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. The Bush Twins : George and John

    Everyone knows that between now and the debates Bushe's people are going to be drilling everything into her about foreign policy. Looks like she won't have any time for her children since she'll have to be taking a crash course, I sure feel sorry for those kids. Unfortunately, until then they won't let her speak to the press or any large group of people without her trainers nearby. Too bad, i would love to see her on her own right now.
    When Joe gets finished debating her I can hear the repubs screaming about how he could be so hard on a woman. She better be prepared for whats coming her way. Go get her Joe !.

    September 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Larry of Boston

    Joe would lower expectations –and when he lowers them, they will match his uninspiring record in Washington.

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Chips

    Just do like mama told you bloody her nose.

    GOP's think they are bullies.

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. RapidRay

    "Mimicry is the highest form of flattery."

    The repubs have not been stating position, but trying to steal slogans from the Dems all week. It ain't working.

    They did come up with a very telling one last night....
    "Drill, baby, drill"?

    My god, you can almost see the oil slick forming on the convention floor. Half of it came off of Romney's hair!

    Run with it, Joe. Your opponents are clinging to the dark ages and more than willing to pull the triggers on the gas pumps for us as readily as they puull one without aiming in foreign countries.

    New slogan: "Trigger Happy Leadership.

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. FreeNLovIt

    Biden just needs to stick it to her and frame her as 'more of the same' with BUsh and McCain and he'll be fine.

    Her stances are just like Bush. She's Bush with a skirt on.

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Brenda, Chesterton, IN

    Voting for Sarah Palin because she is a woman is the same as voting for Barack Obama because he is black. Why is the former ok, but the latter not ok in the public view. I personally vote by issues. I hope that most other voters do as well.

    Newsflash to McCain/Palin camp- not many Hillary supporters liked her just because she's female – they voted for Hillary because of her stance on the issues.

    Voting for Sarah based on the words in her speech (of which she more than likely did not write), rather than voting for her or anyone for that matter based upon their actions is a giant leap of faith for anyone. After all, when is the last time any politican did exactly and only what they said in speeches to get elected?

    Sarah Palin seems to only support the issues that most reflect and benefit her beliefs – not what is best for America.

    My message for Bidden is to go barracuda fishing!

    My vote is for Obama!

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |


    Let the Ms. AK have it!!!!!!!!!!!! She wants to play with the big boys and hey isn't that the point. WOMEN ARE EQUAL TO MEN. Going easy on her implies that we are not and can't handle it.

    This woman wants to get in to set women back ages.


    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. bev

    Last night I saw an actress who can read lines well! She will wilt under pressure.

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Mike


    THE VP Candidate could be bring a unwed pregnant daughter and an uneducate son-in-law to the WHITE HOUSE!!


    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Rishi

    Rinny: Your BHO could not remember which concentration camp his "Uncle" liberated. Your BHO needs to make it 57 states to get enough votes in US. Your BHO does not remember memorial day vs veterans day. Your BHO does not know difference of Sioux City vs Sioux Falls. Should I go on............................................

    So, before you trash Sarah Palin, know one thing for a fact... Your candidate BHO is so paper thin in knowledge, substance and experience that even my 10 month old Lhasa Apso can do a better job than him.

    So shut your trap up

    JM and SP all the way. PUMA all the way.

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Jen

    Just attack her on the issues and stay on the high road, because the Republicans are self-destructing nicely, without any help from their opponents.

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. DNC

    The DNC response of quiet is very well done.

    The RNC destroyed itself last night without help from anyone other
    McCain/Palin. The RNC is a cancer on this country.

    September 4, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. herb

    I'm ok with him not sniping back at her, but it would probably be very effective if he at least notes to the audience that she is being childish, as opposed to just taking her punches and not saying anything at all

    September 4, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Mike

    GW Bush sent Biden to negotiate with the dictator of Libya to turn over that country's nuclear stockpile to the US government, and Palin sold a plane on ebay.
    I'm looking forward to this.

    September 4, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Marie Simmons

    No, No, No, The Democrats had better dish it out just like they can take it. You don't have to get down and dirty like they did, but you must be short and to the point and sting her just a little and watch her lose her composure. She and McCain expect the Democrats to be gentlemen when dealing with her, but I am here to tell you she did not behave like a lady! Just throw her under the bus and let John McCain pick up the pieces.

    September 4, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Phoenix

    Len in Washington, honey, I'm afraid you're light years ahead of us wanting to know about issues. Instead, this has become about race and gender pandering. I guess you'll have to wait for the next election to hear real solutions for America. So Sad.

    September 4, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Roger


    September 4, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. anne

    Why are the topics being closed so quick ??? Last night is was 4 minutes on some of the topics, some 10 minutes, how many were stopped by the moderator, the answer should be addressed by CNN

    September 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. No Way - No How - No Palin

    Palin is full of joke. Senator Biden will send her back to Alaska. She is unable to stick on the issues. She can only spend her time attacking Obama. Americans are not stupid, nobody want four more years of the same. I am confident that our next president will be Barack Obama.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Enuff Al Ready

    This boils down to my cabbage is better than your cabbage. I was born a republican/democrat and I'm going to vote for whomever is at the top of the ticket and say bad things about the other party. One sided partisan BS. You start coding and I'll go find out what they want. As a nation you all need to grow up. Politics, like religion is an accident of birth. You believe what you're born into.

    September 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. oh my

    it's the issues stupid...Palin is far from qualified to be VP...McCain's maverick illusion has been shot right out of the water. she is the McCain makeover nothing more. Palin is a great political pawn and a political gimmick who performed a great canned speech last night...but who is she? other than a pit bull in lipstick..(female dogs are called what?) she has no idea about the issues thats why she stayed so far away form them last night and throughout the convention....lets really get to the debates. her real record will come to light, her investigation will come to light, the exploitation of her kids will come to light. lets just hope she learns something in the RNC VP bootcamp they are sending her to. VP bootcamp...what a shame McCain has gets better every day

    September 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Alice

    Voters say they hate negativity, but they eat it up. Unfortunately, it works.

    I sure hope Obama/Biden know what they are doing here . . .

    Sure wish the so-called liberal media would set the record straight.

    September 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. 7/10 WA

    Palin is a creationist, anti-choice small town hick who doesn't believe that mankind has had any influence on global warming ...
    Is there really any reason to have a debate? It won't affect my vote or that of any other intelligent person.

    September 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Leta

    A question for Obama: Do you think that Joe Biden has a close relationship of the Clinton's and Gore's family and friends? (if yes) Do you think in the event that Joe Biden had to take over as President he would consider that friendship so close he would Pardon them for any crimes that were commited prior to Bill Clinton's Presidency and after Bill Clinton was elected President....?

    September 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. Justanothervoiceinamerica

    I wonder if the McCain Campaign will run down to where Hurricane Hannah is going to hit, Like they did with Gustav. I bet they don,t. Guess He needs to show her that thier is a east coast also!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18