October 22nd, 2008
02:08 PM ET
6 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. 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 |
  2. jerry

    Palin is a joke. Joe can take over for Obama any day. I would have MUCH preferred Hillary over Obama, but can't vote for McCain..NO WAY NO HOW.

    We need Dems at all levels....STRAIGHT TICKET WHEREVER U R!!

    October 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Bruce

    the repubs and McCain supporter here need to answer this question for me... what expericnec does McCain/Palin have in dealing with crisis? He has been in the senate for 30 years, and she has been a mayor and not even one term as a gov...so what exact expereince do they have?
    McCain served as pilot in Viet Nam...but since then what is his experience dealing with a crisis? Bush had to deal with 9/11 do you think he had expereicne in that.
    Really I do not see where anyone brings more experience to a crisis situation here than the other.
    Get off that issue,,,and have some answers.
    McCain is really no mor ready to deal with a crisis on day one than Obama,.

    October 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Art

    Barack is the real deal. We (you, I'm Canadian) will be talking about him the way we talked about JFK..

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. 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 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Mark

    I think it is sooo ofunny to hear sheep-like democrats say barry is ready to lead...after being a senator for 140 days...get real guys. Say no to obama/ayers 08

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Sharon - NC

    I, and everyone else in the country understood what Biden meant.

    McCain and Palin are the only people that chose not to understand it, and turn it into something else, which, ultimately, again, made them look stupid. If you keep doing the same thing and get the same bad result . . . ?

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Greg F

    I think you meant "aren't"

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Retired USN

    GO OBAMA, THE MILITARY IS WITH YOU SIR!!!!

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. fixthebroken

    Maynard Hopkins,

    And McCain and Palin have substance to their words? Can you provide an example, please?

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Wendy in NC

    I'll take 'rhetorical flourishes' any day over a VP who doesn't know the job description, has no depth or intelligence, cannot link a sentence together structurally, and is obviously power hungry and without any conscience at all.
    Obama/Biden for calm, thoughtful, inclusive and SMART

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Mike

    No Sarah no ! Rhetorical Flourish is not the latest fashion line at Saks Fifth Avenue. You have already wasted one hundred and fifty thousand dollars of campaign funds on Haute Couture. Just stop it now.

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Bruce

    the repubs and McCain supporter here need to answer this question for me... what expericnec does McCain/Palin have in dealing with crisis? He has been in the senate for 30 years, and she has been a mayor and not even one term as a gov...so what exact expereince do they have?
    McCain served as pilot in Viet Nam...but since then what is his experience dealing with a crisis? Bush had to deal with 9/11 do you think he had expereicne in that.
    Really I do not see where anyone brings more experience to a crisis situation here than the other.
    Get off that issue,,,and have some answers.
    McCain is really no mor ready to deal with a crisis on day one than Obama,.

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Greg F

    I think you meant "Aren't"

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Bruce

    the repubs and McCain supporter here need to answer this question for me... what expericnec does McCain/Palin have in dealing with crisis? He has been in the senate for 30 years, and she has been a mayor and not even one term as a gov...so what exact expereince do they have?
    McCain served as pilot in Viet Nam...but since then what is his experience dealing with a crisis? Bush had to deal with 9/11 do you think he had expereicne in that.
    Really I do not see where anyone brings more experience to a crisis situation here than the other.
    Get off that issue,,,and have some answers.
    McCain is really no mor ready to deal with a crisis on day one than Obama,.

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Cant stand Osama...Obama

    I guess people are seeing these two fools for what they really are, new AP poll has Osama..... i mean Obama at 44% and McCain at 43%

    October 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. johnrj08

    The question should be, does John McCain think that if he is elected he won't be tested? If you want to throw a country into a tailspin, just create a big problem for its erratic leader who is incapable of controlling his emotions and multi-tasking. Biden's statement was accurate, historically, but it has been effectively spun into a negative by McCain/Palin. The problem isn't Biden. It's the opportunistic campaign that McCain is running, which refuses to stick to the important issues.

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. Ellis Bingham

    What is Obama and the Democratic National Committee trying to hide by not allowing the American voters access to his Columbia and Harvard Law School records to include who paid for his education. In addition, a Federal Court ordered Obama to turn over three documents to prove that he is in fact a U.S. citizen. This has not been done! No one really knows this clown!

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Annette

    Did I read, McCain is considering a second stimulus package too? Huh?

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Teknarik

    Yes Mr. Obama, please admit that Joe was correct when stating that you indeed will be tested because of your very little experience in the field. No need to clarify what was stated. We are not stupid and fully understand what Joe Biden said.

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. 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 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Greg F

    I think you meant "Aren't" . Too many field trips, trooper?

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Retired USN

    GO OBAMA, THE MILITARY IS WITH YOU SIR!!!!

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. ber6964

    Repugants are just laughable, Y'all are so funny, I'll bet most of you couldn't tell me the difference between Socialism, Communism, Marxism and Facism.. NOW could you??

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. PoliticoPundit

    I thought Obama was able to do multitasking as he criticized McCain when he halted the campaign to tackle the issue. But now Obama is saying he was handling ONLY financial Crisis?? that's double speak. When needed he changes his stance..

    1 – Undivided jerushalem and then changed

    2 Rooted for Philly when he was in Philly and then changes to Rays when in Florida

    3 . praised Ayer's book then changes his stance and denounced his work

    4. Not for drilling and when saw not working then for drilling.

    5. and list goes on ..

    How can we put faith in this guy. May be we can select the better dancer now than McCain.

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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