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. Lu

    Eugene – So what if Obama was 8 when Ayers did his acts of terrorism and so what if he is a professor now. What do you think he's professing? Could it be the same thing Wright preaches? And what about Rezko? What part of stupid don't YOU get?

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. gwen

    To "Does Obama Palin Comparison" Get your facts straight, The Senator that was retiring her seat picked Obama to replace her, and she asked Ayres to have a meet the canidate at his home. Barack was 8 years old when ayres was involved in anti-war stuff – he served on a board with him for a charity – do you know everyones background that you serve on boards with? Ayres lives in Baracks neighborhood – they last saw each other 3 years ago walking in that neighborhood – get over it – talk about real issues!!!!

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Obama/Biden 08

    I guess McCain is true in the sense he is a fighter. FIGHT FIGHT..LOL!!Unfortunate for him and Ole Winky they don't stand a chance of winning this presidential race. I pray to GOD.....he does not dig up Ayers again!!! I'm beginning to feel sorry for him.

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. C A

    News Flash!

    I just learned that Obama has connections by way of his ancestry to people who bombed buildings and ships, tarred and feathered and hung people, shot at and killed troops, burned the homes of their neighbors, destroyed property and livestock, and destroyed tons of tea in a harbor!

    That does it. We can’t elect Obama now. He is a direct descendent of terrorists!

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

    McShame and Hockey Mom are about out of time. Obama will take the "old boy" back to school in this final debate. If he brings up Ayers, Obama will remind him of Keating 5. Enough Said.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. William

    I notice that you have not posted my comments but yet you have posted others in support of BO. This in not acceptable and I expect my posts to be posted immediately.

    October 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. lisa

    I am a Canadian citizen and I am disgusted in the fact that the republicans think that Americans are so stupid to fall for their bitter and dirty tricks. McSame and Caribou Barbie need to leave all the hate mongering behind and talk about what is really important. THE ECONOMY!!! OBAMA / BIDEN

    October 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. mel

    how many other "terrorists" sit on the advisory board that consists of repubs. dems. and independents. shouldn't mccain go arrest them.

    October 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Rob

    I now think John McCain is a pig. I reserve that word for only a select few people and used to hold John McCain in high regard. I'm a former Republican.

    October 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. Bobbie, New Hampshire

    Joe WHO?

    25,000-50,000 people show up every time Sarah Palin has a rally.

    Joe WHO? is lucky to get 2,000.

    Nuff said?

    October 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Chris

    Everybody watch the debate tomorrow night. McCain is going to bring up Ayers, ACORN, and question Obama's character. He is going to seem like a loser and that he is throwing a bunch of theories out there to hope that one of them will stick.

    Obama will clear up the whole story about Ayers and ACORN and he will return to the issues, while McCain will try and draw Obama back to controversy. McCain will eventually get mad at Obama and express his hotheadedness. He will tank his campaign and that will be the end of McCain.

    Palin however will lose this race and if not impeached in Alaska, she will lose reelection in 2010 in the Alaska gubernatorial race.

    Obama Biden 08.

    October 14, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Laura

    President Obama has nothing to hide.

    October 14, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. sam222

    Be a real news network like FOX. I hear they are kicking your butt in ratings. Fox reports the news without taking sides. WOW what a concept.

    October 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Dave

    MaryLou said "If McCain brings up AYERS then Obama can look McCain in the eye and address it ", but how can you look in someone's eyes if they don't have enough guts to look back at you?
    I'm NOT registered with a party, and when I look at these candidates, I see one who has a plan and hope; the other who has rhetoric and a call to fight a war that is ravaging our country's economy, with a VP who has already been deemed as unethical by her own State. Yikes!!! The choice is clear Obama/Biden for change.

    October 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Jeanne H.

    Don't worry, Joe. McCain is a coward. He can dish it out but can't take it. So let him bring up Ayers, Wright, whatever... then I sure hope Obama will calmly ask McCain about his "palling around" with Charles Keating who has been sent to prison, about Palin's connection with the AIP who despises America and wants nothing to do with this country... Ask McCain if that disqualifies him as a contender for the president's job.

    October 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. Patrick, Fairfield, CA

    Let McCain go at it. It's the bottom of the 9th and Johnny Mac has two strikes, two outs and is down by seven runs! Oh by the way, don't be surprised if the Keating 5 comes up as well!

    October 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. ilandking

    How is a capital gains tax cut going to help really? There needs to be more than that. Capital gains/losses are not realized until they are sold. How many people are getting the advice from their FA to sell their stocks. Now is the time to buy not sell. The only real benefit is to seniors that are drawing down on their investments for retirement and again in that case why are you using a "hatchet" instead of a "scalple...Talk about overkill...

    October 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. Disgusted in Atlanta

    As registered democrats, my husband and me really liked McCain before this election season and could have even seen ourselves voting for him. This election season has totally and thankfully opened our eyes to the trashy campaign McCain/Palin are running under the guise of "family values" while simultaneously showing none themselves to speak of.

    October 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. Terri

    I hope Obama brings it up first and shocks the hell out of McInsane. Bring it up on his own terms and set the tone for the debate – he's not there to mess around – he's there to show he is our next POTUS.

    October 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Vic in TX

    McCain is lashing out....just like a wounded animal would.

    October 14, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Vic

    Hasn't anyone heard of the mighty Joe Biden stealing the contents of an article by a British Parliamentarian and presenting it as his own? And he did this, not once but twice, although lifting it from another author. So I'm sick of thieving Joe being so sacrosanct when it comes to slamming his so-called friend John McCain. Perhaps that botox treatment to his brow went a little deeper than planned.

    October 14, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. Lynn

    I think on Times and Fact Check etc... already gave people the whole picture about Ayers. McCain just grab a straw to save his campaign.

    October 14, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. Laurie

    This is Sen. Obama's chance to address McShame's slander head-on.

    We will not be disappointed.

    To echo another call on this board.....Don't stop your donations now! Barack Obama needs our help through the finish line!

    Another Marine family for Obama/Biden 08!

    October 14, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Tracy

    We need to keep Senator Obama lifted up in Jesus name. Amen.

    October 14, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Gary Swanson

    "Maybe Obama can explain how he's been "stretching the truth" in describing Ayres as an "acquaintance". This guy hand picked Obama, and started his political career!!!"

    This is a flat-out lie. The very idea that a $200 contributiuon to Obama's re-election campaign when he was in the Illinois state legislature is beyond laughable. Your post further demonstrates how difficult it is for Palin supporters to recognize or tell the truth.

    October 14, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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