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. A Woman In California For Obama:

    I'll say this again. Joe Biden if he is such a "friend" to you-why don't you go and join his campaign? Only the serious need apply here. If McCain does bring up Ayers you can bet your last dollar it will be in a very respectful way as he knows Obama will put him in his place real fast and he won't like it on national t.v. A lot of us question McCain's "friendship" with Cindy while he was still a married man. Why don't you explain that to the public McCain. Oh that's right-that's off limit.

    October 14, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. MD, TX

    Dear Eugene,

    I guess they don't get you!

    October 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. B.E.Lahmon

    Well it's kind of late in the game for that stuff and besides that it's just old news I don't see as a game changing move at all

    October 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Greed is not good

    It didn't work for Hilary

    October 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    All I can say is 3 more weeks. Nov.4th can't come soon enough for me...

    October 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. aliou McSame

    What good has negative campaign done for the marverous?

    I guess he is too old to learn.

    October 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. bill canada

    get ready to SHARE THE WEALTH baby!

    October 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Tammy - KCMO

    Why would this suprise anyone. The Republican campaign is in the toilet and they're trying to take everyone with them.

    October 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Bit

    Today at Palin's rally someone in the crowd yelled "kill him." McCain/Palin should be very careful!

    You know....this is not the Wallace and Dr. King's era. This is a new era with new people who has learned from the past.

    Be careful McCain/Palin.

    October 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Patrick Henry

    This is an issue–to millions of us–and therefore, also to John McCAin.

    October 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. sam222

    I like fox news you know fair and ballanced. Not just all Obama all the time news. Pretty sick to watch.

    Really you need to change the name from CNN news to propaganda.

    October 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Janine

    I want McCain to bring it up. That way Obama can answer the question and put all of this to rest.

    October 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. Greed is not good

    Yes well then if McCain goes there...how about revisiting his Congressional Ethics investigation re: Charles Keating and his role manipulating federal banking regulators

    October 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Joanna R

    If McCain is going to raise the Ayers, Obama MUST RAISE his long relationship to GORDON LIDDY, who was convicted in the Watergate scandal, was planning some bombings of his own, was going to kidnap protesters at the GOP convention, and who admits to no remorse whatsoever.

    October 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Eric

    McShame is so pathetic.

    October 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Lyle

    Mr. Biden would like the American people to overlook Mr. Obama’s past. Mr. Obama is ashamed of his shady past and frightened that the American people will learn the truth. Both of these men would like each and every American to vote for them and not ask questions.

    When we stop asking questions of those that lead and want to lead our nation, we become a lesser America. It is the duty of every American to ask questions and make an informed choice when voting.

    October 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Ohio will vote for Obama.

    "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...."

    Why on earth would Biden be sequestered from the press corps?
    That makes no sense whatsoever.

    October 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. now voting AGAINST McCain

    I sort of hope McCain does bring up Ayers in tomorrow's debate. Maybe his campaign will get all those sour grapes out of its system, and they can start talking about things the voters actually care about.

    Also, now that Obama has had all this time to come up with a response to the comments or accusations McCain has said he's going to level during the debate, I'm looking forward to Obama revealing McCain as the petty little man he is.

    October 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. aliou McSame

    I think Obama should just brush his shoulder as he did before. It works and gets all the flies resting for good.

    October 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Megan from San Diego

    Hey "Does Obama Palin Comparison?":

    You really need to stop watching so much Hannity and get your facts straight. Does it make it feel good to be so hateful?

    October 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Someone mentioned Lou Dobbs. I stopped watching him a year ago
    when I realized he was full of himself and his "always right" ideas. It looks like voters are not listening to him, either. He reminds me somewhat of McCain.

    October 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. sam222

    CNN is a fake left wing obama propaganda machine. However you are a little better than NBC and MSNBC but that does not really say anything.

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. countdown

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. John McCain is about to make his last stand and is about to open the gates of hell for himself.

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. DougDC

    "Does Obama" goes beyond stretching the truth he/she has written a verifiable lie. Ayres neither 'hand picked' Obama nor started his political career.

    Rather, an Illinois State Senator named Alice Palmer, who decided to run for Congress, initially endorsed Obama to replace her in the State Senate. As part of that endorsement, PALMER organized a small fundraiser to introduce Obama to the community as the candidate she wanted to replace her in the State Senate. PALMER or her people selected the Aryes home for this small gathering. These are verifiable facts.

    Stop spreading the LIES, Stop spreading the HATE, VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. RED EYES

    John McCain is the most stupid old man in the entire universe.A real dead MUGU.

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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