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. NB

    What else can you expect from McCain. It is better for him to talk about Ayers because when it comes to economy and other major issues there is nothing much he can say. It is over McCain go back home. Don't forget to send the Alaskan beauty back.

    October 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Jen, California

    And many of us are disappointed that you sold your soul to the Devil, Joe Biden - remember what you said during the primaries: "Barack Obama is not qualified to be president?"

    October 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. BR

    After all, John McCain has nothing to offer but disdain, mockery and negative attacks. Its come down to this. The so called "great American Hero" has shown his true colors by falling prey to his stupid VP pick by following in her footsteps resorting to vicious baseless and senseless attacks on Barack Obama's character and his leadership. If McCain was really the leader that many think he is, he would definitely not be part of this dirty, mudslinging campaign the republicans are running. They have now run out of ideas and are desperately trying "anything goes" strategy to get to the White House. We have all had enough of these republican idealogues and their rotten ideas. The writing on the wall is very clear now. Out goes all of these scoundrels!

    October 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Abe

    Does Obama Palin Comparison?
    Perhaps then Palin can shade some light on her connection to the Alaskan Independence Party! Won't you think it fair?

    October 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Great

    I wonder how many times Obama can say"uumm""uumm" when he speaks without teleprompter?

    October 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Ronn

    On one hand, I feel sorry for the people who have drunk the Obama-flavored koolaid and actually believe his tax proposals. Even if he stayed true to his campaign rhetoric, how do you think he is going to pay for all of the government sponsored programs he has planned, health care, social security, etc? That's easy. He will collect all of his US Army toys and go home from Iraq regardless whether the enemy is done playing. He will then begin slashing the defense budget with more base closings. His ideas of the re-distribution of wealth, i'm afraid, will come at a cost much greater than just four years of liberalism. It may cost us our ultimate freedom. But then, as Thomas Jefferson said, the country gets the government it wants.

    October 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Michael

    Hummmm, McCain is going to bring up Aryes and "Possibly Rev. Wright". OK Sen. McCain. lets bring up John Keating, G. Gordon Liddy, The Alaskan Independance Party, etc etc etc.

    October 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Tom

    I don't care about a casual acquaintance with Bill Ayers. I was more concerned about Bush’s formal acquaintance with Dick Cheney and looked how that turned out. I already voted by mail and it wasn’t for McCain.

    Vote out all incumbents for Congress. Vote 3rd party candidates for Congress.

    October 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. NB, OH

    No need to be disapointed Joe. Just goes to show how much McCain has changed. Really pathetic. This man has lost all his honor.

    October 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Skip, a black man

    Did all the people posting today have a talk with Howard Stern today?

    October 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Tom

    Does politics means lying to or cheating voters? John McCain knows the fact that Barack has no thing to do with Ayers and does not make sense to talk about all this long . So, why is it important to bring it on the debate? Why does he try to waste our precious time watching his nonsense propoganda? I am sure the American people are smart enough to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly from the next debate. Such kind of camppaigning should not have any place in the future presidential elections.

    October 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. peter

    And the "WINNER" tomorrow night debate will be "BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!

    No matter how stupid John Cindy McSame will try to bring up the Ayers still the economy will demoninate the debate.

    This is how debate will be read on the newspaper the day: "IT IS ECONOMIC STUPID"

    October 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Amy

    I'm disappointed too! Why can't McCain leave what happened 40 years ago in the past? Is he ready to have the Keating 5 come up in the debate since it occurred more recently?

    October 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. kevin

    all you idiots voting for barack obama better try to find out the truth because he is one dangerous man, with several ties to radicals and people who hate america, and once he is in the white house it is to late for change, this country will become a socialistic country and there will be no freedom anymore a matter a fact i am 100% sure this is the case and he was sent here by the middle east to destroy this country anybody can stand up and tell you lies that make you feel good and make you feel like they care but check the record i could tell you the saddest story that would make you cry and get all emotional but that doesnt mean it is true, of course he is going to be friendley and nice and relate to you and your problems thats what the television evangelists due and idiots send them money all day long, and by the way the people who knocked down the towers were nice and friendly to just ask the neighbors who lived next to them, do me a favorite leave your phone numbers so i can call you when this country is getting destroyed because you are so stupid to vote for this manaic, and cnn you should be in jail for treason not reporting the truth and endangering the lives of all american people by not putting out the truth and your station telling lies all day long.

