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 McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    Palin is a tough figther. I'm glad Biden recognises that...we will see how well she will do in the debate....WITHOUT THE TRANSCRIPT AND REPUBLICAN SMEAR TALKING POINTS:

    can't wait!!!!!

    Obama '08/12'!

    September 4, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Darrel from Denver

    Great point on Jesus as community organizer.

    I found Palin to be nothing more than a republican shill and designated attack dog.

    It was clear last night she was simply reading the standard talking points. Her primary contribution was one of sarcastic, elitist smugness. Her only value to McCain is to solidy his eroding base. Beyond that, he has nothing.

    Nice pick, McCain. You have succeeded in further dividing and polarizing the situation. The choices are now more clear than ever. And, given the public indictment of the Republican agenda and your eroding registration rolls, it's time for you to prepare for retirement.

    September 4, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    Good for you Joe! ISSUES are what need to be discussed!
    Start off with the issue that it is the republicans who put us in the mess we're in- they CAN'T defend that so they toss out the fear, smear and innuendo....because it worked in the past.

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

    and I am a hockey and soccer mom...she doesn't speak for me

    September 4, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Will in Richmond, VA

    We're behind you. Take this nobody out to the woodshed and teach her some manners. I can't wait for this sham and fraud to get put down.

    September 4, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. obama/biden supporter

    this is going to be great

    Biden doesnt have to use one-liners against her. all he has to do is ask her, her stance on foreign relations, the know what this election is about and she will make herself look like an idiot by not knowing how to respond.

    i just hope that she doesnt cry...or snarl her pitbull teeth and attack when she loses

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Tom

    The Obama campaign has been rather nice not taking any jabs at her even though they could have thrown her in the sushi machine, but what does girlfriend do? she went there, and now the gloves are off.

    Sarah Palin is about to have her noodle cooked.

    You do not talk about the weeds in other peoples yard when you have just as much in your own, i guess she has to learn how we do it here at home.


    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. An American Whiner



    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Mark Cross Junction VA

    One line zingers? That is usually the only thing your good for Joe, since you don't have any substance or facts regarding real issues. I guess thats why your approval rating is 31% in your home state and other senators grade/rate you at the best a D+. Keep up the good work and help McCain get elected. I bet you wish you had a 90% approval rating.

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Biden has a tough job. The GOP, who love Palin's rhetoric would whine if Obama said the same things.

    Sarah has nothing to offer but "fear and smear" – she doesn't even know what a VP does – said so in an interview!

    Any tough questions will allow Saint Sarah to wilt, flutter her false eyelashes and play the victim.

    When she attacks, that will be OK with the nasty conservative so-called Christian base...

    She lies, has ethic problems already, panders (did you know she was a mother of 5?) and even advocated banning books in the local library. But that just makes her a true Republican!

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. shey wes

    Palin is a disgrace to women and the social work profession around the world. Biden will demolish her in the vp debate. She does not have any real plans for America? What about the economy , creation of new jobs, education, healthcare , and abortion rights? She did not mention any of these issues facing America. She is an idiot just like McCain and Bush! They are so out of touch with the American people. I am a community organizer and we make tough decisions everyday that affect people lives. Governor Palin needs a reality check from the American people.

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Tyree

    I Agree, that is all the republicans and sarah palin are good for I guess.

    Obama/Biden 08'

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Former Michigan Democrat

    I think it's funny you all are criticizing Governor Palin for "reading her speech from a teleprompter". For goodness sakes, that's all Senator Obama CAN do!

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Indiana voter

    I think Palin did a good job last night. As evidence, all you have to do is see the posts in these "news" tickers. It upset all the liberals and that is evidence enough that she is the right person for the job.

    And to those who say she never talked about issues, when did Obama talk about issues? The democrats spewed hatred and lies from all their speeches during their convention. See? It works both ways. It just depends on what side of the aisle you are on. So stop whining that Palin may hurt your feelings, or exposed your candidate and the whole party for who they really are. All talk.

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Gerry

    So Sarah Palin wants to be another Dick Cheney? Why not? Cheney is so unpopular with the public that the Republicans need a replacement part, so why not Sarah? The problem is that we have heard it all before. There is nothing new in the Palin message: GOP good, Obama bad. What really counts is how do you plan to govern, Ms. Palin? For example, denying the science behind global warming does not seem to prevent the Canadian ice shelf from evaporating, does it? And denying the appropriate uses of sex education for young Americans does not seem to prevent teen pregnancies, does it? And on and on it goes with the Republicans and their denial of anything that confronts their preconceived ideas about how the world is with how the world actually is. I say, enough of them and their gross ignorance. Obama and Biden in ’08!

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. Sandy

    Hang tough Dems.

    The polls are going up!

    I guess snide doesn't play well in America.

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Scott Tucson

    Too bad Palin can't debate Obama 1 on 1 too but McCain can make short work of him. Obama has a hard time being able to talk without a speech writer behind him. Sara Palin can beat Biden on positions because Biden like Obama keeps changing them.

    September 4, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Proud to be American

    Debate her and make her discuss something of substance – make her stick to policy... the fear mongers are great with distracting America do not let her off the hook though.... debate hard, debate to win as America can not sustain no more years of Republicans in the office... we need intelligence to run the world now not cow boys, POW, mountains gals... that is a small percent of America let the majority rule ... the world is praying for you!!!

    Obama & Biden 2008

    September 4, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. beevee

    My advice is treat Palin as a VP candiate in the debates not as a woman debator. Remember republicans thrive on baseless attacks to become popular and win and they know the public pulse. Remember she is a pitbull with lipstick. Dems should know how to handle an aggressive pitbull.

    September 4, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Tejano

    Run Sarah Run. Stop the Obama Socialist movement and their European allies. This is America and we the Americans support you in your efforts to make America independent from Foreign oil and foreign influence. Take no prisoners.

    Sarah Palin is not Hillary so don't pull the crap on her that you did with Hillary. The least the DNC could have done is allowed the delegates to cast their votes as decided by the voters. instead of a coronation of Obama.

    September 4, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    Can someone please tell me whose lives have McCain saved?

    Heroes save people. Kerry is a Hero

    September 4, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. a, holley

    shannon, Please if she is the best you got, GAME OVER!!!

    Make sure you keep plenty of tissue with you.

    September 4, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    So she can throw a few sucker punches. Now, just how is the GOP going to defend their record and show us how they'll fix this mess?

    September 4, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. Eunice

    I am an independent voter. Thank you DEMS  for not going negative!  I watch CNN daily and I listen on the Radio.  I was ashamed to hear all of your comments after the Speech by the Rep's VP SP.  You did not sound like the same people I listen to daily. Anderson, Brown and Wolfe what's up. Did you hear what I heard?  She did not hit it out the park she lost me with all the negative bashing.

    September 4, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Mike

    ---- S H E D I D N O T L O O K P R E S I D E N T I A L !!!! ---------------------------------–

    Imagine is everything!! If she had to participate in 20+ debates like Obama, would she be the nominee!!

    September 4, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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