October 14th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
6 years ago

Biden disappointed McCain will raise Ayers in debate

Sen. Biden said Tuesday that he is disappointed with some of the tactics planned by his longtime friend Sen. John McCain.
Sen. Biden said Tuesday that he is disappointed with some of the tactics planned by his longtime friend Sen. John McCain.

LISBON, Ohio (CNN) – Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday afternoon he is disappointed John McCain is planning to bring up Barack Obama's acquaintance with 1960s radical Bill Ayers at Wednesday night’s debate, but said all Obama has to do to win is repeat his last two performances.

“I think what the debate has shown, the last two debates, is a guy who's confident and steady, and a guy who's not quite sure of where he wants to take the country,” said Biden, waiting for a cheeseburger and shake at Lisbon’s Steel Trolley Diner. “I think all Barack's got to do is repeat the performance he's had the last two times out. I feel good about it, I have total confidence in him.”

Asked how he feels about news that McCain said Ayers will come up, Biden seemed to hope his old friend the Arizona senator would change his mind.

“I'm disappointed, but we'll see. Let's see what, what he does.”

In every campaign speech, Biden makes sure to tell supporters that he and McCain have been friends for decades, and just disagree on policy. He likes to tell a story from the 2000 campaign when McCain and his family were being personally attacked by supporters of then-Texas Gov. George Bush, Biden called McCain and offered to hit the trail to vouch for his character.

So why doesn’t he call McCain now about the character attacks the Arizona senator is launching against Obama?

“I know John knows my views. I know he knows my views. I expressed them in a – in a slightly different way earlier,” said Biden after explaining he tried to call McCain around 9/11.

“I was proud that John decided to take on some of that attitude that was expressed at his, one of his campaign rallies. And I hope he keeps it up,” Biden said, but added he thinks McCain’s ads featuring Ayers are over the top.

“I think the average person looks out there and sees this guy who they say is a known terrorist, and I think they – the vast majority of the American people associate terrorism with, you know, radical Islamic groups and al Qaeda. I just think it's – I think it's over the top.”

Biden has done a number of national and local interviews since being tapped as Obama’s running mate, but his staff has kept him sequestered from the reporters that travel on his campaign plane. The impromptu Q&A in Lisbon was the first time Biden has spoken to the press traveling with his campaign in over five weeks.

soundoff (283 Responses)
  1. Custer's Last Stand--NOT.

    I'm not disappointed, McCain is a coward and knows he can't win on the issues. Bring it on John, we'll be waiting for you.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 14, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. DebM, Allentown, PA

    And I hope that when McCain brings up Ayers, Obama calmly reiterates his relationship with him, and then turns to McCain and says...

    "So John, I hope that I've satisfied any concerns you have about my relationship with Mr. Ayers. Now will you please explain to me how you can stand idly by while your supporters threaten my life at yours and Palin's rallies? Where is your sense of decency?"

    October 14, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. TC, Fl

    Barack Obama (Community Organizer) + CRA + ACORN + James Johnson + Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae kickbacks + Barney Frank + Chris Dodd + Chuck Schumer + Democrats blocking GSE regulation

    They all add up to a housing market and Wall St. meltdown – bad judgment at best, and corruption at its highest level at worst.

    Add to that Tony Rezco + Rev. Wright + Farrakhan + Ayers = more bad judgment

    I just wonder how many of those risky mortgages Barack Obama enabled are now in foreclosure!!!

    Leadership we just don't need.

    October 14, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    McCain has no integrity, no honor, and very bad judgment.

    I'm voting early day after tomorrow for Obama/Biden. I know my vote is legal, and it had better be counted.

    October 14, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Jake

    McCain would be stupid to bring this up. He's now given Obama 3 full days to prepare a specific response to any possible mention of Ayers.

    October 14, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Obama/Biden08inJesus'Name

    Let's keep donating and praying for Barack!

    October 14, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Tim

    It doesn't matter if he brings up Ayers if he doesn't bring up Wright. He has some weird false sense of moral debt to not raise Wright. He should, because he's a legitimate issue and without talking about Wright, Rezko, Hayes, ACORN etc., talking about Ayers doesn't do much.

    October 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. McHoover Will Destroy What is Left of America

    McCain and Palin are just showing their true character . . . um . . . I mean lack of character

    October 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Marylou

    If McCain brings up AYERS then Obama can look McCain in the eye and address it and put it to rest, if such a thing is possible with the mud slinging Republicans. They are supposed to sit, facing each other, lets see if McCain can look Obama in the eye.

    October 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Toni

    This is fine, but where the heck is the BREAKING NEWS concerning McCain and his transition chief's ties to lobbyists for Saddam freaking Hussein?

    You'd think the media would be all over this?

    October 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. dee

    This will be the last nail in the coffin for McCain's campaign. He can't attack Obama on the message, so he attacks the messenger. Always a mistake.

    October 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Baze

    I think Obama shouldn't even answer. Just let McCain posture, and turn the lights out on himself.

    ONE NATION

    October 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Yes, Bring It Up

    I'm an Obama supporter and I say raise everything question–bring it on. Now is the time to have everything asked, and answered. In the end, I will still vote for Barack because he and Joe are the only ones with integrity. After 8 years of GW, we need that.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Republican Voting OBAMA

    Call him out he needs to know that we are watching his every move, him and his Moose Burger friend from Alaska or wherever.

    Obama/Biden change we need now.

    October 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Victor from MI

    McCain is the very definition of dishonor and hypocrite. I hop he brings up Ayers and ACORN. It would be funny to see Obama brings out McCain's own "terrorist" ties as well as the video that is floating around the net where McCain gave a big speech AT AN ACORN CONFERENCE.

    McCain, honorable? NO...Hypocrite? YES YES YES!!

    October 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. RWG

    Let's hope Sen. McCain brings it up so that it can be put to bed once and for all. Afterward, Obama can then focus on the more important issues of the debate for which Sen. McCain will have no credibility or plan. Let's hope McCain continues the rally cry to"fight" instead of "think and act."

    October 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. S Callahan

    What do you say Joe, should you give him a call?

    I think Obama just needs to say..I was 8 yrs old...
    I think McCain needs to realize he will offend alot of families who had children ,young adults, who made bad decsisions early on but improved their lives in adulthood and became helpful and productive citizens. Basically, that is Ayers story. He grew up.

    October 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. America the Stupid

    The more McOLD brings it up, the more people leave his side. They are sick of it and no one cares

    October 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. the other jd

    McCain trying to resurrect this dead horse will just further alienate independent voters who want to hear about real issues. I am hoping McBush will bring it up, so that Obama can put this puppy to bed once and for all.

    October 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. CJ-OBAMA ALL THE WAY IN VA

    Bring it on GRANDPA!! Wait, just wait for the answer...we havebeen waiting on you to get some NADS!! Good luck tomorrow night because you cannot win and long as the economy is in the toilet.

    October 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. former republican for OBAMA

    This is all McCain has left.

    October 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. And A Child Shall Lead Them

    Barack will make this country proud.

    Oh and by the way, he's not an Arab or a Muslim, even though there's nothing wrong with being either. Grow up, you people are so high school.

    October 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. Chris from STL

    Let Mr. McCain ask this question face to face. I've heard Obama answer this question several times in the media .... I'm satisfied with his answer.

    October 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Vickie

    I quess McCain will try just about anything to get elected. I don't think the American people are as dumb as McCain thinks they are..

    Go Obama......

    October 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. Concerend

    Shame on John McCain,

    I hope the audience boos him. Enough is enoug!

    October 14, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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