November 6th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden talks transition, says McCain's 'still my friend'

Vice President-elect Biden said Thursday that he has not spoken to Sen. McCain since the election but also said he was still friends with McCain.
Vice President-elect Biden said Thursday that he has not spoken to Sen. McCain since the election but also said he was still friends with McCain.

GEORGETOWN, Delaware (CNN) – As he headed back to Delaware to ceremonially “bury the hatchet” Thursday as part of a state tradition, Vice President-elect Joe Biden told reporters that John McCain was “still my friend.”

He also said that he and President-elect Obama had begun meeting daily to “flesh out the transition” – and did not deny speculation that Sen. John Kerry could be under consideration for a position in the new administration.

Last week, Biden had told reporters he was not sure if the friendship could be saved. “I don’t know, I hope [the friendship] is intact, John and I have not had a chance to speak,” Biden said. “I hope [it’s] intact because I still admire him, I still like him. ... I believe when this is over, win or lose, John and I are likely to be around in one form or another, in one job or another, and I hope, my hope is we can work together.”

The Delaware native said he hasn’t spoken to McCain – his friend of over three decades – since the Democratic ticket’s victory. Asked what he’d say to McCain and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin if they were on hand, Biden seemed to reach out to his Senate colleague, but did not seem as eager to make peace with the Arizona senator’s running mate.

“I’d say John, we’re still friends,” he said, adding “I don’t know Sarah Palin. I’m not being a wiseguy, you know, it’s over. I mean, I think it’s pretty remarkable, for the all the ups and downs, [a] pretty remarkable run for her. I mean, here’s a woman who is out of Wasilla as a mayor and then governor for two years. I think it’s pretty remarkable, pretty remarkable.

“But John’s still my friend. I say, John, I need you. We need you. This is an opportunity. We really mean what we said.... Barack and I met yesterday, and we’ll be meeting every day for a while until we flesh out this cabinet and everybody else. But we really mean it. We’ve got to reach out, man. You can’t get from here to there with just Democrats, you can’t do it. And I, and I’m…well anyway, when I talk to John, that is, that’s my, that’s what I’m going to tell him.”

Biden returned to Delaware on Thursday to participate in the state’s tradition of Returns Day, the Thursday after Election Day when state party officials literally bury a hatchet while the winning and losing candidates ride in carriages together in a parade.

On the flight from Chicago, he regaled a small group of reporters with stories about the day and discussed the transition.

“There’s a sense of excitement about it because yesterday we really did, five of us in a room, seven of us in a room, really actually beginning to put together a government,” said Biden, who said he and Obama planned to meet every day. “We’ve thought a lot about it but it was the first time - he’s as superstitious as I was - and the first time we actually started talking about names and places and organizations and it’s…there’s a sense of we both know it’s going to be a very difficult road.

“...I think the world is looking to us - not Barack and me - looking to America in the same way the public’s looking to us. They sense there’s a need for immediate help, immediate help for people drowning,” said Biden. “Not a new form of our government but a new international architecture.

“We need some really good thinking and what I’m excited about is there’s an awful lot of talented people out there, an awful lot of talented people who are ready, who are thinking this way,” he added. “Thinking around the curve rather than just beginning to try to catch up.”

Asked if Sen. John Kerry - whose name has been floated for Secretary of State - is one of those people, Biden agreed but didn’t reveal anything more. “Senator Kerry’s one of those guys, sure.”


Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain • Sarah Palin • Transition 2008
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. JDC

    Of course he's your (stupid) friend. He will reach across the aisle and help you accomodate Marxism.

    November 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Karen

    Maybe he will lose his fake smile in the white house.

    November 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. vahe

    its over joe move on.... i think joe plays politics thats all hahah obama 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Rayford

    There are some really harsh comments coming from Dems. Let's leave that to the Repubs. We as Dems should be better than that. We have to set the example.

    November 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

    FRIENDS LIKE BIDEN-WHO NEEDS ENEMIES

    November 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Anchoa

    John McCain begat Sarah Palin, at least on the national stage. Now it's his responsibility to counter the extremist right wing bile she'll soon start spewing from her own media platform.

    November 6, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    >>Joe Biden was much kinder to John McCain than McCain was to >>Joe during this election.

    How, exactly???

    November 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. United we stand...

