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. Bill King - Seattle, WA

    Someone needs to remind the highly hippocritical Palin and McCain that Jesus was a community organizer, and the man responsible for his execution, Pontius Pilate – was a governor.

    Can you Republicans really not see how badly you are being manipulated? Are you that ignorant to the reality around you?

    September 4, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Tired of W, OH

    You can put lipstick on a pig (or pitbull) but it is still just a pig.

    They just better keep the debate questions under lock and key. I'm sure the GOP will try to steal the answers so Palin can prepare like McCain did before the Faith Forum. If she doesn't cheat, Palin is toast.

    September 4, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. CA

    Good for you, Senator Biden. It's nice to see that at least one of the VP candidates can be counted on to act like a grown up. All I could do as I watched last night was Thank GOD that I am not a republican.

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

    C H I E F--–E X E C U T I V E-–V S-–C O M M U N I T Y---

    O R G A N I Z E R---T I C K E T---N O T--E V EN---C L O S E

    September 4, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Common Sense

    For almost 10 months or longer, I've heard Obama speak, saying what he will do when he's elected President. Making a lot of promises. Maybe I missed a few, but I don't remember him laying out any plans as to how he will put everything place. Everything sounds good and that's what people want to hear. My question is Why is Sarah Palin being criticized for not giving a speech with substance. This was her first speech, she was just picked last week. She's not running for President, McCain is. She's not to be compared with Obama, he's running for President. She did a great job for this to be her FIRST SPEECH. I support Obama and I will be voting for him, eventhough he hasn't really said anything to me of any substance. If he has will somebody, PLEASE, PLEASE respond to this message and explain it to me.

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. anne

    Palin showed that she is a strong leader, Biden has not got a chance against her in debate and will try to get out of the debates just as Obama has against Mc Cain, The Obama blogs are showing that they are afaid of the truth coming out on Obama, Ask your self who would you hire to run your personal bank acct, The school of hard knocks, common sense, is far better than a Harvard Law Degree, with a self interest goal instilled in him, by both the law degree and Chicago style politics, I happen to be a life long Dem. but I am able to see both sides of and issue, and now voting for MCCain-Palin who are making more sense

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. Texican

    Love the picture above. The caption is funny though.
    "Republicans are distorting Obama's record."

    You have to have a record before it can be distorted, the man has no record.

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |

    This was the worst speech in American political history and the world is laughing at the GOP.

    Obama-Biden 08,12

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Woman in SD

    Biden needs to focus on what she has done in Alaska....this will show she has not done enough to qualify her as a VP candidate. He also needs to challenge how she pigeon-holes and then marginalizes people, just like the current administration does. Be firm, polite and point to her short-comings and lack of experience on a national and global scale.

    I am disgusted by women who wag their fingers at people when speaking. Wonder if she has wagged her finger at her oldest daughter....

    Obama/Biden for now!

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Right Angle

    Bidden was wrong on Iraq multiple times, especially the time he wanted to divide the country into three parts. His speeches are angry and boring and his debating skills are the same. He's been in Washington for 35 years and he still hasn't gotten it right.

    Bidden is a poor choice from a substandard candidate, the weakest in over 100 years!
    McCain has the best pick for VP. Vote for the Hero, not the ZerO!!

    Mac/Palin 08

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Ralph

    I can hardly wait for the debates. Looks like the Republicans have finally caught fire. The Obama-bots are running scared. All they do is mouth off about the other side. Defend your guy with facts, not slurs and innuendos. What exactly does a community organizer do? Don't they knock on doors and hand out brochures? If they don't get paid, how to they afford the gas to drive around all day? Oh, and let Obama know they need a Mayor in Detroit.

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |






    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I dare someone deny that he wasn't,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


    "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,. . . " Matthew 5:11


    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Julie

    Some of you people need medication. Palin was brilliant and will run circles around Biden. Looking forward to that one. As for one person's comment about prepared speeches–they all have prepared speeches, everyone has a speech writer, including your heroes Obama and Biden. Biden actually has several, if you include all those materials from which he plagiarzed in the past. Bring on the pit bull!

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Dayahka

    The speech I heard was shallow, filled with slogans, thoughtless, pandering, distorting, shrill, sneering–and those were its good points. Palin is worse than my worst fears; McCain is even worse. For those who like mavericks, remember that mavericks go off on their own, are often eaten by wolves and other predators and rustlers, for they have left the group and are like outlaws.

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |

    lies lies lies........nothing that came out of her mouth was truth ....but it sounds good..........that what we need as a world leader who will........attack, have much scandal, no substance, sarcastism, insulting......that we get us far with the world......

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. what?

    @ shannon- you're an idiot.

    btw...any other GOP/McCain/Palin supporters- you're idiots too. I can't believe how ridiculously INSANE you all are about "small government" when all that you want to do is have government decide whether a woman can have an abortion or not, or whether gays can marry. Sounds like pretty f@*$ing big government to me! You can hide behind your smug, sarcastic swipes at Obama (all the while insulting community organizers everywhere because you didn't have enough guts to say it directly), but until you go toe-to-toe in a debate with Obama and Biden and survive against a constitutional law professor and a foreign policy expert, I'm afraid Mr. Mediocre #895 and Ms. Gun-toting Hockey Separatist are going to have to do a little more than make speeches to earn the respect of anyone who really matters.

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. RJ

    It is Palin's debate to lose. Any sign of weakness or stumbles will mean Joe Biden won. She cant rely on the zingers, and Republican low blows. The only people that will be amused are people that were going to vote for McCain since this thing got started.

    September 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Eric-29-m-PA

    He's not good at those one line zingers? Wasn't he the one that said Guiliani says a noun a verb and then 9/11? What a liar.

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. WOWWOW

    G O,,,,,,,,,,,,,B A R R A C U D A,,,,,,,,,,,,,G O ! ! ! !

    G O,,,,,,,,,,,,B A R R A C U D A,,,,,,,,,,,,,G O ! ! ! !

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Josie

    Stick with substance, Joe. America is tired, we're in trouble, we need solutions. The only thing the GOP offered last night was more divisiveness. After putting us into multiple war fronts and trashing our economy, not a single solid suggestion to help struggling families. Substance, Joe, do it for us.

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    Well, I guess it's pretty obvious that Ms. Pain (oops, I mean Ms. Palin) feels that people should be spending their free time shooting and skinning bear than volunteering for any type of communty service!

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Mike A

    She spoke only the truth and the democrats in the warped left wing world can't handle the truth.

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Independent Voter

    Sounds like Biden is getting nervous.....

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Sandy is a thought...

    Maybe they could place Palin in a 'cone of silence', then ask Joe the questions first...then bring her out and ask her the very same questions.

    Let's see...where could we shove a hotline to her campaign speech writers/Karl, though...hmmm....I have an idea.

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Justanothervoiceinamerica

    I don,t know about yall, But it scares the hell outta me that she is just "one heartbeat away' from the oval office!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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