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. Irma in North Carolina

    I hope Obama brings up up the AIP organization that Sarahs husband belonged too they had a deal about it on cnn about 3:30 this afternoon, I was hoping there would be an article on here about it. Or I hope they show it again on the news.

    October 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Tired of Silliness

    It was a charitable board with other people on it for a good cause. Obama didn't put him on it or give him a job at a university. How well do we know anyone that we work with?

    October 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Kathy

    I think, the fact that there are so few posts here on any of the CNN tickers from McCain/Palin supporters – should tell us something. ie: There are not very many of them!!

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

    LOL...McCain and Palin want to complain about voter fraud, i.e., abuse of the right to vote, and yet somehow, they see their way through to conducting the biggest campaign of misinformation in US electoin history in order to get voters to vote for them because they were exposed to falsehoods that they unwittingly believed. Yeah, that's a sound moral high horse for ya...you betcha.

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

    To all Obama supporter's don't become complacent. Get out the Vote!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. Biff

    Palin was on Limbaugh... (gee... what a surprise)....

    I guess they talked a little about ACORN....

    I wonder if he asked her about her Abusing her Powers in Alaska....

    I wonder if he had her comment on the purging of rolls and the ever present voter suppression....

    NO??? i guess not...

    October 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. David And Goliath

    That's okay Joe, we're going to nip this in the bud tomorrow night. McCain can be a giant if he wants, but he's going to lose.

    Hey Goliath, meet David.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. Phil in KC

    Why don't they throw Walter Ananburg (sp?) back in their face? He's a darling of the neo-con set and he's the one who included both Obama and Ayers on his committee. If Obama's acquaintence with Ayers is so dispicable, they why are they not castigating Ananburg for selecting Ayers to serve with him?

    October 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Carol, Coulterville, CA

    At what point does it become illegal to spout hate, terrorism (chanting kill him and off with his head) and slander against someone at any kind of rally? Personally, I find McCain/Palin tactics reprehensible and if not illegal, it should be. I don't think ANYONE should be allowed to conduct themselves in a manner that will incite violence...PERIOD! When are the police going to call McCain/Palin rallies over the legal limit?

    October 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. carol

    John McCain has nothing else left....he can't win with any of the issues as he does not understand any of them.
    He will do what he has been doing the past several days bring up stuff from the dark ages and hope something....anything will resonate with the American people.
    John McCain's whole campaign has been disgraceful and this man cannot walk away from this election with any dignity or self respect.....he and Sarah Palin have been dispicable throughout.
    The writing is on the wall for the McPalin ticket, this country can do better and deserves better.....leadership with dignity is what Sen Obama will bring....roll on Nov!!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Shari, NY

    I think the winner of this election has already been determined. All that is taking place now is just "cosmetic touch-ups".

    October 14, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Jean 2

    When will McCain debate the issues? and I do not mean just give his pious responses.

    October 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. think people

    You folks do not get it, you are not hearing it all, just what you want to hear.

    The question is not what this guy did while Obama was 8; it is judgment and honesty. We are to believe that this Harvard grad, the "smartest" guy ever to run for president (according to you) didn't know about weather underground? Didn't know about Ayers past? He says he didn't… either he is a liar or has no clue. I think we all know he has a clue.

    October 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Veteran for McCain

    Of course Biden doesn't want him to bring it up! DUH. It will make his running mate look bad!

    October 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Lissa in Montreal

    Senator Biden, while I love that you are disappointed – because I am too – I think that this is a good sign that McCain won't let go (nor will Palin), in true pitbull fashion, of that losing battle.

    Ayers and Wright and all the other ghosts that Senator Obama's already been questioned on, are nothing compared to the lack of integrity and lack of ability on the McCain/Palin ticket. This is all McCain has to do in order to perpetuate his angry old politican reputation.

    Where Senator Obama has been steady and consistent in his message theme, McCain has shown erratic change in his demeanor, his message, his plans and his catch-phrases.

    No contest!

    October 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Amy For Obama

    So are we Biden! But that's alright, the American people know better!
    Who wants to identify to the BIden Palin crowd, angry and extrimist in their views!
    Very little, and that's why they are slumping in the polls, because Americans want to be part of the movement of Hope and Change, not the one about Past, Hatred and Lies.

    October 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Normal

    99% of the comments are always pro-Obama and anti-McCain on CNN. Just shows who CNN promotes and the bias they represent. It's not just Ayers, it's a list of whacked people that Obama has had very close ties with over a period of time that make people like me second-guess his judgment and influences.

    October 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. voter

    McCain can bring up ayers and Obama can discuss the chair of McCain's transition team who lobbied in behalf of saddem hussein. this is worse than ayers.

    October 14, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. Obama Supporter

    If this is such a big issue why didn't McCain bring it up during the beginning of the campaign? Why wait now?

    Oh I know, because he's desperate after looking at the poll numbers. So sad.

    October 14, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Michael

    Ummm... All Dems have to do is raise the name of Washington lobbyist, William Timmons that John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team. He aided an effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

    Ayers sounds like a garden gnome compared to this latest revelation in the McCain camp.

    October 14, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Jerry in Boston

    I seriously doubt McCain will have the balls to bring this up in front of a national audience and to Obama's face, but I hope he does.

    Obama will clean his clock for him.

    October 14, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    And the whole world is watching this old man struggle – he's our hero?

    It makes me ashamed for him.

    October 14, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Cameron

    McRove keeps trying to distract us from the main issues. Obama being on the board of a non-profit charity group with a university of Chicago professor (acknowledged for his expertise in education) doesn't bother me.

    What bothers me is the frightening thought process of the neocons that have tried hard to convince our citizens that we should just talk to and be seen with people who agree with us.

    Bush and McCain don't have the intellectual capacity to meet face-to-face with people with very different opinions. They prefer hiding behind their slogans. Obama is comfortable in his intellect and not afraid of people with opposing views.

    October 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. 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 and 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.

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

    October 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. vw

    Do you still think that one is articulate?
    Do you think he is ready for President?

    October 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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