October 22nd, 2008
02:08 PM ET
5 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. Tolu

    Anytime John McCain alludes to his days as a fighter pilot as evidence of his 'testing', the obvious response is, 'well, look how THAT turned out'. While t's unfortunate that it didn't turn out so well, and it appeals to our sympathy, it doesn't change a minus into a plus. McCain failed on that mission, and I sure as heck am not prepared to trust him with this one.

    October 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Scott NYC Independent

    And considering the Al Qaedea endorsement of McCain I think Obama is the best choice for all of us but especially our military.

    October 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Joy

    Even though Palin has made obvious mistakes, McCain still believes she has done very well in all interviews. Including the Couric and Gibson interviews. He believes she can do no wrong, she speaks with clarity and understanding of all aspects.

    October 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Doug

    Okay, now that we've cleared that up, can we get back to the real issues: Sarah palin is an idiot. McCain is not the right guy for the job.

    October 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. UNION WORKERS FOR MCCAIN

    Funny how CNN editorializes the Palin article by concluding "Palin misstates VP role", yet does not add color to Obama's characterization of Biden's gaffe making ability. This is such an absolute double standard, and any idiot – even you liberal druid idiots, ought to fess up and understand that. OBVIOUSLY, Palin was responding in a way a 3rd grader would understand because A 3RD GRADER ASKED THE QUESTION IN THE FIRST PLACE. Leave it to the shamless socialist left and the liberal media led by CNN to take it out of context. CNN apparently hires idiots who are overcredentialed yet underqualified to be journalists. And in fact, the role of the VP is clear: "The Vice Presdient shall preside over the Senate". This is part of our Constitution and founding papers. SO what if it's become a ceremonial role? For all of you non-history reading people (mainly liberal idiots), the VP DID IN FACT have more of an active role in managing the Senate in early times. What's to say the VP couldn't choose to elevate the role in a future administration? The precedent certainly exists. God, you liberals just don't think, do you? Of course, for a bunch of non-intellectuals (who think they are actually intellectual), you sure can't hang with real logic and thinking.

    October 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. morris graham

    Joe Biden seems to be looking forward to "real" world issues, he told the truth, take the time to read all of his statement, he ended it by saying Obama would handle what may come because he has a spine of steel. So much about nothing, then again, that's the REPUGS for you...

    October 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Well, Senator Biden, one of the role of President/VP is looking out for the safety of this country. I am sure it's a heavy burden on both of you, and you really shouldn't broadcast that concern to the country. However, knowing how you have a tendency to speak your mind and just blurt things out, we forgive you.

    If a leader is wise, he/she should recognize the force of people behind Obama, not just in this country but around the world, and he/she should think twice before testing him. My prediction.

    Just as McCain/Palin try to discredit Obama, see what happen to McCain/Palin campaign.

    October 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. BAKERSFIELD

    not fearmonergering but if obama becomes pres. are we setting our self up with another 9/11

    i guess obama thinks i am nieve enough to think that joe was also talking about mccain

    more of obama past frank marshall davis
    read and you will find out the change obama is talking about

    cnn is so in the tank for obama they have never posted anything i said

    October 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. K

    Obama is a questionable candidate October 22nd, 2008 2:19 pm ET

    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!

    I think you need to calm down and understand that you don't make rash decisions or blurt out the mouth without thoroughly understanding.
    LOOK AT YA BOY MCCAIN FOR EXAMPLE

    October 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Mark

    The media has just recovered a 2002 interview with Bill Ayers where he states "I am an anarchist and a marxist". He goes on to say that he shared an office with Obama for 3 years, etc, etc. I guess I should describe my co-workers at my office from now as..."just some guy in my neighborhood". Wake up democrats, don't let your candidate continue to lie to you.

    October 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Annette

    Barack Obama for President 08.

    October 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. tylenol666

    the Student Schools the Teacher

    That's why You Rock Obama!

    Obama / Biden 08

    October 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Pit Bull with Lipstick for Obama

    I am glad that Obama's clearing this up in a mature manner, which is more than we can say for the way McCain and Palin have been behaving. Seriously...they are behaving worse than my 7 and 9 year olds.....

    October 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. FJ from Atlanta

    Obama is one smooth brotha. Rethorical Flourishes (wow!).

    Palin could not say this on her best day even with a dictionary in front of her.

    Go Obama!

    October 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Cynthia; Bham

    I agree 100% with what Senator Obama said. The scary thought is if McCain/Palin were to win and a foreign country would test Palin. Enough Said!

    October 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. McHoover Will Destroy What is Left of America

    And we'll have to consider the source on this one, a 2000 & 2004 Bush voter who is obviously a bit flawed in the character judgement department

    "Obama is a questionable candidate
    October 22nd, 2008 2:19 pm ET

    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 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Commonwealth of Virginia

    So what Joe occasionally puts his foot in his mouth. He's way more qualified than SP to be VP.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Obamalism

    Once again, Obama's response to a tough question is basically "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"

    I Barack Obama do not have to answer any questions about my past or my judgement or my lack of experience because those are not important and George Bush is bad! McCain is really George Bush in disguise. I'm Good! Hope and Change is Good!

    - Your "Pie in the sky promises" directly conflict with what little voter record you have Senator Obama. Thanks, but no thanks.

    October 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Baby Love

    Funny how republican supporters always talk about truth but never actually speak it.

    WE ARE TAKING BACK OUR COUNTRY!

    Go OBAMA!

    October 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. carlo

    "Obama is a questionable candidate said"

    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

    ****************************************************************************
    Uh, my 14-year old daughter knows this, and I think most people with common sense know this. The problem is that McCain has sold his soul to the devil to win. Kerry was right-the McCain of 2000 wouldn't vote for the McCain of 2008.

    October 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Rob

    "rhetorical flourishes"????? "rhetorical flourishes"????? I don't know which is more sad, that Barry thinks all you koolaid drinkers will buy this line, or that you actually do.

    October 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. Grace Needed

    Tested and tried his whole life, Senator Obama has earned our respect the hard way in this campaign by working at it one day at a time. He is an authentic Christian who loves God and shows it by loving others and working to do all he can and has been called to for the 'least of these". Jesus said, "If you do it for the least of these, you're doing it for me". We feel blessed that he heard the calling and is responding while using the God given talents he has to been given to benefit us.

    October 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Sacto Joe

    YES!

    An intelligent, meaningful response. NOT right wing propaganda, twisting of the facts and outright lies calculated to pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate.

    GOBAMA!!!!

    October 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Bit

    The challenge is fixing the mess that Bush is leaving. I don't think McPalin and Company is up to the task. We need someone with clear, fresh eyes and thoughts to mend American back together after we fell off the Wall Street Wall.

    October 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. worriedmom

    I betcha once Obama is elected you will not hear much from Biden. He was just a pawn for him. He will get thrown under the bus like has done to many and is getting ready to do to all you supporters. My question is what are you going to do when Obama tells you that everything he promised you he just cannot do??? What will you write then? I am a realist and realize that McCain can't produce miracles either (although he has never claimed to be the "Chosen One") but at least I feel McCain would fight for the USA when we are in danger. Obama will try to use his sweet talkin charm while the missles are headed for us! By the way a friend of mine brought this to my attention, Have you ever noticed that Obama never says God Bless America in his campaign speeches. Just wondering why? .............

    October 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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