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. Ginger

    Like we've never said that about our favorite college team, especially when rivals are competing. Pundents, get a life!

    September 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Laura

    Get a life, if you think a silly football remark is more important than who runs our country, you are as dumb as a box of rocks and you should vote for M/P.

    September 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Adam

    It's sports. It's fun to dog other schools. I have more respect for guys who remain true to their schools than those that change allegiance based on what state their in.

    This is such a non issue and the GOP knows it

    September 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. sheri

    so he likes the Delaware team...I graduated from UD, we love our football...what's the problem?

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Palin hates Bullwinkle

    what? Change your vote because of football? Hahahaaha....silly!

    I cant believe someone can be this stupin. Come on! Really?

    Proud Obamatron,Obamanut,Obamabot

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. William in Mount Dora FL

    Who above the mental age of 8 cares about which football team can beat which other team? Think about the human beings who are suffering in this economy and in this war. Go Obama/Biden!

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Brett

    wow, if the republican party of ohio is going to get upset over this, i think we should all just keep quiet and not speak because we might hurt their little feelings. I thought it was the other way around?

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. James

    I'd say about 75% of those Ohio voters who could vote either way have never even attended college, let alone Ohio State University. So, for this to be a "hot water" issue with said voters only proves how dumb America has become in some parts of this country (swing states).

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. JDM

    Only people who done play sports would belive that line. If this is the best the GOP got today? Ok then!
    Ohio still need jobs, gas, oil,schools, Meds. Are you guys going to talk about that or Bidens joke about football?

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Tejano

    Those idiot Buckeyes probably won't vote for Obama anyway. Go ahead and offend them Joe. Nothing but a bunch of losers clinging to their religion and guns. Now the Wolverines that is another story. Smart boys up north going for Obama.

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Tony

    Hear! Hear! Tiffany.

    The saddest thing of all, is that with a lot of people, a simple comment over a football team is all the excuse they need to do soemthing that stupid!

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Oh no! The presidency of the United States is going to hinge on.. Not issues, but sports? Give me a break.

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Reality

    WE BUCKEYES STILL WANT REAL LEADERS and OBAMA / BIDEN are the REAL ANSWER FOR OHIO and this COUNTRY.....NOT MCCAIN / PALIN !!!!

    OBAMA / BIDEN / BRUTUS 2008

    GO BUCKS !!!

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Truthiswhatweneed

    Come-on CNN!!

    Obama/Biden-08

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Elana, Melbourne Florida

    trust me folks- the american people are WAAAAYYYYY beyond football and lipstick and pigs and clinging bitter people and all the nonsense crap. This is meaningless. Obama's gonna win. No worries.

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Independent for O'Bama

    Give me a break Ohioans!

    Please tell me that you are not that shallow. Please tell me that you care more about the economy and the direction this country is going than you do about the Buckeye football team.

    This article is such a waste of space. Shame on you CNN and shame on you Ohio GOP for trying to make something out of nothing, as always.

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Kevin PA

    only in Ohio ..... the same geniuses that voted for Bush

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Sue/PA

    Please spare us all this nonsense.................

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Jerry

    This is sports banter. Why is this a story?

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. John Driscoll

    If you care more about a college football team than the future of our country, go ahead and vote for John McSame.

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. CNN= CONSTANT NON NEWS

    Biggest NON-STORY of the DAY...

    who the hell votes FOOTBALL over HEALTHCARE, EMPLOYMENT, and 2 WARS.

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Cindy in the Carolinas

    GO FU!!! Furman University that is.

    September 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Joe

    Where is Hillary?

    Biden is a loser.

    September 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. HSNP

    I didn't know Delaware had a football team. GO HOGS!!!!!! BEAT TEXAS!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. hurriCAIN PALIN

    hey biden, way to go on winning them over. hopefully word will get out

    to all of ohio.

    September 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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