October 22nd, 2008
02:08 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama says Biden given to 'rhetorical flourishes'

Barack Obama said Biden has engaged 'in rhetorical flourishes'.

Barack Obama said Biden has engaged 'in rhetorical flourishes'.

RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) –- Barack Obama dismissed his running mate’s recent comments Wednesday that if elected, his new presidency would immediately be tested by adversaries looking to “test the mettle of this guy.”

“Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes. But I think that his core point was that the next administration is going to be tested regardless of who it is,” Obama told reporters after meeting with his national security working group. “The next administration is going to be inheriting a whole host of really big problems and so the president is going to be tested and the question is will the next president meet that test by moving America in a new direction by sending a clear signal to the rest of the world that we are no longer about bluster and unilateralism and ideology but we’re about creating partnerships around the world to solve practical problems.”

Obama added that with the economy in a “free fall” the United States is more vulnerable than ever. He said because of the Bush administration’s policies the next president will have to deal “with two unresolved wars, Bin Laden and Al Qaeda communicating regularly and training folks to potentially attack America.”

The McCain-Palin ticket seized on Senator Joe Biden’s comments made at a west coast fundraiser to highlight what they say is Obama’s inexperience, and have said on the stump Obama would need “on the job training.”

Obama dismissed the notion that his group of national security and foreign policy advisors were scrambled together in Richmond to counter Biden’s remarks and the Republican attacks.

“It would be pretty hard to gather this group in two days. They have pretty busy schedules. We actually had this planned about two weeks ago, two to three weeks. It was prompted by the fact that I was focused fairly single mindedly on the financial crisis and I asked my staff to convene this group because I think it’s very important at a time when we are so focused on the economy, and rightly so, that we not lose sight of that fact that we remain threatened and there are a whole host of international challenges that we’re going to have to deal with,” he said flanked by fifteen members of that group, including former Sen. Sam Nunn and several high ranking retired military officers.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Angus McDugan

    Watch out Biden. Comrade Obama will send you to Siberia.

    October 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. Obama is a questionable candidate

    Joe had it right the first time Obama. You are not ready to lead. You are permissive and you took 4 days to respond to the Russian conflict. You can do that as a senator, but not as a president. YOU ARE NOT THE MAN TO KEEP US SAFE!

    Anyone who says otherwise is not being truthful.

    October 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. Sweetie

    With a Weak Economy and a Weak President we will be in a world of Hurt!

    At this time in our history the last thing we need is President wearing Training Pants!

    With no Checks and Balances in place and favorable Press we won't know what kind of trouble we are in until it comes to our own neck of the woods!

    As an Early American once said just before the Revolutionary War...

    "Keep your cellar stocked and your powder dry!"

    October 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Diana Ewing NJ

    Yes, that is Joe Biden's mouth at work, can't figure out why we all really like him, but we do.

    October 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Frank G

    Someone explain to me how a jet fighter pilot on a ship during the Cuban Missle Crisis has been "tested" in geo-political international relationships.
    Somehow, the "Etch A Sketch" toy keeps coming to mind whenever the McCain/Palin ticket spout off their nonsense irrespective of the subject matter.

    October 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Leslie, PA

    It doesn't matter. There is only one choice for the presidency at this time and that choice is Barack Obama. McCain and Palin pale in comparison because together they don't have the skill sets to lead this country. After 8 years of divisiveness, we need someone who will promote unity, and McCain is not it. As Joe said everything he did as a maverick did NOT help the people, but himself.

    Oh, and the reason he was a maverick is because he was having temper tantrums. That's not good.

    McCain will have to constantly babysit for Palin and that will take up most of his time. I want a president who can feel comfortable that his VP is talking to world leaders and representing this country well.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Obama is a questionable candidate

    Since they closed the last comment section John McCain said" Of course, any nation that no longer has economic strength sooner or later will lose its military strength, so it's a national security issue. We have many trillions of dollars of unfunded liability. Obviously, we've been on a spending spree. If oil reaches $100 a barrel, which many people think it may, $400 billion of America treasure will go to oil-producing countries. Some of those monies will go to terrorist organizations."

    Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican debate Dec 12, 2007

    Obama DID NOT first come up with this idea. Get real folks.

    October 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. maynard hopkins wi


    October 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Biden said that "AFTER" as in WHEN Barack Obama is President, he will be tested, but McPalin has twisted that to "IF Barack Obama is elected he will be tested", as if any other person would not be so tested. It's semantics, people. Anyone who HEARD what Biden said, although his words may have been a bit dramatic, KNOWS that was not implying "OH if you elect this man, we will be attacked". Guess that John and Sarah can only interpret it that way because THEY, the Repubs, are the trigger happy ticket, bomb, bomb, bomb. So simple when one focuses on WORDS and not silliness.
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12

    October 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. TAYO, NY

    You are on the right path.