    October 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Walt

    So let McCain talk about Ayers-a college professor with whom Obama served on a board devoted to improve education and who happened to be a Weatherman when Obama was 8 years old.

    Then perhaps McCain would like to talk about William Timmons.

    According to the Huffington Post : "William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

    The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein's government."

    That would be interesting.

    October 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Saad from NJ

    Why Senator Biden? Why are you disappointed? Yes if it was the Senator McCain that we all knew, the one I gave money to, yes then there would be a reason t be disappointed. But not with the new Senator McCain.

    I am not disappointed. In fact, I would've been totally surprised if he did not bring it up.

    October 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |

    If McIdiot brings up Ayers, Obama can bring up Keating 5 and G. Gordon Liddy, the latter is much more recent!

    October 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. McCain pals around with Lobbyists for Saddam Hussein

    Timmons, McCain's Transition Chief worked for Saddam Hussein to get international sanctions lifted! He also lobbied for Fannie Mae. Please, my friend, bring up the Ayers stuff. Apparently that's two people you forgot to vet.

    October 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |


    “I think it was Bill Clinton said, all campaigns are about tomorrow, not yesterday. And I’m paraphrasing him. And I think that’s what people want to know. And I think when you don’t talk about those things, when you don’t lay out, when you spend more time talking about your opponent than you do what you’re going to do, then I think it’s fairly transparent.”

    On the final presidential debate tomorrow, which some pundits say is McCain’s last chance for a breakthrough moment, BIden said he expects Obama to win. ”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,” he said. “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.”



    October 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. Jackson

    My Friends, Jon MakCain may as well start working on his concession speech. This race is over. MakCain has been over his head from the beginning.

    October 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Bernie Knollinger

    Can we bring up John McCain's first wife–the one he abandoned after she had a horrible disfuguring accident? The wife he cheated on with his current wife? The long time she spent faithfully waitng for him to return from Vietnam only to be dumped for a younger, wealthier model says more about McCain' character than any incidental contact Obama may have had with Ayers.

    October 14, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. Diane Panama City Fl

    Bring it on McCain, we will be waiting for you to bring this up so we can raise the issue about the head of your transition team, William Timmons, aiding and lobbying for Saddam Hussein. Since the media wants to focus on ACORN and AYERS, let's focus on SADDAM HUSSEIN and TROOPERGATE!!! AND, the fact that the McCain/Palin ticket is the first one in history to have both candidates convicted of ethics violations by their peers while in public office.

    October 14, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. Meg Madison, Cary North Carolina

    Don't be disappointed, Joe. it gives barack Obama the chance to call the old goat out in front of 60 million people! And he NEEDS to be called out, and soundly. What a piece of s**t!

    October 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Accountant Guy

    Sorry you are disappointed Joe, as I am not, because I know that McBush is low and has no morals. If he wants to start that battle then so be it, he was directly involved with Keating and the fact that his pathetic pick of a VP was found guilty of abusing her power and being unethical speaks volumes for his character. Your done McBush, so if you really want to put country first, pack up your stuff and go back to Arizona. While your at it buy eskimo barbie a one way ticket to Alaska and tell her we don't want her back in the states!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. Jeffrey

    Obama can just bring up McCain's involvement with Charles Keating. McCain can't use the excuse that he was 8 when Keating committed his crimes, he was in his early 50's. And McCain has continued to demonstrate an affinity for the type of economic policy that Keating loved taking advantage of. But it doesn't matter. Only the right-wing nuts happily swallowing the psycho GOP kool-aid are buying into the Ayers stuff. McCain is going down, hard.

    October 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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