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. Maritza

    These bloggers sound deranged and in denial of reality, " Lets's keep praying and donating" your praying and worshiping a false leader.


    October 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Corwin7

    Yes by all means...lets talk about the Senators previous connection with terrorists groups and the incident involving his ties to previous savings & loan scandals. Meanwhile, I'm sure the "other" Senator..."That one"...can explain knowing a Chicago professor and citizen in good standing...When it comes to skeletons McCain has a WAY bigger closet than Obama.

    October 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. White-African(born there) American Military BRAT

    It's OK Joe!!!

    Barack will STILL beat his 'you know what'.

    McCain WILL fumble the ball.

    WE, the AMERICAN PEOPLE, KNOW what McShame is ALL ABOUT.

    WE don't listen to a word he or HIS PIMPED OUT PRINCESS have to say anymore.

    We have a LAME DUCK President and we can call the PALIN/McCain ticket a LAME DUCK CAMPAIGN.

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

    sen biden dont be alarmed about ayers because the surpise for mccainbush is that he surrounded himself with the woman that bombed medical clinic's and the annegbergs which the mrs is one of the main contributors of mccainbuch. palincheney has been tied to separtise party. sen obama was 8 years old when ayers done his thing, but mccainbuch and palincheney were adults so thier actions on judgment out ways sen obama. after all when you meet someone do you ask them , hey before i speak to you what's your life history?

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

    2nd post attempt.........
    Ayers must be brought up at the debate. Acorn must be addressed by Obama because of his link with them. A legitimate election is at stake here, people.
    McCain is in a position to ask about all this at the debate.

    October 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. karoderick reece

    I think yes it is time for obama to sguash this bug and take the remainder of McCains votes and take this country in a new direction! Go Obama 2008

    October 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Vern

    McCain, his people & Fox News has ran this crap about Ayers in the ground & the only people who belive this mess is the Republican who wasn't going to vote for Obama anyway. So if he thinks that by saying it in the debate will change Obama supporters on voting for Obama, McCain is preaching to the choir!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Denise

    Let 'em! I am sure Obama is ready for an attack that will put McCain back on defense as McCain has been for several weeks

    October 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Dan Ahrens West plains, Missouri

    Lets talk about all of Obama's past buddies. Ayres, Wright, Acorn. John McCain should even ask about this quote from Barack Obama's book Audacity of Hope: 'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction". I would really like to know what Barack meant from that.

    October 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. debbie

    Even though ,whatever went on ,Ayersis still standing and free, if he was a terriost, why did we as americans give him a chance to teach our childrens . Why no prison time> he have been among us and our childrens for decade, why now. Still no arrest,it is said he is a terroist.go get him.

    October 14, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. BUA

    Great! Obama will be ready with response...no worry!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. George


    Oh darn, Barack Obama is going to be exposed....

    PUMAS 4 McCain/Palin
    2008 !

    October 14, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Sarah McMaster

    Don't worry about it, Joe! The McPain ticket is simply lowering itself to the level of vermin by continuing its character attacks on Obama. Surely, by now, the American public is wise to these sorts of slimy Republican attacks (hey, do you REALLY want another 'Bushie' in the White House?).

    Go OBAMA!!!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. How did Obama get this far????

    I WANT MY GAS FREE TAX HOLIDAY MCCAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. Mary

    So far, there has been no election fraud because there has been no election.

    My experience with voting is that you are asked for identification when you go to vote and at that time you sign your name and initial the form.

    If the workers at the polling places are doing there job, how can someone vote more than once? How can a dead person vote?

    St. Louis, Missouri

    October 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. Ruby

    Just a few of McPalin's skeletons:

    Charles Keating, G Gordon Liddy, US Council for World Freedom, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, AIP, drug use, stealing to support drug use, adultery, teenage pregnancy, Troopergate, lawsuit over building the Wasilla sports complex on land that did not belong to the town, bridge to nowhere, shooting wolves from planes after voters voted twice against it......

    Ayers? Really? Does McCain really want to go there?

    October 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Rodger

    First off, there was nothing wrong with Obama serving on a board to help schools in Chicago...to say there was, insinuate Obama "pals around with Ayers" or that Obama kicked off his campaign at his home are out and out lies!
    After the election, in which the McCain/Palin ticket goes down by a landslide, she will return to Alaska. If the Legislature does not bring articles of impeachment, she will serve out her term under investigation for having the same contractor who built her home, then given a contract for the Wasila sports center. Disgraced and in jail!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Christopher

    You know, when I was building pipe bombs and shooting heroin with Barack in my basement, we used to joke about how one day he was going to con unsuspecting evangelicals into voting for him as president.

    Good times...good times.

    October 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. White-African(born there) American Military BRAT

    PLEASE PLEASE ash MCSHAME about PNAC and how he and others want to OBTAIN WORLD DOMINANCE through WAR.

    October 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Dem in CA

    I hope he brings up Acorn – that is more relevant to me. Did Obama cost Hillary the primary? 800k is a lot of votes to buy apparently – 1.3M of them!

    October 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Ray

    Obama should do a scolding as memorable as the Joe Welch/Joe McCarthy confrontation in the early 1950s

    "Shame on you McCain for attacking by character and ethics over an individual who is peripheral to my life and is separated from me by a generation. Rather than discussing the issues you have to stoop to petty distractions. I've never brought up your lack of judgment in the Keating Five – a criminal corruption case."

    Even more hypocritical is the Republican whining when the media investigates Palin's links to a radical separatist group and "Troopergate." Somehow that's yellow journalism.

    October 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. joe smith

    the question remains; being a heart-beat away from the top office in the land, where is mr. cheney..

    October 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Proud to be American

    John has nothing but smear and fear the war monger has nothing when the ecconomy is all up in your face... no worries there is so much dirt on the old man one can just start with the CNN special that revealed his true self.... liar, cheat, etc......

    I am voting for that one!

    Obama and Biden

    PS: Like we say in the neighborhood John.... don't start no mess won't be no mess... in other words open up that tired can of Ayers worms..... it will be your down fall.

    October 14, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Charles

    Really can anyone be shocked about what McCain does in this election anymore?

    October 14, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Susan

    You may be dissapointed, Joe, but this would be no surprise. For a man who has lost his honor, his dignity and his integrity, don't be surprised at him scraping the bottom of the barrel. Let's see what he has to say baout G. Gordon Liddy, the convicted felon friend he is so proud of that has had fundraisers for him!

    October 14, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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