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. Connor

    Raspberries to the OH Repubs if they take a comment about sports as a political put down. They have been reading the Palin play book too much, to make everything word a sport metaphor. Yee gads.........................

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Rob in vegas

    i can see how this sadly makes news these days, we've put far too much emphasis on such menial things like college sports...

    with that said, if someone is going to decide who they're voting on based on that persons choice of sports team, then we've got bigger problems with the people voting then i'd ever imagined possible. this is a sad day in our countries history if someone goes to the voting booth and says "i'm gonna vote for person X cause person Y likes Team ABC"

    i think i'm gonna go hide in a hole now and hope we make it out of this with some sort of learning lesson about priorities in life.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Jedeki

    The Republicans are clutching at any straws they can. Of course Biden is going to support his home team. Which would you rather have? Someone who dons the hat of the local team and says he's behind them or someone who is willing to say he is proud of his home team?

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Sabrina

    Sky.. Of course people favor thier own school, just a good idea to keep it to yourself. Biden is always putting his foot in his mouth. Another poor judgement on Obama's part McCain/Palin..

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. aware

    So, Biden has always had a foot in mouth problem! That is the risk Obama took in making him his VP! :)

    cari, FYI football is big!

    McCain/Palin 08! :)

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    Huh?...this is a reach even for the republicans.

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Betty

    So he supports his state's team. Big Deal! I think Ohio fans will understand that.

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. thomas

    People are sensitive to comments about their home grown, but this is just typical football banter. I don't think anyone from Ohio would be foolish enough to squander such an important vote over such nonsense.

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Malbork

    Yes, those Ohio voters are so stupid that no issue, no experience, no character, and no qualification is nearly as important as Buckeye love. The Repubs certainly have it right on this one. And if anyone votes for Obama in MIchigan, those loyla Buckeye fans may not even allow registered Dems in Ohio to vote. You know what I love most about Repubs: they are so smart.

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. pdx mcgee

    The GOP is much more desperate than I thought! This is a pathetic waste of "news" space. He is FROM DELAWARE, remember?

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. matt b

    seriously... this is NOT news

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Mo

    It must be a slow news day when you make too much about a college football comment! Do you think Ohioans take the Presidential Elections so lightly? Who would base the future of the contry in these turbulent times on a comment about football!

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. E

    Trash talk about college sports as a reason not to vote for a candidate? Mccain sure is getting desperate.

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. So What?

    It's amazing how stupid our country is

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Oh my gosh! That's like saying Spain is part of the Western hemisphere! That's like saying we might have to go to war with Russia! That's like saying you have foreign policy experience because you can see Russia from your house!

    I guess Biden should've said, "Because I'm in this state, I want this state's team to beat every other team in the country." Then he could never get in trouble.

    Or he could do like John McCain and say something like "I hope Ohio State trounces the Yankees! Go Saints!"

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. fella from Chicago

    Ah..yeah..left wing cosmopolitan non sports minded freaks. It makes a difference to sports crazed people in the midwest. The majority of college football powerhouse teams come from the southeast, midwest, and southwest which is McCain country. Don't let an northeastern elitist belittle a team from the midwest. It will cost you your boss some votes, Joe.

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. karen-phoenix

    These are college allumi talking to other college allumni!!!! Talk to the Fighting Irish of South Bend and you will hear the same thing!!!! College people understand this type of language!!! Get real people or get educated which something McCain and Pelin have no idea about!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. zack,new york, ny

    LOLOL! I love Biden!

    I read the headlines thinking he said something seriously dumb, but this is just Biden the football fan talking.

    SO WHAT!

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. John

    Anyone silly enough to base an important election on a pep-rally statement for a Div-1AA team thrashing a top ten Div-1 team (they don't even play each other) doesn't need to vote. Are Ohio fans that uptight that they think the statement bears any offensive weight? Come on! If Bob Bennett thinks the statement was a huge gaffe must then I've heard it all. And that says a lot during this election.

    September 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. RYAN kr Jr

    CNN, this is stupid. what a pathetic newsline...

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Wake up America

    This is RIDICULOUS... :(

    Is this news?

    EVERYBODY supports their own school team... duh!

    People in Ohio won't choose to vote for McCain because of this.

    Enough said

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Iowan that can think for himself

    It's football!! It's was his alma mater!! If people care about football so much that they are willing to vote against someone because he is cheering for a different football team, then these people are way too shollow and ignorant and they shouldn't be voting. Come one CNN, are you this board that you actually think that this is a election changing event. If you keep writing stories about this crap I will not give you the light of day. Be professional for christ sake and your job!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Ellen in Ohio

    Oh HEEEEELLLLL NO! He did NOT insult our beloved Buckeyes!

    Sorry Obama, there's no way you'll win Ohio now...seriously! Football is religion here. What a boneheaded thing to say about a battleground state!

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Patrick Pritchard

    You peple are idiots. What is wrong with an alumni sticking up for his football team. You people need to get a life. QUit making a big deal out of something that doesn't matter. We have a hell of a lot more serious problems in this country.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Know the other side of Obama B4 U VOTE

    Ha Ha Ha Ha ha ha haha ha ha haHAHAHA A HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HAH

    What a BaaaaaFOON!

    Nice pick Obama. You should have picked Hillary!

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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