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. TheTruthHurts

    It was brought up and is interesting that McCain has few Republican leaders stumping for him. I've seen a few, but Obama has a laundry list to thank before every rally.

    Maybe McCain has been set up given many Repubs never liked him and this has got to be the worst environment for an incumbent since Carter.

    October 14, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    Is this all the Republicans have, 6 degrees of separation connects me to Mao Tse Tung, grow up McCain...

    ...oh sorry, you're prime was the Keating 5 scandal.

    Go watch Jeopardy on a rocking chair, and leave the country to younger, brighter, smarter, and more trustworthy men.

    October 14, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Jim Rock

    To Bobbie in NH:

    So . . .

    "25,000-50,000 people show up to see Sarah Palin at a rally"

    that's great . . . and 80,000 watch the Wiggles every morning,
    and 100,000 go to NASCAR every Saturday.

    And 99% of Palin supporters appear to have been lobotomized

    October 14, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. MARY,FLORIDA

    McCain/Palin for Change.Like every 2 seconds.My head is spinning.Well after 8 years of torture my fellow prisioners,whats another 3 weeks of republican torture.

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

    @Gloria NY – I hope for the sake of our nation you are not serious. Look at the damage GW Bush and Cheney have done to this nation – and you want that halfwit in charge? If we're not a third world country when mccain is done, we will be if she's ever president....

    October 14, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. Dallas, TX

    The campaign's going down the negative side. The "real" issues are no longer talked about

    October 14, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    It's okay, Senator Biden.

    The fact that McCain wants to play this card simply underlines his inability to bring up anything substantative in his campaign.

    Voters are swarming to Obama in droves. . .which should tell McCain that he should finish his campaign with some gracefulness. Otherwise his name will be mud for most Americans.

    In a way it is quite sad that his career will end in such a sad state.

    October 14, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. California girl

    GOP is desperate! They'll stoop to anything to win. GOP cannot fool the American public anymore. Why would we want another Republican administration. It's time to get the broom out and sweep the White House clean of Republicans. A change is coming!

    Halleluja...

    October 14, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. sam222

    IF I make a left wing nut job comment insulting Palin will you post it?

    What a stupid question I ask.

    IF I make a right wing nut job comment insulting Obama will you post it?

    NO NEVER NO WAY NO HOW!

    October 14, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. Obama is for UNITING of the PEOPLE

    Yes, Charles Keating............and McCain friend who LOVES Hitler............G. Gordon Liddy (helped plan the Watergate break-in that would cost Nixon his presidency and landed Liddy a four-year jail sentence).

    October 14, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. gEnie

    Well..............will see if Mccain can look straight to Senator Obama eyes and ask him of what he's been saying lately like who's Barack Obama? Obama/Biden are the hope for this great Country. No doubt.

    October 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. Joe

    McCain has his own shady characters he's palled around with. If he looks at the polls and he hasn't risen riding this Ayers wave, maybe he shouldn't do it at the Debate. He will be booed, the debate is in NY!!!

    October 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. chryssa

    You know what? Let him bring it up. That way America can hear the audience and moderator groan, Obama can mention he was 8 years old when it happened, and life will go on. Sheesh.

    October 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. cheney=palin

    bomb bomb bomb iran

    October 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. Barack Uda

    McCain's got issues!!! Yet he can't even address the ones that are affecting the US. Therefore, he can't have any solutions to our problems. In the inimitable words of whomever, McCain –
    "you got nuttin"

    October 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    @ SARAH IN NY:

    PALIN'S 15 MINUTES OF 'FAME' IS ALMOST UP. SHE IS A JOKE.

    Her husband, was a member of the Alaska Independent Party from 1994-2002!

    GOOGLE: ALASKA INDEPENDENT PARTY

    And SARAH PALIN spoke at their convention this year!

    The Alaska Independent Party is a movement to break away from the United States of America!

    Do you really want a person as president who would lie, abuse power, incite violence?

    Thanks........but ..............NO..........thanks!

    October 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Mack

    Sarah Palin president in 2012? Maybe of her grandkid's PTA. She's a reason McCain is going down. I'm one Republican who switched as soon as she picked him.

    October 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. Susan

    I hope that Bill Ayers is sitting in the front row, so we can put this thing to rest. Maybe, he will not be afraid to speak to the media Elite.

    October 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. SF

    For all of you who are so supportive of Palin apparently you haven't stopped to realize that she is just an empty skirt that McCain put on the ticket in hopes of getting the Hillary voter. Thankfully, the Hillary voters are smarter than that.

    Also, her crowd size has been overestimated. The appearance in Virginia Beach boasted of having 25,000 when the place she was appearing would only hold 16,000. The fire marshal of Virginia Beach stated that there were only 10,000 in attendance. Haven't you ever heard of "rubbernecking" when there is an accident..........It is the same with the Palin crowds...........people are only there to see what an accident she is, and, she always delivers!!

    October 14, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  20. Barack Uda

    McCain's got issues!!! Yet he can't even address the ones that are affecting the US. Therefore, he can't have any solutions to our problems. In the inimitable words of whomever, McCain – "you got nuttin"

    October 14, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. mike

    I have never been proud to be an American. Words of a Obama family member. Then the Ayres connection comes up, hmmm, and the the denial of acquaintence, and now they are both found saying, Americas Stain on slavery. Come on, all plumbers strike a blow for McCain and Palin

    October 14, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  22. William

    Folks….. do you want to know who Barack Obama is? Put aside all the rhetoric and listen to the messages he is giving.
    1- Listen to Obama's response the plumber. Obama told the plumber that he wants to "spread the wealth around".
    2- Look at Baracks history with Acorn, Ayers, Rezko and ??? Shady at best
    3- look at Obama's past record. He does not have one other than to vote to raise taxes
    4- He wants to give welfare checks to those that pay no taxes. He calls it a tax break.
    5- He is proposing $1 trillion in new spending. This is a Socialist policy.

    Folks,
    BARACK OBAMA will take this country into SOCIALISM. Is that what you want?

    October 14, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. Patrick, Fairfield, CA

    Gloria, had it not been for McCain, no one would have even heard of Sarah Palin – as I think, maybe that would have been a good thing!

    October 14, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. Debbie

    Obama ought to bring up Keating 5...but he probably won't.

    Oh and regarding the ACORN thing? They work with the GOP too. I see that as far back as 2003 John McCain participated in an event in Miami-Dade of which ACORN was a sponsor. It's ridiculous that because a bunch of bad apples decided to take action they thought would help their candidate, it's somehow his fault. If that's the case I am sure the Obama campaign can come up with 2x examples of "bad" Republicans.

    But, why bother. This is McCain's last gasp. If he had anything to "win" on, he'd use it.

    October 14, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Tom - Cary, NC

    Barack is a typical limousine liberal. It's ok to hang out with terrorists when they blow up the Pentagon.... so Barack, why don't you hang out with KKK people who intimidated blacks with bombs.... where is the moral difference? Isn't Ayer as bad as they were?

    October 14, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12