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. Kate

    This shows that Joe Biden can go OFF SCRIPT and still be knowledgeable and insightful. Palin has to read line for line and they can't even let her debate like the rest of the candidates. Talk about special treatment.

    September 22, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Grace

    WELL, WELL said Sen. Biden.

    It's funny how Sen. McCain wants to politicize "patriotism" when it's CONVENIENT FOR HIM!! This coming from a POW is truly SHAMEFUL!!

    My two sons and three daughters fighting in IRAQ right now is NOT wearing a REPUBLICAN or DEMOCRAT Uniform. They ARE wearing an "AMERICAN" UNIFORM!!

    McCain is just "clueless" yet again!

    September 22, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. People make no sense

    This is a message to all criminals. Palin & the republicans have shown you the way. American laws are a joke. You can site executive Palin priviliage and tear that subpeona up. The American government has shown you that they are partisan to you so do whatever you want criminals because you don't have to worry about the subpeonas. Be a criminal like Palin.

    Palin supports criminal activities. Palin is just like her daddy Bush. Executive liars.

    September 22, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. Peter (CA)

    Hey Latinos..

    And what would McCain do for Latinos? This is the guy who was for illegal alien reform, helped author the bill, and then said he would not even vote for his own bill instead of upsetting the conservatives.

    McCain has sold out. His only constituents now are big business, big oil, and anyone who can't stand the idea of not having a Republican in the White House.

    At least Bush could speak some Spanish. How much did he do for you?

    September 22, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. bob

    What's funny is that Palin said she could see Russia from Alaska. If she gets in office we may have to look at it from Canada because she is talking about having war with Russia. hmm, Iraq,Iran, and Afghanistan makes 4 countries that the McCain administration would have our boys fighting. Can we afford that? We need a new person that can diplomatically resolve issues intelligently instead of resorting to war first. You will never gain respect of country leaders by trying to bully them into going your way and your few allies will only go along with you out of fear. When will the American people wake up!

    September 22, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. MikeH

    This is odd CNN.

    The post by "The smartest people will vote..." gets posted, and mine does not.

    Surely mine is less offensive since I 'm not all inclusive in my insults and mine is more accurate since Sarah has been called a liar by Time Magazine no less.

    Why does mine get hung up in moderation limbo and this other ignorant one does not?

    September 22, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Paris

    I like three examples of how OBAMA put his country first please.

    This is what I have:
    1-Obama’s mentor (Wright) attacked America, OBAMA refused to denounce him until Wright called OBAMA a Politian. Country second.

    2-Obama was against the surge because it was unpopular to be for it, although it was a huge mistake for America to leave Iraq at the time. Country second.

    3-Obama decided to sit on a board with a terrorist (William Ayers). Country second.

    4-Obama forced Hillary to back out of the protest against Iran, Iran hates America. Country second, partisan politics first.

    5-Obama spoke in front of 200,000 in Germany never praised this nation. Country second.

    6-Obama chose Biden over Hillary, undeniably Hillary was the better choice for America. Country second.

    The records are to the contrary Mr. Biden.

    September 22, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. People make no sense

    Palin gives O.J. executive priviledge not to go to court. Palin for criminals....

    September 22, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. People make no sense

    Palin puts her country first by freeing all criminals so she can be around her peers.

    September 22, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. georgia

    You get 'im Joe !!!!

    September 22, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. independent

    We all due respect to men and women in uniforms I am tired of McCain/Palin ticket undermining other people patriotism.
    We all love our country, enough is enough stop milking the POW condition of McCain. (My respect to POW's) but I am tired of the Republican attacks to the rest of the country patriotism.

    September 22, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. Steve

    Actually, Biden's son is not going into combat. He is going as a military lawyer. That is the same type of "soldier" that tried to unsuccessfully prosecute the Haditha Marines. Don't be fooled into thinking this is anything but a politically motivated and planned strategy to detract from Palin's son deploying to serve as infantry.

    September 22, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. L. MIAMI, FLORIDA

    THE REAL SMART PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR

    OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA ! WHOOPEEEEE !

