October 14th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
10 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. Gloria, NY

    NOBODY cares what Joe Biden has to say--have you seen how many people show up at his speeches?–about 2,000 on average.

    Sarah Barracuda signs that many autographs from the 25-60,000 people that show up for her speeches.

    Once Sarah gets that albatross (McCain) off her neck, she'll win the presidency in 2012.

    October 14, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. RL

    Pathetic the McCain camp is. The more he brings up non-sensical topics the more points he's losing. I guess that's the only thing left the McCain camp has. They just don't have the answers to what matters most to the American people. How sad.

    October 14, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Stacy from Loudoun County Virginia

    This is what I call "Republican Transference". Think about it, they did this in 2003, they morphed Osama Bin Ladin into Saddam Hussein. Now, they are morphing William Ayers into Barack Obama into Osama Bin Ladin. I know, it doesn't make sense to a normal human being...but to the red meat, fire and brimstone crowd...stoked by Yosemite Sarah...it makes perfect sense!

    October 14, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. DeVone

    his own party members has told him he out of touch they
    do not even stump for him that says a lot

    October 14, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Fritz

    McCain is obviously soiling his pants he is so terrified that he is going to miss his last chance to be president that he is willing to forego his morals. Let us hope our once proud hero thinks better of bringing up negative attack after negative attack and instead will tell us about his plans for the future of this great country.

    October 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Tim

    As long as McCain addresses his part in the Keating's savings and loan debacle and Palin's current ethics violations, I have no problem with Obama discussing what happened in this country when he was 8 years old.

    October 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Bobbie in Maryland

    I hope that the McCain camp will finally realize that the American people areTIRED of these lies & innuendos!!
    My state is going BLUE, so my husband & I have been going into PA for the last several weeks to help out in that swing state. It's looking good there, too!!

    October 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. DaProfessor

    Darn!!! It is rough to watch the old McCain going down the tube. Once a war hero (at least according to his father the Admiral) and now a shadow of his former self. NOW a coward, sending out a woman, the floozy from Alaska, to do his dirty work. Hardly a show of leadership and strength Senator.

    October 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Enough

    Joe, you didn't really expect him to talk about any of the important
    issues that this country is facing did you?

    October 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. Betty777

    Obama should bring up the AIG and the Iran Contra subversive group that McCain served as a board member and oh yes, about his earmarks that no one discusses.

    October 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    McCain is desperate and it shows!

    October 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. McShame

    I would expect Joe Biden to ask McCain about HIS relationships with Keating . . . how about Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond? How about Byrd (a member of the Klan)

    Any why is no-one concerned about the Troopergate report??

    October 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. KD NY, NY

    Biden was just criticizing McCain for not saying it to Obama's face. Now when McCain decides to do it, Biden is disappointed that McCain is going to say it to Obama's face. I've seen flip flops in the Obama/Biden campaign, but that's a pretty quick one.

    October 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. Liz F

    This whole 'affiliated' thing is out to lunch.
    If we want to talk about voter fraud, and questionable affiliations, though, let's look to the republican party.

    Questionable affiliations: McCain's advisors were both lobbyists: one to lobby against regulating Freddie and Fannie; the other lobbied against more regulations in our financial systems.

    These are not men who 'lived on the same block' with McCain, these are men who took money as recently as 2 months ago; and where did all this lobbying lead us?

    The worst financial/economical mess this country have ever seen.

    NOW, let's talk about voter fraud – beginning in 2000, when so many black voters were disenfranchised, not allowed to vote, or the polling place didn't have enough ballots...whatever the reason, the rigging favored the republicans, even to the supreme court, where daddy's and grand daddy's money basically bought the supreme court and gave the election to the republicans.

    And, after Rove, Cheney and the whole lot of thieves basically desecrated our country, our young men and women, our economy; they are willing to wage war via tactics of lies and deception and fear.

    Frankly, McCain doesn' fall very far from the diseased tree.

    And, rather than actually doing some real THINKING, his campaign is willing to sling mud in preference to pondering any real workable solutions; and cry foul and voter fraud when his old worn out message does not translate into polling success.

    October 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Why????

    Who builds people house for free? Palin can you recommend your friend to me.

    My nam is -
    My address is -
    My phone # is–

    Just send it to my e-mail or your website.

    October 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. Lisa

    Yes, truly a disappointment, yet not surprising given the behaviour of McCain and his running mate. Senator Obama will maintain his composure and will be prepared. This is truly a sad day for Republican policitics.
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Jill, New Jersey

    Biden? Do you mean Joe Who?

    This is a lonely guy who can't draw anyone to his speeches. Sarah Palin has more people in the front row for her speeches than Joe Who can get in an entire auditorium.

    This is one sorry guy-let's call him Mr. Lonely from now on–

    October 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. Griff

    We have the History on Our Side... A Granddad....
    Barack Obama is a Liar.... He is a Muslim from Somalia... Whe he tells the Truth...... Then ?????????????????// But he won't..
    Until he Married the Lday he calls his wife now.. He was an ALIEN>>>

    October 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. McShame

    Regarding Ayers – the Annernberg Foundation was from a Reagan devotee!! Also, wasn't Ayers named Citizen of the Year by the City of Chicago??

    BTW – all charges against him were dropped due to misconduct by the feds . . . .

    October 14, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. John

    Talking Sarah Palin and her political future. Looks very likely to be a spell in the Alaska state penitentiary.

    October 14, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. just joe

    hey, cnn....where's my comment???Am I voting for the wrong guy or something?...talk about "controlled press."

    October 14, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. sam222

    Hey did you hear about Biden calling Obama (BARACK AMERICA)
    Yes thats right. You guys are worshiping a cartoon the great (BARACK AMERICA).

    After all he is very funny.

    October 14, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    I am not surprised in the least. It obvious to me and those whom I know that McCain has tremendous disdain for Sen. Obama.

    You can tell a lot about a person when they are down, and McCain has demonstrated that he is vile, mean and rude.

    Actually, I hope McCain does bring up Ayers, so that Sen. Obama can answer him.

    Republicans are going to find out very soon, that we, the People, have rejected their....... lies, hate, division and fear politics!

    October 14, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  24. Obama is for UNITING of the PEOPLE

    Bobbie, New Hampshire October 14th, 2008 5:53 pm ET
    Same for McCain, his number of crowds with out Palin and her hate messages to the type of crowd that she draw, his number was about 100. Most American's are WELL above racial and hateful gatherings....ops...that right, so what they are mean, hateful and racist, as long as you and the Repubs can brag about a crowd, that all that matters.
    Betcha Bobbie JOE.........................

    October 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. Harry

    McCain – keep your mouth shut during the debate. You and palin has said enough stupid things.
    Ayers – Liddy
    Wright – AIP
    cindy & Palin- that is too much garbage. So shut up.

    October 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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