September 22nd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Biden strikes back at McCain over judgment

Sen. Biden took aim at McCain on foreign policy and national security Monday.
Sen. Biden took aim at McCain on foreign policy and national security Monday.

BALTIMORE, Maryland, (CNN) - One day after John McCain questioned Barack Obama’s judgment to be commander-in-chief in front of the conference of the National Guard Association, Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden came to his defense in front of the same gathering Monday, hitting McCain on foreign policy and national security.

Biden also countered John McCain’s accusation that behind Barack Obama’s views “lies the ambition to be president.”

“No one party has a monopoly on virtue or good ideas,” said Biden. “We can question each other’s judgment, that’s what elections are all about but we have to stop questioning each other’s motives and each other’s patriotism.”

“We all put ‘country first,’” he added, borrowing the McCain camp’s slogan. “When John and I send our sons to war, they don’t wear a Republican flag or a Democratic flag. They wear the American flag.”

McCain’s son Jimmy, a Marine lance corporal, has served in Iraq. Biden’s son Beau, Delaware’s attorney general and a member of the state’s National Guard, will be deploying there this fall.

Like McCain’s Sunday remarks, Biden’s lines on patriotism and the American flag got a rousing reception from the crowd. The crowd was silent during his attacks on the Republican nominee.

The senator raised eyebrows among reporters when he veered off his prepared remarks toward the end, replacing short, punchy lines ending with “John was wrong, Barack was right,” with lengthier arguments that referenced his own experience and understanding.

“Whoa!” exclaimed Biden after saying that McCain had asserted before the Iraq war that there was no history of conflict between Sunnis and Shias. “One of my problems is maybe I read too much history. There’s an overwhelming history, an overwhelming history ladies and gentlemen, 1200 years of it, of clashes between Sunnis and Shias.”

“You want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” he later added. “I can tell you where they are. John says he’ll follow them to the gates of hell. You don’t have to go to hell. Just go to Pakistan. Just go to that area. That superhighway of terror that exists between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The original text also ended with the argument that in order to have a strong military, there needs to be a strong economy. Forgoing the planned conclusion, Biden left out the news of the day and a chance to promote the plan Obama was introducing in a “major” economic speech.

Biden heaps praise on the National Guard at every campaign rally and Monday spoke glowingly of the domestic and international work the National Guard has done, and pledged to increase medical and economic support in light of increased service burdens in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Barack and I are here, we are going to set this straight,” he said.


Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. biff

    Gary said:
    Palin as the best candidates for the president and vice president job. 20,000 showed up to see Obama and 60,000 to see McCain/Palin. Wow!
    _ _ _ _ ___ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    DOES THIS MEAN THAT CELEBRITIES ARE "GOOD" NOW ???

    September 22, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Jim in Raleigh

    Was it not McCain who wrote that his desire to run for President was simply because he just wants to be President? I would say that's nothing but blind ambition.

    September 22, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Jayson

    Biden wants to talk about judgement and yet this is the same guy who was against freeing Kuwait after they were invaded by Iraq. He was for regime change until the regime change and invading Iraq. He also thinks that being rich and paying higher taxes make you more Patriotic. So I guess paying a lower percentage in taxes or no taxes makes you unpatriotic? The founding fathers never tried to make the rich pay higher taxes so I guess that makes them unpatriotic. Patriotic acts are acts that people choose to do on their own, not something they are forcecd into.

    September 22, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. William

    The reason the economy is weak is not because of Iraq, it is because of the poor lending practices of mortgage companies and banks that they were forced into by the Clinton Administration in the 1990s. Obama wants to significantly downgrade the military so I absolutely believe John McCain will keep this country safer. Good to see one day go by without Biden "putting his foot in his mouth." The media defends this guy's comments by saying "That's just Joe being Joe," when we all know that the media would not afford any conservative that leniency if they made the same remarks.

    September 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. KATHLEEN

    COUNTRY FIRST: WE, UNCLE MCSAM, want you kids.
    We, want your taxdollars.
    Be generous.
    We want to end entitlements for you!
    We, the Senators, and Congress like to take taxpayer funded
    trips around the world with Liebermen and Graham.

    September 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. CNN: PLEASE, I'M BEGGING YOU, PLEASE INVESTIGATE THESE WORDS FROM THE BAILOUT PLAN!!!

    CNN, Is this true? I hear that these 32 words are part of the "bailout" plan:

    Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

    Wow...

    September 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Mel in GA

    You go JOE!!!

    You and Barack got my vote today in GA!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Silence Dogood

    “No one party has a monopoly on virtue or good ideas,” said Biden.

    Funny that has been Obama's campaign: He is the One, the Only, the Savior, the Change. Obama does think HE has a monopoly on virtue. And he is a victim to boot!

    I wonder this didn't stick in your throat when you said it.

    September 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Recently, Republicans have been trying to distance them selfs from their own party. I have never seen anything like it in my life. All Biden and Obama should do is keep reminding voters who got us into this mess. Keep reminding voters that Mccain is a nice guy, but in the end he is a Republican. Like i said before, Republican are lobbyists fooling the American people into thinking they are conservatives. Johm Maccain would have easily won if he admited his parties failures and promised the country a new and diffrent direction such as Obama has done with his party.