    OBAMA / BIDEN

    September 22, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  14. georgia

    So my comments about about Mac's POW time can't get thru. Why not?It's what he always refers to as qualification for president

    September 22, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Another Voter

    Can everyone please get this straight.

    It's: Palin / McCain.

    Thank you.

    September 22, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Baze

    This is why I liked Biden chosen as VP. He shores up the nationalism aspect that people thought Obama lacked

    ONE NATION

    September 22, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. Griff

    Sarah Palin, is gonna be the President of the USA. Only the Women can Decide when. 2008/9 or 2012/13? It's in the, "Almanac of Change"...

    September 22, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. America think for you

    $700 billion to bail out wall street how about main street? America do you realize that that $700 bilion that you will spend will be use to bail out Chinese banks and other foreign banks bad business and then they will sell these business back to us American. We should not let this to happen because the same mess will come back again in wall street. Wall street greed, big ceo payout need to have control over them. This $700 bikkion just show you that the republicans do not care. Congress please do not let George Bush rush you and us American into this mess. Bush has four months in power and he does not care of whatever mess that $700 billion will make.

    September 22, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. MikeH

    Anonymous, did you happen to notice that the American Military and American economy are at the brink of collapse due to Bush's sheer incompetence?

    Anonymous, did you notice that we are unable to supply our military effectively in two small theaters of insurgent warfare?

    Anonymous did you notice how Bush has turned the whole world against America, and that no one else really much cares if the Russians steam their warships into Venezuela harbors?

    Latin America is probably glad the Russians have arrived and are checking an increasingly unstable America, that now tortures people and launches illegal wars, since that kinda sounds like what NAZI Germany did back in the late Thirties, and Latin America is worried America may invade them.

    September 22, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John McCain was asked about his naval academy standing were he placed 894 out of 899 and why. McCain said he was young and imature. With that being said, after McCain graduated he never attended another college to improve his lack of academic performance. This man is dumber than dumb.

    September 22, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. Wake-up America

    For all you Hispanics out there, I live in South Florida, which is highly Hispanic. And if you honestly believe that McCain/Palin is going to help this housing and economic crisis we are experiencing, you are dumber than I ever imagined. McCain has been part of the problem for yours. He was for deregulating the banking system and now we are experiencing the results of greed.

    That’s another thing I am sick of the labels people give ethnic groups i.e. Cuban American, Hispanic American, African American. When are we going to just be Americans, then maybe this country will go somewhere again.

    WAKE-UP AMERICA

    September 22, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. America think for you

    CNN the truth hurt but, you must post this.
    $700 billion to bail out wall street how about main street? America do you realize that that $700 bilion that you will spend will be use to bail out Chinese banks and other foreign banks bad business and then they will sell these business back to us American. We should not let this to happen because the same mess will come back again in wall street. Wall street greed, big ceo payout need to have control over them. This $700 bikkion just show you that the republicans do not care. Congress please do not let George Bush rush you and us American into this mess. Bush has four months in power and he does not care of whatever mess that $700 billion will make.

    September 22, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. Mervyn Swanson

    We may have no choice with the 700billion bailout but nobody is addressing the real problem. The reason we are where we are is because jobs for americans are all gone to other countries . Without amricans bring home paychecks to pay the morgages and put food on the table ; we will find ourselves right back in the same situation once the 700B is spent by the same good old boys. what do we do then? Bail them out again?

    September 22, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. its me

    biden = idiot
    obama = even a bigger idiot

    go McCain/Palin

    September 22, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. McCain lost another one

    if anyone is interested in the facts...google the McCain Bill 1991, this is legislation McCain pushed through to make it impossible for Americans to get info about POW/MIAs...if you are a Vet or in the service and on the fence, look at McCain's records against the GI bill, his support for the wrong war and dare i say it...his own Military record (which he refuses to release)...John McCain's judgment is wrong on so many things including his VP choice, this is not the man i would want as CIC...."bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran"

    September 22, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.