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. mike

    actually palin was very revealing and said much between the lines.. she will support and back john mccains' war against the enemies of the U.S. where ever they are, and for how ever long it takes! and she is the pro-life covergirl. mccain and palin in the whitehouse and the puritans will own the supreme court.

    September 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Luis

    Biden, Obama,

    Prepared to be neutered by the "Hockey Mom."

    All the sexist tactics, the laughable "experience" arguments and typical dirty Liberal sliming is going to back fire.

    Obama, your "Chickens are coming home to roost."

    September 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Obama/Biden '08

    Joe Biden is looking like a smarter and smarter choice by the day. He is presenting himself extremely well. Good for him!

    September 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. a d

    Biden is the Number #1 hypocrite in Washington. His son Hunter, a major lobbyist, is being sued and investigated for fraud. Also,
    this is the truth behind the Obama community organizer debate:

    The only reason Obama became a community organizer was to shore up the appeal of his lackluster resume for his Harvard Law School application. This is the strategy of every applicant, who has ambitious goals like Obama. His motivation to serve as a community organizer was driven more by self-interest than that of the community’s interest. He also aligned himself with the powerful Chicago political machine while he was a community organizer. This is a 100% fact. So, stop griping about Palin’s attack on faux community organizers like Obama. Real and selfless community organizers deserve our respect only.

    September 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. seyi

    McCain doesnt put country first...he puts war first! thats a big difference!

    September 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Yeah Joe, I'd be shaking in my shoes. Watch out for those trick questions about the PTA or field-dressing a moose...I can't believe I heard a Fox commentator gushing about Palin's experience with foreign governments being "Alaska is right next to Russia." I guess when you've drunk as much Kool-aid as these people, being the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Comittee isn't as glitzy as running the Wasilla Police Department as part of your mayoral duties; and we've all seen how well that went...

    September 4, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. obamaton

    Obama votes "present" nearly 130 times while serving in the Illinois Senate. You just gotta respect a guy who is keenly aware of his own existence enough to vote "present"! Yessir, he's present, he knows he's present, and has the guts and backbone to stand by his presence!!

    September 4, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. One America

    The Repugs were in rare form last night. Once again they've proven that they are not campaigning to serve all of the American people, but a select few. Unlike the Dem's convention, they had nothing good to say about their opponents. They had no, absolutely no words of encouragement for voters who are not Republicans. It was my way, or the highway. Just as the George Bush Administration was his way or the highway.

    I can tell Karl Rove is running that show. Too bad John McCain wants us to believe he can run the country, when he can't even run his own campaign. Last night was a train wreck and the rescuers were the same wolves in sheep's clothing that "rescued" us before. Well this time, we're not buying it. America is too precious to turn back over to the Butchers of the White House.

    I’m tired of the blue states and red states, the meanest and the schoolyard battles. We have serious problems that will take serious adults to solve. Not some out of touch millionaire and the latest it-girl.

    September 4, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. roddy

    Look at their hands. You can get a better insight into their relationship.

    September 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Brian Wilson

    "Country first" is a distortion? And this guy got elected to the U.S. senate time and time again? Well I guess we should all just admit that America sucks and let radical Islam rule the world.

    September 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. alreadytiredofit

    She needs to be exposed for what she is, whether the format is Biden putting her on the spot point blank or Gwen Ifell (sp?). This will be the best television of the new season! BTW, she is a right-wing nut job who shoots helpless animals from helicopters and airplanes, doesn't believe in global warming and is beholden to BIG OIL!!!
    Just say "no" to Palin/McSame.

    September 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. JIM...TX

    Matt Manchester Biden "lifts" lines from others huh...that PREPARED speech of the puppet last night sounded pretty much like Bush's from 2000-04. Same writer I guess too. Give it up. This BACKwoods gal from Alaska says an does JUST what the handlers tell her! It's called a dog an pony show.

    September 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. sm

    OBAMA bin BIDEN = ZERO al NADA !!!

    September 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |

    I"m already proud of how Obama/Biden are handling the situation.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!!

