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. facts are facts

    Lou Dobbs hate monger and phoney Independent. CNN get rid of this bloated bag of wind before he completely destroys what ever credibility you have left. He is a disgrace to America and he thinks he is it's hero. How sad.

    October 14, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Eugene

    Ayers is a professor in Chicago. Keating went to jail. Ayers did his 60's revolutionary thing when Obama was 8. Obama's "crime" was taking a $200 donation from Ayers. Keating did his illegal thing with McCain when the senator was a senator. What part of "stupid" don't the Republicans get?

    October 14, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  3. Does Obama Palin Comparison?

    Maybe Obama can explain how he's been "stretching the truth" in describing Ayres as an "acquaintance". This guy hand picked Obama, and started his political career!!!

    C'mon Barry! Rev. Wright? Ayres? Are you going to turn your back on all of your "old friends", once you start feeling the political heat.

    Obama...A two-faced, self-serving empty suit.

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. mitch

    i would bring up mccains terrorist ties to gw bush.

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Angela

    Will McCain bring up the FACT that he made a mistake in picking a VP that IS UNETHICAL & ABUSED her powers?

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Shari, NY

    Nothing to fear but fear itself, Mr. Biden. Ayers, ACORN, or any other acronym from the past is just corny. Some people are not even going to bother to watch the debate. Quite a number have already cast their absentee ballots.

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Darryl

    The same leadership that Senator John McCain has done for the US Military:

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A national veterans' advocacy group says members of Alaska's National Guard are not getting adequate care when they return from deployment. The group is calling for the Guard to stop deploying its members.

    Veterans for America says it spent one week gathering information from Alaska's rural and urban area and found the needs of Alaska's guardsmen and their families are not being met, specifically after a deployment.

    "There are problems both in the quantity of care in the rural areas, and then unfortunately there's also the problem of quality," Jason Forrester of Veterans for America said in a phone interview.

    The report goes so far as to say the Guard should not deploy its members until improvements are made, specifically in the areas of:

    Access and affordability of care for Alaska Natives
    Post-combat mental health
    Job security for returning guardsmen
    Outreach programs for women in the Guard

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Lou from CT

    This has already been debunked time and time and time again – what part of DEBUNKED does John MCCain not understand????

    Knock off the "Swift Boat","splatter theory", and "CREEP" tactics that Mr. McCain is using now.

    Debate THE ISSUES, McCain/Palin - if you DARE.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. mike

    Let him bring up Ayres, Rev Wright, Rezko and anything else he wants.
    Obama has shown that he is prepared for anything that may get thrown at him and he will use it to his advantage. As we speak, a majority of the public is tired of dirty politics, appalled at the state of our economy and looking for some sort of direction from the candidates. McCain's decision to use these tactics will only solidify the fact that he and Palin are not up to running the country. They have no new ideas and have run a dismal campaign. So go ahead Mr Straight Talking Man of Honor, make our day!

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Let McCain raise what he wants – bring up Keating 5, and don't stop until McCain does!!!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. Debby

    What is the big deal about Ayers if Obama has nothing to hide. He wanted McCain to say it to his face and he is.

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Latina for Obama (nj)

    Are you surprise Senator Biden? im not!

    October 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. mayah

    MAYBE JOHN LEWIS IS RIGHT ON THE MONEY, MC WEASEL IS AN UNDERCOVER HATE MONGER CALL IT LIKE IT IS..

    October 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. That One!

    I can guarantee that coward John won't raise the issue....he knows Obama has a well laid out answer for him that will only make him look like the moron he is....so no, he won't raise those kind of issues....he will continue to do it behind Obama's back and thru his pit bull!

    October 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. The guy that is smarter than you

    Those with skeletons in their closets (AIP, Keating, Troopergate) that have not been addressed should not attack those who have addressed their issues. It will come back to bite him.

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

    Safe it MCcain for the nursing home you have lost. Send the stupid VP of yours back to answer to Ethics

    October 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Save the Drama For Your Momma

    Okay, McCain 's past is not so wonderful either. Bring up his affairs, Keating 5. If we're going to get down in the mud, let's start slinging mud on both sides.

    America can take it, but in the end we will still have the financial crisis and the war.

    Grow up people.

    October 14, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Empire, CO

    Bring it on, Old Man! Obama/Biden '08!

    October 14, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Aaron from Ohio

    Joe might be disappointed but he can hardly be surprised. Senator McCain is tanking in the polls and his VP choice is running amok. This is John's last chance to make his case before the election. Sarah is getting all the press on the republican side and making a textbook case on what not to do. The more we learn about her the more we realize that beauty is truly only skin deep. Sarah has a darkside that surfaces almost every time she opens her mouth. I invite every moderate, independent and republican who is undecided to come over to our side. We have cookies.

