September 19th, 2008
07:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Biden in hot water with some Ohioans

Biden may have upset some crucial swing state voters.
Biden may have upset some crucial swing state voters.

(CNN) - Joe Biden's off-the-cuff remarks on the trail have at times taken the Obama campaign off-message, but the Delaware senator's latest riff just may have landed him in hot water with voters - and die hard football fans - in a key battleground state.

Speaking to members of the University of Delaware football team Friday morning, the Democratic VP candidate said he thinks the Fightin Blue Hens (1-1 this season) could thrash a certain team from Ohio.

"I was out in Ohio," he said while fiddling with a football in his hands. "I told the folks in Ohio that we'd kick Ohio State's ass!" (It remains unclear if Biden actually ever told Ohio voters this.)

Biden, a proud University of Delaware alum, was clearly trying to rally his Division 1-AA team ahead of their match-up with Furman this weekend, but the comments couldn't have come at a worse time for faithful Buckeye fans who saw their team suffer a 35-3 trouncing at the hands of USC last weekend.

The comments also come as polls show the race in Ohio could hardly be tighter: A CNN poll of polls in the Buckeye state shows Obama holding a slim 1 point lead there. Close enough, presumably, that enough angry OSU fans could just make the difference - at least that's what Republicans are hoping.

The state GOP is already attacking the Democratic ticket over the comments, as well as his comments yesterday suggesting it was patriotic for some wealthier Americans to pay higher taxes.

"As if his comments about it being a patriotic duty for Ohioans to pay higher taxes weren't bad enough, now Biden is taking pot shots at the Buckeyes," GOP State chair Bob Bennett said. "Barack Obama and Joe Biden must really think they can win this election without Ohio, because they're doing their best to lose it with stupid comments like these. Keep talking, Joe."

David Wade, a spokesman for Biden said, “I think this episode explains exactly why we’ll win Ohio: Joe Biden is loyal to his home team, and John McCain is loyal to President Bush."

"We forgive the Republicans on this one, though," he added. "After watching John McCain flip flop on everything from taxes to torture, they’re just mystified by someone who takes a position and sticks with it.”

UPDATE: Michigan Democrats, fans of OSU arch rival University of Michigan, weighed in on the back-and-forth, calling John McCain a "Panderer in Chief" for recently purchasing Ohio State apparel on a campaign swing.

"John McCain won't be hailing any victors on Election Day if he thinks Michigan fans will let this recent pander slide," said Liz Kerr, a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party.

soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. temi

    MCCAIN SAID HIS PRESIDENTIAL RACE WAS COS OF AMBITION

    September 19, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Michael

    Oh this is such a non story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Terry, Dallas Texas

    Is this the best that the Ohio GOP can do? Attack Biden on a comment over college football? I don't recall the NCAA rankings having any effect on my pocketbook or the national debt. Idiots.

    September 19, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Sweetgreen

    CNN.... you have got to be kidding. Why would you link politics to a football game and think that people are all of a sudden gonna change their vote based on a politician standing behind his team. Furthermore, people vote based on issues, not a freaking football game.

    September 19, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Jeff in Illinois

    OH – IO-BAMA!

    September 19, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Joseph

    It's sports...sheesh.

    Fight On!

    September 19, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Bayou Joe

    OH MY GOD... Biden has finally stepped in doodo. What next, is he going to thrash that other team up north as Woody used to call them, so that he can appease the Columbus faithful.

    GOBlue. GO Palin, kick his butt in the debates.

    September 19, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Wisdom

    I'm not an Obama/Biden supporter but can clearly see this was a football rivalry statement... and I'm sure Ohio will see it as nothing more.

    Come on CNN... this one's pretty weak don't you think?

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. sky

    What kind of person wouldn't favor their own school for heavens sake....thats healthy.....have IQ's dramatically dropped around here?

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Roland

    You have got to be kidding me! This is newsworthy?

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Support the fight to free America from GOP

    At point of economic crisis Biden made so many economic issues and plans All CNN Could Come Up With is Biden's Comment On football?
    Rididculous

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Tony

    If a comment about a football team gets people voting republican then this country deserves EXACTLY WHAT IT GETS!

    Like I've always said, Americans are the most apathetic, ignorant, whiny, unaware and irresponsible people on the planet

    The simple fact that the GOP has jumped on this already, which will probalby be a new attack ad any minute, shows how desperate they are.

    And I used to think Ohioans were intelligent. Silly me!

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Tiffany

    If this is all it takes for someone to run and vote for McCain. This country is in worse shape then anyone ever imagined in their wildest nightmare.

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. L

    Sen Biden, you just cant help yourself. trying too much to be the average joe, forgetting its an election year and everything you say is being heard. Bit like Obama's bitter white folk clinging to guns and religion

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. arnolde

    Even banana republics don't waste time on foolishness like this.. jeesh

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Elizabeth in Texas

    Get it over GOP! It's football! Geeze. What babies these Republicans are!

    September 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Support the fight to free America from GOP

    CNNcrap
    At point of economic crisis Biden made so many economic issues and plans All CNN Could Come Up With is Biden's Comment On football?
    Ridiculous

    September 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Linda31

    Lol, are they serious??? Crying over competition for a football game? They would have been calling Biden a liar if he was to rally for the Buckeye against his former school.

    September 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Independent supporting Obama

    Another great stunt and what a nicely written Pro-McCain story. People of Ohio are not stupid.

    There's a saying in Texas
    Fool me once shame on you
    Fool me twice........basically it means you cant fool me again.

    Ohio will go for democrats. Absolutley...yup, yup.

    September 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Sue

    So, no one can display some school spirit for your alma mater? It's come to this? (sigh)

    September 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Madeleine

    Biden, gaffs and laughs we can rely on.

    September 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Brian L

    I don't think that Ohioans are so simple minded to decide the future of their country based upon a college football rivalry. It is sorry that the Ohio Republican Party has such an unflattering opinion of its citizens to suggest that Biden's allegiance to his alma mater would decide the election in Ohio.

    September 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    ONLY in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania would they get cheesed off because someone said they could be whooped in sports...but to let it actually make VOTERS made with a VP candidate? As a native Pennsylvanian, with family in Ohio, I can say first-hand that these people have little to live for but to honestly be mad at a politician and have it possibly affect one's vote???? Did someone say "bitter"? Let's add their sports teams to the things that they cling to.
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 YES WE CAN (If we all decide to be ADULTS about this).

    September 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. ken

    All I can do is lol!

    September 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. PA voter

    Smack talk about college teams means Obama-Biden don't think they need Ohio votes? Isn't part of the fun of being a fan is that you get to talk "smack"? This is ridiculous!

    September 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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