on a 56-42 vote that denied the measure the 60 votes needed to advance it to full debate and a vote. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both support the measure.

    September 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. CM


    Care to commend on how well her 'experience' was with the points you mentioned? Let me help you get started:

    private sector experience/business experience: car wash in receivership

    'executive experience': left warsilla in $22 million debt. Got federal earmarks for her town which is what Mccain is against. Governs a state with permanent surplus due to oil. Never faced a budget balancing act but vetoed funding for community and health programs.

    Her own constituents don't think she's right for the VP spot. What does that tell you?

    September 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Claudia, NV

    Biden is a man of substance who has served this country for over 30 years. Palin is a cheerleader/journalist/beauty queen, who thinks mocking Americans will win her votes. Great strategy, keep it up. You'll be back in Alaska before you can say igloo.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Mary

    My earlier comment was not accepted, so I will keep it short and sweet. Democrats will take the high we have always done, and perhaps that will result in a loss? I hope not, but this country elected Mr. Bush twice, so it obviously makes mistakes. I would like to win this on the issues not on personal attacks, but gotta be honest....a part of me wants Biden to lay into her big time. She is just a sad puppet for the Karl Rove machine.

    September 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Ellie

    Watch the Barracuda get EATEN UP ALIVE by the GREAT WHITE SHARK!!!

    Sen. Biden is being more than graceful, but don't get it twisted. He's allowing the Republicans their "2-Minute" of fame after their convention.

    But make NO MISTAKE.... when it's time to debate, he's going to RIP into her like she's never seen.

    AND then all Republicans will do nothing but WHINE about he was too tough on her, he beat a "woman" up unfairly, booo-hoo, boo-hoo...

    Yeah... that's NOT GOING TO WORK PEOPLE.

    You PROUDLY PRAISE YOUR VP PICK....well you can't have it both ways. Bottom line. Gov. Palin SHOULD and WILL be treated just like any other candidate. Her GENDER has NO RELEVANCE and the gloves are coming off!!

    It's NO MORE MR. NICE GUY when it comes to Gov. Palin. She claims she went up against the "Big Boys Club". Ha! Ha!

    Lady you are going up against the "BIG MEN, not boys CLUB" and they are not going to let up on you until they draw first blood!!

    Lord I can't wait. John McCain is going to look like a complete idiot for picking this woman!!!! He picked her and sooner or later she's going to have to get into the boxing ring ALL by her lonesome self. We'll shall see soon enough whether this Barracuda swims or gets gobbled up!!

    September 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Sari, Mpls MN

    enough of this whining about how Repulicans are slinging mud. I would sure as crap hope we would be slinging some mud after all the slime that's been directed toward Bush, McCain etc...

    The Repubs get a little zing, a little hoopla in their campaign and the Democrats just can't stomach it.

    Welcome to what us Repubs have been dealing with for the last 9 months....

    September 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    Kerry saved men's lives in the jaws of death. He was out in the battlefield. That's A++

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

    She will probably answer each question with something about Alaska. This woman cannot and didn't address any of the issues facing millions of Americans – no job, losing their homes, no healty insurance, cost of food, – who give a - how much she dislikes Obama – someone she has never met. Please from now on Would each of the politicans address the issues

    September 4, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. marta

    She stood in front of a country which is based on the principles of helping the less fortunate... and she blatantly mocked those who volunteer and serve to better their communities...and she did it in front of her own children...she is not a very strong role model for anyone that believes in integrity. Obama has run a campaign which has always chosen the high road.. In one evening the GOP reminded me why they lost my respect

    September 4, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. shannon

    Why are most Obama supporters illiterate? I read these boards every day and I am astounding by the number of people that cannot form a sentence or spell simple words.

    September 4, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |

    Obama lowered all our expectations when he didn't select as his running-mate the best candidate we had running for president this year: HILLARY CLINTON.

    Meanwhile, the McCain campaign literally has got Biden publicly criticizing Palin’s speech as being all style and no substance and has got Axelrod saying publicly that Palin’s speech proves that McCain has no record to run on.

    In other words, the latest is that McCain campaign is controlling the discourse masterfully. They’re centering the debate on style vs. substance (OBAMA IS ALL STYLE AND NO SUBSTANCE) & on who has a record of accomplishments (OBAMA HAS NO RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS).


    And over the weekend, the Obama campaign moronically mocked Palin for having been mayor of a small town. They walked right into that one. Now Palin can justifiably and rightly remind Americans daily that she’s one of the small-town Americans whom Obama called bitter people who cling to religion and guns because of fear over their economic situation.

    The Obama campaign is made up of amateurs (James Carville’s word for Axelrod and company) and Biden, a guy who has been around forever and who can’t stop shooting his mouth off.

    The leaders of the Democratic Party failed us all.

    September 4, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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