    October 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. REAL TRUTH

    OK... why is this guy Ayers a professor @ a university if he is deemed so much a threat??? How stupid to you have to be or become to buy this malarkie???????? Was not Obama like 7 or 8 years old when Ayers did what he did??? Obama was eating cereal watching cartoons when Ayers was running around. Now flash forward 35 years and Obama is on a Board with at least 7 other People including Ayers and Obama is the bad guy??? Give me a break. Hey McCain why is Keating in you campaign??? Just can't get enough of him huh? You two must be very good friends by now!!

    A tuff campaign brings out the truth in everyone. I guess we have come along way since the 1800's. People care about race less and less and are realizing that we all bleed red. But you still have those that do not know why they dislike another race but they just do. Kind of hard to accept and love others when you cannot accept and love yourself.

    They should conduct a IQ test between Obama/Biden supporters vs McCain/Palin supporters. I'm sure you will find that Obama/Biden supporters are much more intelligent with greater common sense.

    October 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Cactus Jack

    Republicans always talk about character, despite their general lack of it. How else could they convince voters to vote against their own self-interest? We've had 12 years of voodoo economics under Reagan and Bush, then 8 more years under Bush Jr. The country is almost bankrupt, the economy is a disaster, the 8 hour day and 40 hour week are fading memories, health insurance doesn't exist for much of the population, Americans are unable to afford cancer treatment, our health delivery system is the most expensive in the world but our health is about 37th in the world, our children cannot afford the gas to drive to college much less tuition, and...

    Republicans are talking about the fact that Obama knows a guy who said some bad things 30 years ago. Are they arguing that Obama agrees with Bill Ayers? No. Did Bill Ayers commit a crime for which he was not punished? No. How can any voter fall for this foolishness?

    What's next? Are Obama's daughters wearing short skirts? Did Obama once shake hands with Jane Fonda? Did Joe Biden speed on the freeway? Does Mrs. Biden wear tacky shoes?

    I personally cannot believe the people who are raising this issue. I don't think they care one way or the other. They just want an issue that has traction. It's Willie Horton all over again. (Youngsters, google Willie Horton.)

    October 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. Hans-Erik Iken

    Why bring up a 40 year old story when the world is facing the current crisis? Is what another guy did, a guy that Obama happens to have met, more important then the problems people are facing today?

    Just how is this relevant to the people facing foreclosures, pensions that are no longer worth what they used to be, houses worth less then is owed on them, families without a steady income, joblosses, closing workplaces, prices that are going up when income is going down, etc. , etc.

    Just how is Ayers relevant in this election and during this crisis? The mismanagement of the economy is doing a million times more damage then Ayers ever could have dreamed or hoped to do.

    October 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. INDEPENDANT VET

    HOW CAN FLIP FLOP , KNOW WHAT DO WITH OUT A SCRIPT . FROM THE HOLLYWOOD STAR . hAS ANYONE SAW THE LIST OF HOLLYWOOD STARS , GEEE ALMOST THE WHOLE POPULATION . fROM THE DRUGIES TO DIVORCEE; THE DUI'S , AND CRACK JACKETS.

    BIG QUESTION FOR JOE ? HOW COME IT IS ALRIGHT FOR BARRY'S FRINDS IN PALESTINE THAT DONATED HIM ( 2 BROTHERS ) $33,300.00 . THEY CALL HIM THERE MUSLIM FRIND BARRY. AND ANY ONE ELSE , WE SHOULD NOT . ???

    AS THEY SAY BORN A MUSLIM , YOU ARE AMUSLIM .

    WRIGHT, ACORN AYERS . aND JOE CLEAN UP HIS PLANE , THEY SAY IT IS IN DISSARRAY , AND SMELLS. ? WAS IT POT.

    October 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. Jon

    McCain chose Sarah Palin, while Obama chose the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. That says it all.

    October 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. J UAN CARLOS

    ACORN,,,,,,,,,,,,VOTER,,,,,,,,,,,FRAUD,,,,,,,,,,,RAMPANT,,,,,,,,,,,,,OBAMA,,,,,,,,,,

    WAS,,,,,,,,,,,,A,,,,,,,,,,,,COMMUNITY,,,,,,,,,,,,,ORGANIZER,,,,,,,,,,,,,,AND,,,,,,,,,

    COUNSEL,,,,,,,,,,,,,,FOR,,,,,,,,,,,,,ACORN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WHY,,,,,,,,ISN'T,,,,,,,,,,THIS,,,,

    BEING,,,,,,,,,,,EXAMINED,,,,,,,,,,,,,CNN ? ? ?

    PLEASE POST THIS

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