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. poor johnny mack

    i can see taco bell from my house.

    September 29, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Steve, Madison WI

    Based on Palin's rambling responses to the few interviews and questions she's taken, her reference to "second grade" seems appropriate.

    I can't believe she is still on the ticket. While the "base" still loves her, Independents are running away scared as they contemplate her potentially having her finger on "the button" someday.

    She makes Bush look smart and that's scary!

    September 29, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Dameun Strange

    If that is the best she can do, I am not worried. Biden doesn't even have to respond...we all saw the 3 interviews.

    September 29, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. KMAN

    She is simply a shrill and empty skirt.

    September 29, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Dem for McCain

    They all go to debate boot camp. If they don't, as Obama showed Friday, they should.

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Tainopower

    Will Biden tell palin that she is right? like obama did on the presidential debate . Obama say 7 time that McCain was right. Will his age affect him whit his gaffles ? Will he undermined the women of this country like he has done in the past? my take is yes he will.

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. chelle

    Sarah Palin is trying to tell us that she was following politics in the second grade so avidly that she was aware of a Senator from Delaware's speeches. Yet this is the same person that DID NOT KNOW what the Vice President of the United States does???? Oh please....Sarah Palin has let yet another lie given to her by her handlers cross her lips.

    As for clean coal – no such animal exists, which was Joe Biden's point. There are methods to make coal use cleaner...but not CLEAN.

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Justin

    Nice cheap shot on Biden's age.

    God forbid anyone mention the fact that McCain is old without an uproar from the right.

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Rj

    With the country in crisis, we can't afford to even joke about Sarah possibly being anywhere near the White House. I'm scared!

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Phil, CA

    Maybe Biden should retort with, "Well, McCain started his career off debating a T. Rex. But wait, Sarah Palin probably doesn't believe in dinosaurs."

    That comment makes her sound like the spoiled little brat she is. Can she say something INTELLIGENT for once?!?!?!?

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. A concept no one is talking about?

    CNN – Please Post this – Comment Re: McCain's public comments about attending the Presidential Debates

    I would also like to interject that if McCain is aiming towards transparency if elected as our President then why did he not tell all of us (Americans) that there was no Republican elder that would be at the Economical Bailout and that was why he flew back to Washington? Instead he put everyone into a tail spin because we did not understand his position. This tells me that he was making a political attempt to throw the entire debate and the polls to slant his direction because he KNEW he was loosing ground....

    McCain does not speak the TRUTH!

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Victoria

    Does she not realize how old her running mate is? This is beyond pathetic.

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Dave G, minneapolis

    I've been hearing about democrats and republicans since 2nd grade...and neither has solved the problems they've been presented with. In fact now they ARE the problem.

    So, I'm voting Libertarian this year.

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. hurriCAIN PALIN

    by-then(biden) is not of 'change'

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    I'm sick of all these pundits out here telling Biden he needs to go easy on Palin at the debate, but in the mean time, she saying what every she wants about Biden and Obama on the trail. Screw that crap, she's in the big league now so I say treat her like everyone else running for office, go after her hard and show no shame!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. wwf

    She better get her shots in while she can, especially from a distance. If the gloves are allowed to come off on Thursday, she is going to wish she had stayed home. Oh, she could always cry foul, because she is a woman who wants to act like a man, talk like a man, just not be treated like a man. Glad to know sexism is alive and well.

    September 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. anonymous

    Hoping she'll bbe sorry after this debate, and may be decide to bow out.

    September 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Matt

    She couldn't even handle Katie Couric. How does she plan on handling Biden. She must have been a cheerleader in high school as she is doing a great job of that now...what a horrible pick by McCain

    September 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Bit

    Steve and Dick has been preparing her to be condecending to Biden out because he won't say anything back to her because she's a lady (not).

    September 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. People make no sense

    Osama Bin Laden's intention on 911 was to destroy our economic structure. Plan well executed.

    Thanks to John McCain and his experience.

    September 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Conni Bessette from Florida

    This is a minor mistake compare to her interview with Katie Couric

    September 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Vern

    This woman needs to keep her mouth shut because she knows nothing. She's talking about Biden age, just how old is McCain? Does she realize than McCain is older than Biden!? She is a nutcase!

    September 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Penny

    When John McCain announced his choice for VP, I felt amazement. After a few days and "performances" I felt wonder. A few times I felt frustration and ire. Now, watching this poor creature with no skills, not alot of intellect and, amazingly, no self awareness, I just feel pity.

    September 29, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Andrea KC

    This woman is dumber than I thought. I she seriously attempting to make fun of Biden's age and years in the senate? Has she ever met John McCain. Seriously McCain is 6 years older than Biden (McCain born in 1936; Biden born in 1942). Instead of wasting time acting like a dumb blond (no offense to the smart blonds in the world) she needs to spend her time preparing for the thrashing she'll receive in Thursday night's debate.

    September 29, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. demwit

    Or perhaps Joe will be more charitable to Sarah. Oh wait..., that's right, Joe doesn't do charity.

    September 29, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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