DANVILLE, Virginia (CNN) – Barack Obama is ready for any crisis and better prepared than John McCain, said Joe Biden, defending his Sunday comments that the Democrat would be tested by an international crisis in his first few months in the White House.
“Every new president is tested, Democrat or Republican,” Biden argued in a Univision interview, adding that he doesn’t regret his remarks. “I don’t know where John’s been the last 20 years, number one. Number two, I’ve watched Barack Obama, I’ve tested his mettle. I’ve seen him, he’s ready to handle any crisis and based upon the major crises we’ve had, he’s been right, John’s been wrong.”
Biden spoke to Denver’s Univision station in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, pointing to Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea as examples of foreign policy decisions where McCain has been wrong.
“My point was, Barack is much better prepared to deal with upcoming crises whichever they may be than John is,” he said.
“Secondly, John we have a crisis on our hands already. It’s an economic crisis,” Biden continued. “John is nowhere. John McCain’s offering up the same warmed up ideas. He bounces from pillar to post with new ideas. Barack has had a steady hand, laid out what he’s going to do, and that’s why so many people are rallying to him.”
The Delaware senator told donors at a Seattle fundraiser Sunday that he guarantees Obama will face “an international crisis, a generated crisis” early into his term in office.
“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy,” said Biden. “The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America.
“Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he’s going to have to make some really tough - I don’t know what the decision’s going to be, but I promise you it will occur.”
Obama dismissed Biden’s comments as “rhetorical flourishes," as McCain seized on them as evidence that Obama’s running mate was acknowledging the Illinois senator’s lack of experience.
“We don’t want a president who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars,” McCain told supporters Wednesday in Ormond Beach, Florida. “Senator Obama tried to explain away this by warning – by saying that his running mate sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes. Really? Really? That’s another way of saying he accidentally delivered some straight talk to America.”
The Arizona senator’s campaign put out a 30-second ad Friday featuring audio of Biden’s words, saying, “It doesn’t have to happen. Vote John McCain.”
The usually talkative Biden ignored a reporter’s question about the ad Friday. A campaign spokesman said he has no plans to address his remarks on the trail.
The senator's defense of his comments went unnoticed for two days in part because unlike Obama, McCain, and Palin, Biden’s staff doesn’t inform reporters traveling with the campaign what local interviews he does.