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. 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 |
  2. 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 |
  3. Obama/Biden 08

    Well, I don't really blame Joe Biden for these 'rhetorical flourishes.' Quite frankly, Biden's comments are being taken completely out of context-he actually has a good point, one which could likely be applied to John McCain as well.

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Liz T, Tucson

    Obama will not be a "weak" president. A weak president keeps changing his approach when he doesn't know what will work, is full of bluster and incoherent statements like "I know where Bin Ladin is, I know how to get Bin Ladin" and shoot-from-the-hip jokes like "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran".

    What we don't need is a desperate old man who is deluded in thinking he has been "tested". I don't see where being a prisoner of war tests you for the presidency. But growing up black in America might. Especially when you have a great mind and an honest, sincere vision.

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Fla Sam

    I am so tired of people who keep trying to say because of Obama’s years of experience he will not make a good President. John F. Kennedy was a young President when he handled the Cuban Missile Crisis and thankfully he had a cool mind and handle the situation where we didn’t get into a nuclear war with Russia. What we need right now is a President who can think things through and handle them in a diplomatic way instead of a President with an itchy finger who is going to want to go to war every time someone looks at us in a wrong way.

    Obama – Biden 08/12

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. 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 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. 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 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Ronny A. Booth

    Is Senator McCain as out-of-touch as he appears? Senator Biden only stated what any American with common sense knows to be true that under a new political leadership, and knowing full-well our economy is fragile, that our foreign enemies will TEST OUR USA GOVERNMENT and its ability to re-act. Doesn't he recall "9/11"? That was an obvious attack to test our new President Bush and once again, our enemies understand our country going through a "period of adjustment" will be often times confused and disorganized. Senators Biden and Obama accept the fact that going into a new office that THE WORLD is going to throw challenge after challenge at them. Senator McCain & Governor Palin, you are making the case that voting sweepingly for the DEMOCRATIC PARTY is our ONLY alternative as Americans. HOMELAND SECURITY realizes that the risk to ANY new administration is REAL and is attempting to prepared for our November 4th results. BOOOOOO! To BAD Republican candidates that speak without thinking! Sincerely, Ronny

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Ronny A. Booth

    Is Senator McCain as out-of-touch as he appears? Senator Biden only stated what any American with common sense knows to be true that under a new political leadership, and knowing full-well our economy is fragile, that our foreign enemies will TEST OUR USA GOVERNMENT and its ability to re-act. Doesn't he recall "9/11"? That was an obvious attack to test our new President Bush and once again, our enemies understand our country going through a "period of adjustment" will be often times confused and disorganized. Senators Biden and Obama accept the fact that going into a new office that THE WORLD is going to throw challenge after challenge at them. Senator McCain & Governor Palin, you are making the case that voting sweepingly for the DEMOCRATIC PARTY is our ONLY alternative as Americans. HOMELAND SECURITY realizes that the risk to ANY new administration is REAL and is attempting to prepared for our November 4th results. BOOOOOO! To BAD Republican candidates that speak without thinking! Sincerely, Ronny

    October 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. 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 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. 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 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. 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 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Fla Sam

    I am so tired of people who keep trying to say because of Obama’s years of experience he will not make a good President. John F. Kennedy was a young President when he handled the Cuban Missile Crisis and thankfully he had a cool mind and handle the situation where we didn’t get into a nuclear war with Russia. What we need right now is a President who can think things through and handle them in a diplomatic way instead of a President with an itchy finger who is going to want to go to war every time someone looks at us in a wrong way.

    Obama – Biden 08/12

    October 22, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. 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 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. Desmond Sequeira

    That is so true. Mr. Joe Biden is one of the smartest and best persons in the USA. He just needs to restrain the melodrama because his bankrupt opponents will jump on anything, grasp at any straw they can get hold of

    October 22, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Sandy

    I loved the comments on the Palin story about how what Biden said is so much worse than how she answered the VP question. Biden was essentially stating that there will be those who will seek to test the new President and that any President may not be perfect all the time. Palin has twice now incorrectly and clearly enlarged the role of the VP to include control of the Senate, which is an extremely scary thing. Attacks from without are one thing, but attacks from within!

    October 22, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Common Sense

    I have a feeling that Sweetie is a paid GOP blogger.

    October 22, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. Brian (NC)

    He should've just let that one go.... I think he made it worse by commenting on Biden's comments. In the past, Obama has ignored these sorts of issues and they just sort of faded away. I think he should stick with that approach.

    October 22, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Douglas, Los Angeles California

    In my opinion, these two men are highly qualified to run this country. Joe has a mouth on him, but we love him anyway. We who admire him don't try to mince his words, he has the greatest pride and love for this country and will work with Obama to fix this country which the current administration is leaving behind. And from the looks of what's being left for the next president, it's not going to be easy. I put my trust in the Obama/Biden ticket.

    October 22, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Preco, NY

    At least Joe Biden can string two sentences together correctly. Can we say the same of " you are not smarter than a 3rd grader" sister Sarah?

    October 22, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. Dem. turned Independent

    Put the spin anyway you want on Biden's remark Obama – he said what he meant and he meant what he said. You are going to be tested and you will fail the test and we will all suffer. You are NOT ready to lead – Biden said so himself – and he meant what he said and he said what he means!

    Sarah Palin might say something that is not exactly right politically, but Biden is saying that Obama IS NOT READY TO LEAD.

    OBAMA WILL NOT KEEP US SAFE – HE WILL NOT FIX THE ECONOMY, WE WILL ALL PAY DEARLY IF OBAMA BECOMES PRESIDENT.

    You had all best come to your senses before you pull that lever folks. Obama is a smooth talker and has surrounded himself with lots of infulential people and lots of money – but that does not make him a leader – it makes him a person who leans on others. Scary

    October 22, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Mark

    Is it true that Obama fooled around with a male midgit in 1997??? I need to know the answer to this...

    October 22, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Becky in Vegas

    How could anyone NOT vote for this guy....He just makes so much sense after going through 8 years of an idiot at the helm!!!!

    October 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. Karen, Arkansas

    I voted for you today Joe....you are the man!

    Looking forward to a change in the White House!

    October 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. GINA, OHIO

    THIS IS THE RIGHT KIND OF LEADERSHIP AMERICA NEEDS!! I FEEL CONFIDANT THAT IF OBAMA WERE TESTED HE WOULD HANDLE ANY CRISIS' THE WAY IT WOULD NEED TO BE DEALT WITH NO PROBLEM!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN

    October 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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