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. Republican for Obama

    This Republican is voting for Obama!!! I think George Orwell's description is look into the McCain Campaign's entire strategy and one Sarah Palin (aka Troopergate) clearly embraces.

    The adjective Orwellian describes the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free-society. It connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, including the "unperson" — a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments.

    Boy, does this depict McCain and Palin or what???

    October 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. Griff

    If I had any good "Positive" Ideas I wouldn't help you America...
    You make your own Bed.. You lie in it... Obama knows what I mean

    He's the Biggest Liar...

    October 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Nando, Florida

    Barak will just make him look like a OLD FOOL which he is !!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Kimberly in Azizona

    this is just another lame attempt by mccain to reinvent himself. Obama clearly called him out for talking about Ayers all over the tv, but then didnt have the, well you know, to say a thing about it in the debates. I hope he does bring it up, it will show him for what he is a distractor. ITS OVER MCCAIN, start trying to bring the country together instead of starting riots at your rallies.

    October 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Maggie VT

    Maggie, VT

    Maybe McCain will change his mind now that Huffington Post is reporting McCain's Transition Chief aided Saddam Hussien. Guess there was not vetting there either

    October 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Gimmick First

    Lets ask McCain what he thinks about HIS VP pick?

    She was proven to be UNETHICAL & ABUSED her powers!!!

    Palin and her husband pals around with people who want Alsaksa to separate from USA!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. John of Ohio

    Another doomed strategy. I feel sorry for this man. He used to be a very respectable senator but I think he will go back to his old self and lose the election with dignity.

    October 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Joe

    I agree with Senator Biden. Whatever happened to the John McCain who wanted to talk about issues? It is very sad that this was not a race between Senator Obama and Senator McCain as we knew him in the 2000 election. Now, Senator McCain just looks like a grumpy old man who wants to be President so bad, he'll say anything. And everyday, it's a different message. Desperation is not a color that looks good on the GOP.

    October 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Liv

    Biden is stupid and a joke. I wonder who he plagiarized his speech from?

    October 14, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Real Americans where are you at!

    Go ahead McCain and you will completely fall like Rome did! 🙂

    Please vote early so that your vote really counts!

    The Republicans have had many people removed from the voting lists, go in and make sure that you can vote for who you want to vote for!

    Your vote matters!

    October 14, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Dinah

    It will give Obama the opportunity to put the McCain/Palin crap to rest. After all is said and done, McCain will be at one of his 11 homes, Palin will be back in Alaska planning a shotgun wedding for her 17 year old unmarried pregnant daughter who didn't quite understand the meaning of abstinence before the benefit of marriage ironically just like her mom Sarah who found herself in the same situation and eloped.

    October 14, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. urbantexan

    I am praying that McCain brings them up and Obama can go to his files like the lawyer that he is and proves he has no ties to Ayers. As example A
    Next example will be a list of all the terrorist that Mccain pals around with.

    Each time he ask a questions about Ayers or The Reverand or Acorn for that matter pull out an example of Mc Cain's dirty dealing over the years and he will shut the hell up. May I have an order of KEATING 5 please !!!

    October 14, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Darrel from Denver

    What's to worry?

    McCain has Liddy, and now Saddam Hussein, to account for.

    Palin, as we learned today, has her clear bigotry to account for.

    Those alone are enough to derail the Ayers conversation, especially given the obvious response for Ayers already provided from various sources.

    October 14, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Susan Nunn

    Barack Obama has so many 'uglies' of John McCain's that he can pull from the hat...John McCain would be a fool to do anything but discuss the issues – No time like the present though to pull it all out in the light .... John McCain will see those things he is trying to make such a big deal of, will be nothing...but when the table is turned on what McCain is hiding, it won't be quite so innocent. And, yes, I am from Arizona.

    October 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Ryan from K.C.

    If McCain does go there during the last debate, it will have to be the performance of his life to have any effect whatsoever in the Polls. It's far more likely that any attempt will doom him to even further drops.

    But the real question is – will he be able to bring it up? He didn't manage to during the second debate, even though he said he would. And If McCain can't even look at Obama while he's making his acusations, that only sends the messages that he himself doesn't believe that it's a real issue, and that he feels ashamed of himself for bringing it up. The third debate ought to be very interesting to watch.

    October 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. thomas

    If John McCain chooses to live in the past, that's his perogative, but he should walk softly, there are lots of ghosts waiting to revisit his past.

    October 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    Bill Ayres is nonnews....If John McCain brings up this silly topic during a debate, it will be the finish of him. People want to make up their minds based on real issues this country is dealing with now. The republican candidates have become tabloid.

    October 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Eric

    Since the media won't talk about it, let's be frank and admit that with Palin candidacy, we're watching the end of the Republican party as it is. I expect Obama be the President until 2016. By then, here's what going to happen. The right-wing lunatics will form their own party, based on conservative values (lies, fears, projecting evil on anybody who's not like them).

    The conservatives will have to join the libertarians, with whom they share economical ideas. On social issues, they will be midlle ground, which will attract moderate democrats.

    You will have then the more liberal democrats, forming the third party.

    There is no way, after the "intelligence ground zero" campaign offered by Palin, that the fiscally conservatives, who are ashamed and angry at Bush, will continue in this direction, namely to have a friendly idiot as a President.

    So be it. The reign of the two parties is over.

    October 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Skip, a black man

    Did anyone listen to Howard Stern today?? enough said!

    October 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Joel Miller

    Note: Obama and Biden not attacked in kind. We haven't heard a peep out of them about Palin's close relationship with the seditious Alaska Independence Party, McCain's close personal and political connection to convicted felon, Charles Keating or his service on gun runner John Singlaub's board.

    October 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |

    McCain.... "This one over here has not the judgement of a commander and chief my friends" Take for Instance Ayers, whom senator Obama has been palin around with and even served on a board with"

    Obama..." I would like to address this issue.... John, I was 8 years old playing on the sliding board in my communty's park like many children..... Regarding he and I serving on a board together, every member on that board was trying to bring about a positive change by helping out the local community. During this same time Ayers was also serving as a professor which he still is today..... But john, I do not understand how all of this will help the American People feed their children, keep a roof over their heads, afford healthcare, create jobs.... you tell me how your question or your concern about an individual is going to uplift our economy senator"

    October 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Laurie

    I am very disapointed in McCane's character attacks. For a man who was crucified in 2000, he apparently has no integrity. McCane is living in a storm of obsession–unable to see his frightening behavior. He sold his soul and is no longer an honorable man. He is now a prisoner of his own personality.

    October 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. shell

    saw it reported on CNN that suburban woman are not liking Palin and are voting Obama!! feel the shift???? LOL Go home, Sarah......you're done here....

    October 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Red

    I think Obama should challenge McCain to crack down on corruption and unethical behavior... starting with his running mate Palin.

    October 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. ShirleyY - Seattle


    October 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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