September 29th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Palin takes on Biden directly as debate looms


Watch: Gov. Sarah Palin talks about McCain's performance in Friday's debate and what can be expected from her on Thursday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) - Before hunkering down at John McCain's Arizona ranch for three days of debate boot camp, Sarah Palin used a Monday rally in Ohio to throw a few jabs at her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Joseph Biden.

She started by taking a swipe at Biden's age and 36-year tenure in the United States Senate.

"I do look forward to Thursday night and debating Sen. Joe Biden," Palin said while introducing John McCain at a rally here. "We are going to talk about those new ideas, new energy for America. I'm looking forward to meeting him too. I've never met him before. But I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, second grade."

Palin, 44, would have been eight years old when Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 at the age of 29. John McCain was 36.

Palin turned 18 in 1982, the year McCain was first elected to Congress at the age of 46. If elected, McCain, 72, would become the oldest president in United States history.

The Alaska governor has generally shied away from attacking Biden directly while on the trail, although she did use the "second grade" remark in an interview with Fox News two weeks ago. But Monday marked the first time she has openly engaged Biden in her stump speech.

She also challenged her vice presidential opponent on policy grounds. Speaking in a state that's among the nation's leaders in coal output, consumption and reserves, Palin tried to capitalize on Biden's recent criticism of coal production as environmentally hazardous.

"We're not supporting clean coal," Biden said last week in Maumee, Ohio. "No coal plants here in America. Build 'em, if they're gonna build 'em, over there and make 'em clean because they're killing ya."

Palin promised that a McCain administration will utilize clean coal technologies that seek to mitigate the environmental impact of coal production and use.

"Just recently, Sen. Biden made it perfectly clear that in an Obama-Biden administration, there would no use of clean coal at all," she said, drawing boos from the audience. "From Wyoming to West Virginia and especially right here in Ohio, American coal resources are greater than the oil riches of the Middle East.

"And yet Joe Biden says, 'Sorry Ohio, we're not going to use it.' As for Sen. McCain and I, we will make clean coal a reality, and to help power the American economy with clean coal technology, we're going to look to the hard working people of Ohio to help us do that."

Filed under: Joe Biden • Sarah Palin
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Margi

    That's a hoot. She took a swipe at Biden's age. I guess she forget who she was running with. Oh I forgot, its the Palin/McCain ticket. Not to many in Columbus showed up for the rally.

    September 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. tulsa

    I bet she's looking forward to it.

    September 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |

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    Y E A R ***********D C **********D E A D W E I G H T

    September 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. Keith

    Real mature Sarah. Make jokes all you want, because Mr. Biden is going to wipe the floor with you on Thursday night my dear.

    September 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader

    How very Vice-Presidential.

    September 29, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Rob in vegas

    that's creative... attack the age of the guy you're running against without taking into concideration that the guy you're running WITH is older.

    she's a dolt. plain and simple.

    September 29, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. ujw, ny

    Seems a risky tactic to criticize Biden's age – it merely draws attention to McCain's.

    September 29, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Debby

    Good for her and, though the so called Biden is experienced he has made more Gaffe's and wrong votes in the years than most other Senators. This is why he got so few votes for his Presidential bid because of bad voting record and Gaffe's.

    September 29, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Justin, ny

    theres something a little odd about hearing someone from the mccain campaign make fun of biden for his age....

    if obama did the same thing about McCain, you just KNOW the mccain campaign would be up in arms about "ageism ageism – prejudice!!!"

    September 29, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Linda31

    And I guess she was hearing about McCain when she was in her mother's womb.

    September 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Brian

    If she thinks it's a good idea to point out that he's been staring down dictators since she was in second grade, well that's just hilarious and it makes her look naive, confused and terribly mistaken in regard to what the American people really care about. Experience matters, but judgment does too. McCain has experience without judgment. Obama has judgment without much experience. Biden has both. Palin has neither.

    Logically, picking Obama with his good judgment and Biden with his good judgment and experience is much better than picking McCain with his bad judgment and Palin with her bad judgment and complete lack of experience.

    Biden just needs to keep the debate on the issues and she will look so confused and stammering that he'll win by default.

    September 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. 35 Southbound

    If she is going to do that then does that mean that Biden can play with out the kiddie gloves? Or will the McCain camp be shouting sexism?

    September 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Matt

    Hearing Biden speak when in 2nd grade is no big suprise...she did just finish 2nd grade last month, didn't she?

    September 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Anthony

    haha second grade? oh come on lady.......shes going to get shown up in the debate.

    September 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. bij

    if obama did this to mccain we would not hear the last of it! if i were the mccain camp, i'd stay away from the "he's been in washington a long time" attack...@ least biden's not @ the top of his ticket 😉

    September 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Glenn in California

    Oooohh. Scary.

    Caribou Barbie taking a shot before she's locked up for the debate. If McSame was smart, he'd keep her locked up until November 5th.

    Just say NO to Bush 44 and Caribou Barbie.

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    ...and I have only heard of you since the last time I had to shave.

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. Marge

    So obama taking three days last week to practice is no big deal but Palin going to practice is NEWS. After all a woman can't practice but a light weight suit of a man, obama, can.

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Expat in Canada

    Wait, Palin's saying Biden is old? Does she realize who her running mate is? Pot, meet kettle

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. lym

    She is so dumb not even worth it to comment out this CNN!!!

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Brian

    She's probably also been hearing about his senate speeches when it took her six years and four different colleges to get a lousy journalism degree.

    Her selection by John McCain is more reckless than when George W. Bush nominated Harriett Miers for the Supreme Court.

    I can't believe –ANYONE– is still taking her seriously.


    Obama/Biden '08!
    The change we need. Ready on day one!

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Sacto Joe



    Sorry, McCain camp: If you put lipstick on a female right wing-nut christian fanatic, she's still a female right wing-nut christian fanatic.

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. the other jd

    so now the Palin/McCain ticket is attacking someone on their age?

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Coal is not clean energy- period

    And your running mate is a dinosaur.

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. BS VA

    A petty sniper is not exactly the kind of person I want to represent America. This is not high school.

    September 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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