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. ct

    These are 2 honest hard working people that came from the bottom and worked their way to the top, and treat other's the way they would like to be treated. They focus on the issues, mudslinging is pathetic and the tired old GOP just never learns. Come November they will get a good reality check.

    September 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Joe Regis

    What I am looking for tonight is for the repubs to establish the difference between The McCain Republicans and the Bush Republicans. To have a shot at it, the repubs need to make the difference tonight that they are not like Bush other wise it is really over and done with.

    So far there has been no plan articulated by the repubs to fix the economy, foreclosure, to create jobs ans to severe tie from the Bush republicans failed policies.

    It is a tall order and they need to do all of the above, other than that it is a slow road to political oblivion.

    September 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |

    I watched her speech with an open mind, but all I heard was just a woman spewing hateful rhetoric and saying absolutely NOTHING on the important issues that face this country. As the cameras scanned the audience, I saw no reflection of what the U.S. is all about, a diverse and unique country. I thought I was going to become physically ill and had to change the channel. I want to hear about the issues.

    September 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Quincy

    Please Biden.....please ask her this question for me.

    What does she think of the organisers helping to alleviate poverty in America,

    The Religous community organisers,

    The inner city organisers

    The environementalist..

    The organisers fighting for better healthcare.....

    Overall the people who go into neglected community, homes of the poor, elderly and disabled and each single day help them take decisions and guide/lead to better lifestyles.......

    What are they ? inexperienced, leadership lacking, hopeful pathetic fools?....these people changed America and are helping change the world !

    I was SAD Sarah very sad indeed !.......poor....I think McBeth's quote says it all about your speech

    " A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing "

    September 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Maybe she'll crinkle her nose and point a lot. People seem to like that.

    Prediction: Tina Fey will be guest hosting SNL within a month.

    September 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Terry, Butte, Mt

    CNN – Fact check her speech please. Especially on what she said about Obama vs. Obama's actual stance.

    September 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Gail AL.

    Sarah Palin hit a home run last night. I think it's funny how she made clear she'a not here to please the media. It's about time someone got the media told they HAVE such a love for Obama, and trying to get him elected. Well NEWS FLASH, The people can make up their own minds their not stupid. We'll not settle for a community organizer even if the media says so, america deserves better. PALIN YOU GO GIRL SHAKE'EM UP.

    September 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. phillip, monterey ca

    i know the mcsame camp is running in over drive trying to "catch up " and brief palin on foreign policy issues and names of prime ministers, presidents, world leaders in general ... i look forward to those debates and when biden kicks her butt on the issues i cant wait to watch the mcsame camp and the rest of the repubs scream sexism and media bias because they vp pick mcsame choose is not ready to be a heartbeat away from the white house and they know this but they are throwing the hail mary

    September 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Pat F

    I love how everyone keeps writing about Palin's speech being "scripted" and written for her – as if there has been one single convention speech that wasn't written in advance.

    One rule for men – one for women. What else is new?

    BTW, in a battle of wits, Biden would lose to a ripe cantaloupe.

    September 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. terry down south

    This is the deal, the DNC couldn't get a white man elected by the voter's so they manipulated the primary, got a token black man whom they forced to pick a white man good ole boy as VP and their hope is that one day the good ole boy will be moving up. Mark my words.
    But of course, now that the republicans have an exciting and formidable opponent running with Mccain, They have to destroy her before their little plan will work.
    This whole thing is so transparant and would be laughable if it weren't for so many good citizens falling for this crap. Wake up people! The DNC is crooked as heck. I've dumped this criminal party.

    September 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Sylvia

    The impression she gave was a cheerleader for McCain last night when she gave her speech. Yes, her speech was written by McCain. Biden, please do not give her any slack at the debate. We will see what she is made of after the debate.

    September 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. Antonio in Los Angeles

    Both Candidates (McCain and Obama) have done an pretty decent job at keeping the disussion mostly on the issues, there is too much at stake for the country to allow anyone – even a vice presential nomonee – drag the discuss down to a level of "one liners." They should both stay on the issues and magnify the conversations regarding the economy, healthcare, the war, our veterens when they return, and education.

    September 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. anne

    Obama community organizer question
    Is the south side of Chicago better off today than when it left the job?

    I would like to see comments from supporter out of Chicago

    September 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |

    No response is needed, if the majority of America believes the vile hatred spewed by the 3 speakers, then this country is doomed anyway.