    September 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. Rich

    McSame, weren't you the one who said you wake up every morning wanting to be President? Did you say in your own book that you want to be president more than anything?

    September 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. randy

    JOE GIVE THEM HELL. THE DONT KNOW WHO THERE PLAYING WITH OBAMA/BIDEN 08!

    September 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. claudia dick

    go get that sucker joey .now he bite of more than he can chew.

    September 22, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Kara

    McCain and Palin support the war effort 100% not only in Iraq and Afghan., but other countries as well. Beware, the DRAFT will be coming for a loved one near you.

    OBAMA/BIDEN

    September 22, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. white independant in small town uSA

    lol cnn..i LEFT COMMENT, YOU DID not PRINT IT..pALIN- mCcAIN, STRAIGHT OUT OF HELL, WITH THE bIBLE QUOTE, THE DEVIL IS FATHER OF ALL LIES, AND GUESS WHO THEIR FATHER MUST BE..OBAMA -bIDEN MOST HONEST, AND USES BEST JUDGEMENT..PALIN ONLY USUES RELIGION TO GET THEIR VOTE..THEY OVER LOOK PALINS LIES..GOD WONT.....
    OBAMA _BIDEN..THE REAL CHOICE

    September 22, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. pa.joe

    The McCain/Palin campaign has taken name calling, smear attacks and lying to a whole new level.
    Now I realize that in a political campaign there will be some truth stretching and name calling but what McCain/Palin have been doing this past few weeks is reprehensible.
    Iraq is war based on lies, fought to protect our oil interests and big oil profits.
    Calling folks who do not support it unpatriotic is something I'd expect from a guy like Vladamir Putin not a freedom loving American.

    September 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I really like Joe Biden. He knows what he is talking about I agree with everything he has to say with regard to military and foreign policy. Just because John McCain is vet does not mean that he knows what is best for our military women and men. I think that Obama's voting record is far more affirmative of vet issues than McCain's.

    September 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. joel

    Paqlin's soul purpose of being the VP pick is to devert attention from the real issues of the day. Any time there is news about the Economy, something comes up about Palin's family, etc IT WON'T WORK America is smarter and better than that!

    September 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Sarah So NJ

    no duh.. it's the ECONOMY STUPID!

    I'll bet Cheney and pals will survive just fine

    w/13 cars the price of gas must not bother McCain too much.

    September 22, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. Filipina

    Obama/Biden=TRUTH
    McSame/Failin= PATHOLOGICAL LIAR.

    Well said VP Joe, go get em!!!!

    obama/biden

    September 22, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Joe Regis

    Biden is the real deal. Now the repubs are letting Palin do the dirty job of lying to the people. No matter where the lies are from, the people has had enough of the repubs.

    Obama/Biden 08/12.

    September 22, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. sal

    Biden is out there everyday-unafraid to talk to voters, the media, and to groups such as this. He walks the walk, and should be congratulated for his willingness to be up front and let America know him and what he stands for.

    palin, the gop cretin, is to be congratulated for lying, evading an ethics probe, parading her kids around for attention, lying, making raped women pay for the rapekit evidence, hiding her official email, firing anyone who disagrees with her, lying, and being a miserable parent example. Oh, and let;'s not forget her COMPLETE FEAR OF THE MEDIA--WE DON'T NEED A CHICKEN FOR VEEP. SHE IS IN HIDING FROM THE MEDIA BECAUSE OF HER....WELL....HER SHEER IGNORANCE.
    palin is a COWARD, PURE AND SIMPLE. A TURN AND RUN COWARD.

    JOE BIDEN IS A COURAGEOUS AND GREAT MAN. HE IS NOT AFRAID OF THE MEDIA, AND HE RESPECTS OUR RIGHT TO KNOW WHO WE ARE ELECTING.

    GO HOME, COWARD PALIN, AND HIDE IN ALASKA.

    September 22, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. george

    Way to go Joe. The US Militaryy is neither Republican or Democrat. Republicans have a tendency to wrap themselves around the military as the only patriotic Americans. Support of the military comes from all taxpayers. In fact I feel that political campaigning should be forbidden at all military bases. John McCain feels that he has an entitlement to the Presidency because of his militarey service.

    September 22, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. Chloe

    I suppose Sarah in a bathing suit toting a shot gun was done to attract the redneck voters. I doubt anyone falls for this type of low-life politics.

    OBAMA/BIDEN in 08

    September 22, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. Karen - Missouri

    McCain and Palin and Bush have been "egging" Russia on. They WANT confrontation. McCain and his lobbyist friend from Georgia goaded Russia into action. So has Bush.

    Obama and Biden are a great team. And they're right on when they tie our economy to national security. A strong economy is needed to remain strong.

    If you ask me, Bush and McCain are planning something. Can't quite put my finger on it totally just yet...but it IS adding up.

    it's almost like Bush and McCain (who are obvious oil company puppets) actually WANT this country to be weak.

    September 22, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. Diana

    McCain and Palin will say and do anything to attract a vote.
    OBAMA in 2008!

    September 22, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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