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. D, IN

    Tina Fey should show up to the debate and would do a better job than her.

    September 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    If Palin is so looking forward to debating Joe Biden, then why did her campaign demand rules that prevent the two candidates from asking each other questions.

    And why does she need 2 weeks to rehearse if she is "so ready".

    September 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Wayne

    Can someone tell her that McCain is even older than Biden. Old jokes wont work.

    September 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. John, Encino, California

    I wonder how Joe Biden is feeling going into this debate. If I were him, I would be humiliated. The guy has been in government since Palin was a child and has been all over the world. He's voted on some of the most important issues the country has ever faced and chaired important committees, yet here he is, facing off with a woman who knows just about nothing about anything except what her Republican handlers tell her. What can he do? Attack her inexperience? I don't know. He can't just call her stupid, even though that is her most obvious disqualifier. Palin's insistence on remaining on the ticket would put the whole country at risk if McCain were to be elected. She is both ignorant and ambitious– a dangerous combination in anyone, but especially in a politician.

    September 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Ex Republican

    Good to see Sarah doing away with issues entirely. Now Biden is too old. What's next? McCain saying women have no business being on a presidential ticket?

    September 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. demwit

    If Joe's hair plugs fall out, Sarah can adopt them because Plug goes great with Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow, and Trig..

    September 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Judge

    Palin needs to be careful about what she think she knows and stick to what she actually knows. She is an idoit and so is John McCain.

    September 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. SoCal

    "We will make clean coal a reality." Seriously? Really now? With all of the kick backs given to energy and oil companies over the past 8 years, I fear that a McCain-Palin admin. would just continue "more of the same"...not to over-use Joe Biden's comment at the DNC.
    And by the way CNN, Regan was older at his second inaguration than McCain would be if elected President...

    September 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Lou

    Cant wait either. Sarah is going to rock on thursday night.

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. haha

    yes, she'll build the coal bridge to no where, yaaaaayyyyyy

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. DJ in Colorado

    yes, another repug who is not too good at math.

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Cincy voter

    Palin is going to destroyed by Biden in the debate Thursday. There is no way she can successfully "cram" for it. She isn't anywhere near smart enough to pull it off and failure is inevitable. If her VP nomination couldn't give McBush the long term momentum he needed, and it didn't, then neither will her debate performance. The Obama camp has nothing to worry about. The pitbull in lipstick has proven that she is all bark and no bite. The debate should be fun to watch.

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Ted

    She is the only reason i will vote for democrats this time. She is STUPID, she have no idea whats going on around the world. And above all she pretend that she can run this nation easily, Pls drop out MS.PALIN for the sake of american. God save us all.

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. PD Thomas



    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Diane Mandy

    She's unbelievable. ANd how long has she been listening to McCain speeches?

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Chad in Cincinnati

    Add this to the list of things Sarah Palin says that are either dumb or not grounded in reality... I mean come on, you're running with the guy who wants to be the Oldest President EVER (that has a nice ring to it coming in after Worst President Ever, eh?) and you point out that his opponent's running mate is really old... just 7 years younger than your guy. OR to put it in terms she might understand: if Biden were to become President, he'd be about McCain's age right now, after finishing a second term.

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Repulican destroy the economy and the environment

    Just because you keep calling it "clean" coal doesn't eventually make it clean. There's no such thing as clean coal. It's bad for the environment. Republicans only care about making money, screw Mother Earth. And now Palin is painting Biden as being a permanent Washington figure? Does she know who her running partner is? The economy is in horrible shape thanks to Republicans and lack of oversight. Yet, people are still voting Republican? I just do not get it. Remember when Clinton was leaving office and we had a projected 5 billion dollar surplus in the next 4 years?

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. landi

    BUSH : Bad

    MCCAIN : Management

    PALIN : Policies

    September 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Oseki Otens Evans

    Bring it on! Remember to let americans know why it`s good for rape victims to pay for their own examination bills Sarah, and why you refused to testify in the troopergate scandal and yes, about the witchcraft thing in your church. This will surely be fun, looking forward!

    September 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. BC's like, "What's the difference between a Pit Bull and Sarah Palin? – Pit Bulls are pretty easy to train." I can't believe McCain is going to let her go through with this... I still won't be surprised if she is a no show.

    September 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Not the Grinch

    Well, since she wants to throw jabs at Biden who has barely mentioned her, it's time to hit her with a couple of hooks and uppercuts about her intelligence. Period.

    September 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Young Mom

    Go `palin! ~ You go Girl!! that old man (biden) who`s the boss!
    Sara...Your the best!!

    September 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Low

    Well, at least you did get something right, but you will be 44 when Obama becomes President of the United States

    September 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Daniel va

    blablabla Palin the only think which differ you from Joe is you can see Russia from your kitchen window

    September 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Her juvenile, self-satisfied arrogance and stunted intellect make clear that the only difference between her and George Bush is........lip stick.

    September 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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