    Economy and National security are inter-related.

    You are the best for POTUS 44.


    October 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Vote Democrat

    Bush is leaving all the mess behind for the next president to handle, from the economic meltdown, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mess in Guantanamo Bay..we need someone who is intelligent and who is able to make wise choices, not a flip flopper or an uneducated Barbie

    October 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Saad from NJ

    I respect Senator Biden so much – in fact I wanted him to be our President – and am now content that he will be our VP and then the president in 8 years. But I have been at a loss since yesterday.

    I don't understand why he would say THAT? WHY JOE? Even if he thought 100% that was true, GOD FORBID, but why would he say something like THAT?

    October 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. marie

    If 'likeability' were polled for all four candidates – Obama and Joe Biden would be the top two.

    October 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. Clarence

    I would like to know why Obama or McCain are not talking about having the CEO of Lehman and all the other CEO crooks that caused this financial mess and made hundreds of millions of dollars doing so cough up that money and pay off the bailout, this would be the party I would vote for.

    October 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Dave in Atlanta

    What the hell is a rhetorical flourish?

    October 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Rebekah A.

    Biden says off the wall things from time to time, but we still love him and have confidence in the fact that he'll be an awesome VP for this country. Palin, on the other hand, has the IQ of a moose.

    October 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Franky

    I've gotten used to Joe Biden for really quite an awful long time. He's been around forever and quite frankly, he's just crazy! Joe Biden is old, Senator McCain is old but Gov Palin though, she's not...

    And by the way, how is the mortgage crisis a "drive by shooting?" Hey, I'm a Conservative, I ain't stupid...


    October 22, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. TAYO, NY

    What of McCain that almost started another clod war with his erratic response?

    Certainly I will not want an erratic response to any crisis.

    A president has to be cool, steady, decisive and able to carry us along.

    I don't see that in Jonh McCain in the recent time.


    October 22, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. tulsa

    lol, That's what I like about these guys. They like and respect each other. Obama knows Joe has the foreign policy experience. Joe knows Barack has the intellect and decision making skills.
    Obama knew Biden's reputation for gaffes when he picked him. He respects his views and doesn't have to "come to huis rescue" like McCain has done on so many occasions for his running mate.
    The jobs council, the national security meeting, just more indications of the way he will govern.
    He's already showing why Powell endorsed him.

    October 22, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Rocky

    Thanks Obama for clearing this up for the 3rd grader Republican VP. I hope she can understand this without still shouting stuff that has no clue to her or the rest of the country. I think this goes to show how people aways getting into other business and don't have a clue as to what it means or it's intentions.

    Good for Joe to keep them wondering, maybe they will get a plan and stick to it instead of looking at ways or theme for the next day out of Obama camp.

    October 22, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Charlie Bradley

    You Go Obama, don't let the Naysaysers In Mind Ridding Of Democratic Soeiety (NIMRODS) get to you. I think that WHOEVER is elected is going to face a tough first year....and you know what they say...cream always rises to the top.

    October 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |

    EXCELLENT OBAMA!! He is showing mature leadership in clarification of Biden's comments, and is EXACTLY what this country needs in terms of position as a leader and collaborator with the World's countries, rather than a rusty blustering worn out Bush/McCain era postering failed approach. And, we don't need Palin as the new leader in control of the Senate as VP, as she interprets the VP role- Senators better watch out, and vote for Obama!



    October 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. No Hillary = No Obama

    Typical lawyer rationalization, explain-away, excuse-making, minimization – you name it, Obama uses it. This is what can be expected if this guy gets into the White House – he will have an excuse for every action, every misstep, a rationalization here, a rationalization there – this is just a glimpse of the grease that oils this guy.

    October 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Michael in Houston

    See. Here is a guy who when his VP says something well "dumb" he publicly reprimends him on it. That is leadership folks. Palin calls Obama a "terrorist" and McCain only speaks up when the rest of the country is frowning on it. Biden is Biden, he is going to run of at the mouth at times but Obama will be there to check him on that. That is a real President, not a guy who let's his VP make all the critical decisions or let's his VP running mate stir up racial hatred for weeks without saying a word about it. Good job President errrrr I mean Senator Obama (My fault Obama. I forgot, we are not to celebrate until after November 4th)

    October 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Bruce

    So TRUE. The Bush Administration has left the USA in a MESS. It will take skill, and determinatin combined with thoughtful handleing of the economics and the politics that equate to the new world of the 21st century. Obama has the skill and he knows how to get things done. He reaches out to build unity while McCain seeks to devide and anger. The world is much too small to be run by small minded people. Obama has the world vision. But Obama need YOUR HELP.

    He can only maake change if you VOTE

    Get out and VOTE

    October 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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