    ANGIE November 6th, 2008 2:51 pm ET

    OBAMA SUPPORTERS
    Stop Hating on John Mccain, Yes he did some wrong things and used Poor Judgement. But he served our Country and he still is a US Senator please show Senator Mccain Respect THE CAMPAIGNS ARE OVER!
    _______________________________________________________

    I couldn't agree more!!

    Time to look forward and UNITE.

    November 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. N. S. Huntsville, Al

    Biden have you ever heard the saying if you play with fire you will get burned? Just leave John McCain alone, we don't need him not even a little bit.

    November 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    There are some really harsh comments coming from Dems. Let's leave that to the Repubs. We as Dems should be better than that. We have to set the example.
    ______________

    No kidding – despite what many democrats claim, many can be the most mean-spirited, least tolerant people around.

    November 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Biden have you ever heard the saying if you play with fire you will get burned? Just leave John McCain alone, we don't need him not even a little bit.
    ___________________

    Yup, the spirit of bi-partisianship here. Nice open-minded comment.

    November 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    I wonder where Biden will plagarize his speeches from now that he's VP?

    November 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    John Kerry in the cabinet? And how is this change exactly???

    Obama=Typical Politician.

    November 6, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. wakeupamerica

    C'mon people. America has spoken and its time for us to UNITE and HEAL.

    November 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Sour grapes already

    How amazing it is that the repubs are such sour grapes already.
    They had 8YEARS their way and our Country has been run into the ground.....all we hear is the boo hooing , crying, whining and complaining from them. GET OVER IT.

    They are the reason why our Country is falling apart. THEIR President (bush) had his way for 8 long long years and look at the outcome. It wouldnt occur to any of them to come together and fix and repair the damage so we can all have better lives in America.
    STOP the HATE . The fear/hate mongers on the right radio and tv are destructive and evil.

    November 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    STOP the HATE . The fear/hate mongers on the right radio and tv are destructive and evil.
    _____

    I agree – however, the liberal media was also destructive and evil to Bush. So, it works both ways...

    November 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    My, my, the conservative vermin are coming out from under the refrigerator.

    Guess what? Obama is our next President. Get over it.

    You won't . You'll blame every rainy day on him.

    November 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    John Kerry in the cabinet?

    Maybe Obama can find positions Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis, too.

    Change, my a!@

    November 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Vicki in GA

    If the media is so liberal, how did George W. Bush get elected twice? Bottom line is the media "reports" the events, they don't make them up. Find someone else to blame.

    November 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    If the media is so liberal, how did George W. Bush get elected twice? Bottom line is the media "reports" the events, they don't make them up. Find someone else to blame.
    _____________

    By the people who voted for him. The media tried to sink him (ever hear of Dan Rather?). And the media reports the events they want. If you think otherwise, I feel sorry for you.

    November 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Joe the Troll

    That "liberal media" stuff is just whiny crap from people who can't win an argument about policy or issues. It's really to stupid to even take seriously. The mainstream media is all owned by large corporations – since when are those bastions of liberality? I guess some folks don't remember how the media lied for Bush to get his second war started. They only became "liberal" when the facts started looking bad for Chimpy.

    November 6, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Joel Parkes

    I like Joe.

    November 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Bill Z

    Hmmm...the Chair of the Tri-Lateral Commission, a Bonesman, some Bilderbergers, a bunch of folks who orchestrated the takeover of the NYSE's board of directors, and several members of Clinton's cabinet, all working with a guy who promised to be my Senator for the full six years, then changed his mind, then agreed to accept public financing, then changed his mind. I wonder if that is what he means by 'Change'?

    To me, a registered Democrat of 35 years, who could not even bring himself to vote this year, it simply means, "No, we CAN't!"

    November 6, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Lauren independent voter California

    I don't know about you, joe biden, but I would never be friends with someone who tried every dirty trick in the book to win an alection. If he were really your friend, he would have ran an honorable campaign against you and obama. With friends like that you don't need any enemies.

    November 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Sour grapes already

    Annon.:
    2 wrongs dont make a right. Be the bigger person, stand up to the hate.

    It wont stop if people keep listening, supporting, repeating the lies and ignorance.

    Those who dont even try to help rebuild, obviously like the mess the way it is and just want to whine about it.

    November 6, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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