    September 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Reasonable Observer

    Please note: Community Organizers are different than community service volunteers. Organizer is a paid position. Volunteers are... well, I think you get the point. Community organizers usually have political motivations while community volunteers are doing work to help people like in shelters, etc.

    What do you think Obama's motivations were? He subscribed to Saul Alinsky's approach to organizing. If you are not familiar, look for Alinsky's book "Rules for Radicals."

    September 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Doug

    Ms. Palin should visit New Orleans and tell all of the people who lived through Katrina that Global Warming doesn't exist and that those "community organizers" who helped rebuild their homes and restore their communities when the federal government turned their backs weren't really doing anything. As a social worker and an American I can only make this plea: GO GET HER JOE

    Hope over Fear 08

    September 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. breadcrumbs theory

    Joe, just ask her why Georgia just started the second cold war to help John McCain get elected.

    September 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    I don't think Gov Palin will zing you Sen Biden unless you start. You two need to get to the issues and leave the sly remarks home or at the bar. We LEGAL AMERICANS want action. You are hired to protect and serve us period. Close the borders to protect us. Serve us by lowering taxes so we can manage out lives more. Be able to pay the rent, utilitys, water,food, doctors, dentists, gas and maybe have a few bucks left over to save something. So much is taken out of our checks to support the rest of the world, Lets get on with doing stuff for us for once. One thing about Gov Palin, I believe her when she says she will work for the people for once. Lets hope she means it along with McCain. And if Obama and Biden will do the same, it will be a toss up who gets those points across. Stop up the borders......

    September 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. think people

    The hilarious part is that Palin et al keep insisting Obama has no experience because he was a senator. Um, one word: MCCain. Way to undermine your own candidate.

    As to her gender, I hope, given that the Alaska contingent was holding signs referring to the "hottest VP from the coolest state" and that they stressed her beauty queen qualifications, the Repubs will stop trying to generate false claims of gender bias. Please, those voters voting for a woman, could you take a legitimate look at how this woman is being marketed to you? Beauty queen, mother? What is this, 1964?

    September 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Hillary 2012

    Biden won’t answer for one question

    How to handle the Islamic extremist ?

    September 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. REG in AZ

    What Gov Palin didn't say – the truth or anything real addressing the issues. She is arrogant, cocky and dishonest, which is consistent but are qualifications only for rejection. And the Republicans have been trying hard to coerce the media, calling them sexist, biased, etc., to have them stop exposing the truth so she can lie with impunity. That is crazy but it is much like the arrogance and self-serving dishonesty we have seen for the last eight years and is what the Republicans have become. Trusting McCain-Palin is asking for trouble just as trusting Bush-Cheney has been. We desperately need real change!

    September 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. East Coast Bum

    I am an independent who has pretty much made up my mind as to who gets my vote and after the McPittbull spoke yesterday, I know for sure they(GOP)will never get it.
    I did not beleive any word of her speech because she knew it was all lies when her dirreha of the mouth was working overtime. All talk and no action from the GOP, as usual. I tried to keep an open mind about Mcbush/Pittbull, but after yesterday, their party is the laughing stock of the entire world.
    This is my gut feeling about sarah and why John picked her; NO ONE ELSE WOULD SAY YES!!!! They all know they party is going down and she becomes the "Lamb" to be slaughtered, in the election that is people. Chill out retughs. Obama has always shown a better thought process, willing to work with all people, everything. But in the end I am just another mindless OBAMABOT!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. anthony

    Biden does not need to attack Palin. Not when conservative commentators Peggy Noonan (a former Reagan speechwriter) and Mike Murphy (a former McCain strategist) are doing the work for him. The Youtube video of what they really think about the Republican ticket is all over the internet.

    McCain/Palin: a ticket that even the Republicans do not believe in.

    September 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. a Woman

    She is one of those people who can lie straith on your face. my way or highway. I wonder what would she accomplished in corperate companies in big cities. probebly fired withing a year. learning to work with other people with different caltural back ground and color and ideas without being rude is the first thing she should learn.

    September 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Proud to Be an American

    Hillary needs to attack attack attack. She should be firing off press releases one after the other this morning questioning Palins insitance on division and determination to drive Americans apart. After all she wants to destroy the Union our soldiers are fighting to defend.

    September 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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