    September 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. David Nix

    I don't understand Palin's point of Democrats being big government when the Republicans have been the ones in power for the last 8 years. You might want to ignore the cost in Iraq but the bill comes due just the same.
    Her resume does not impress me as the person I want to be a heart beat away from the presidency either:

    Bachelor's in journalism from University of Idaho
    4 years Wasilla City Council (8000 people)
    6 years Wasilla mayor (8000 people)
    1 year "Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission"
    20 months governor of a state with 660,000 people

    September 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Bernadette from the wider world

    Last night I listened to all the speaches, and it was like a comedy roast of Obama this was just like last month when a watched on VHI a comedy roast of Flavour-Flav , But Flavs Roast was better it had more substace LOL

    These republicans really don't it, think they can use comedy to win and election

    September 4, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Obama Supporter from FL

    I love this strategy – take the high road so that only the other side is slinging mud. Sarah Palin should know that when you sling mud, it's awfully hard not to get some on your nice suit.

    September 4, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Dr. WAH

    Gov. Palin did well for herself last evening. I am wondering, do other hockey moms consider themselves pit "dogs." According to Gov. Palin, the only difference is "lipstick"; WOOF!
    It was great how Gov. Palin embraced her pregnant daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law and their approaching marriage during their senior year in high school. So, mothers, fathers and hockey moms, if the Vice-President nominee of the Republican party can embrace her pregnant 17 year old daughter and finace, you can as well if your daughters or sons become parents during their senior year in high school.
    Gov. Palin can sure dish out the negative comments on her opponents. Will she be able to receive comments as well? Or will it be said, that is sexist or unfair to her. Or does it only go one way. Time will tell. Please have a great day!

    Obama/Biden 08 & 12

    September 4, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. lou

    How ugly is this womans heart?????

    September 4, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Cheap Copy Sarah

    Hillary could clean Sarah's clock any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. I'm so glad she's suppporting Barack.

    September 4, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. jr california

    shannon September 4th, 2008 1:15 pm ET
    Ohh Joe….
    The Palin is going to wipe the floor with you.

    Your friends have spent the last 5 days trying to tear her family down…

    You've awaken a sleeping giant and she is angry.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA what does that even mean??? delusions!!

    September 4, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |

    September 4th, 2008 11:40 am ET

    PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending … and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

    THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

    September 4, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. julie


    September 4, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Carol

    SARAH WILL BE PREPARED FOR anything THE OPPOSITION CAN/WILL DISH OUT. She showed AMERICA what she is made of. She is a true pioneer. An AMERICAN, an AMERICAN WOMAN! She does not back down or run from a fight. She will stand her ground and fight for what she and ALL AMERICANS believe in. She will back Senator John McCain. THIS WE CAN BELIEVE IN. This is what America needs, and needs it NOW. We can show the world that we are UNITED, and that WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and PROUD of it and its' GOVERNMENT.
    Give 'em hell Sarah! You are my "John Wayne"

    September 4, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Craig

    Biden is lowering expectations because he's SCARED. Can you blame him? He's afraid of being beat into the ground by a woman.

    You Dems are all the same. It's your way or the highway.

    Democrats have NO chance of doing ANYTHING bipartisan because if you don't agree with a Dem then you're an idiot and ignorant.

    Rioting at the convention? I mean, come on Dems. Get a life!

    Do your homework people and actually learn some things yourself and form your own opinions instead of jumping on the liberal bandwagon, closing your eyes and holding on for dear life!

    The stark differences between Republicans and Democrats can be EASILY seen when you watch the Dem and Rep commentators on CNN et al.

    OFTEN republicans can concede to the other side and even offer kudos and HONEST opinions.

    NEVER can democrats say a good thing about a Republican and FREQUENTLY Dems become angry!

    George Bush hit the nail on the head when he called the Democrats the "angry left".

    And "slamming community volunteers"? Obviously you weren't actually watching her speech because she slammed Obama NOT community volunteers.

    September 4, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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