June 28th, 2007
10:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Blunt talk from Biden. . . and Obama


WASHINGTON (CNN) - Delaware Sen. Joe Biden's trademark blunt talk set up the liveliest and one of the frankest admissions in a gathering of presidential candidates so far this campaign.

In response to a question about AIDS in the black community at Thursday's Democratic presidential forum at Howard University, Biden said, "I spent last summer going through the black sections of my town holding rallies in parks trying to get black men to understand it's not unmanly to wear a condom. Getting women to understand they can say no. Getting people in the position where testing matters. I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack [Obama] got tested for AIDS. There's no shame in being tested for AIDS."

In response, Obama said, "I just gotta make clear I got tested with Michelle [Obama] when we were in Kenya in Africa. I don't want any confusion here about what's going on," eliciting the largest round of laughter from the audience.

Biden then replied, "I got tested to save my life, because I had 13 pints of blood transfusion."

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Ben, Worcester, MA

    what the heck does that have to do with politics?

    June 28, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  2. Joe Fernandez, Tucson AZ

    It may not be unmanly, but the pope's court (US Supreme Court) may make it illegal....

    June 28, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  3. Robert, Detroit, MI

    It's so clear that Joe Biden is hugely racist; you know that someone is hopelessly racist (or just plain stupid) when they can't help but keep putting their foot in their own mouths. It's sad that he identifies as a Democrat.

    June 28, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  4. Dave, St. Louis, MO

    Bravo Joe! We have to take more personal responsibility in the fight against AIDS.

    June 28, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  5. Greg, Fairfied Beach, CT

    Finally, a politician demonstrates candidness and honesty on a touchy subject.

    June 28, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. Rich Murray, NYC

    It's rather pathetic that this comment by Senator Biden is the headline of your coverage of this rather gutsy, provocative debate.

    But then again, CNN has spent dozens of hours covering Paris hilton in recent weeks.

    I'm done with your network. You are the least common denominator in infotainment coverage.

    June 28, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  7. terry

    Personally I think Joe Biden should wear a suit and tie in the senate but
    then everyone to their own fashion.
    Then again – isn't he a bit old for a
    condom. He'd be better off asking for
    Spiritual Bouquets and aspirations for
    his old age.
    That'll teach him to talk dirty...!

    June 28, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  8. John, Memphis

    what does Obama mean by his "i just got make this clear..." comment? Is he afraid Biden's comment makes him sound gay? Obama is a homophobe. I hope hillary picks someone else to be VP.

    June 28, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  9. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Bravo to Biden. He is saying nothing that isn't true.

    But some people would rather hear soundbites, pretty language and blame other people than actually look in the mirror and see what is in front of them.

    June 29, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Misty Fowler, Salt Lake City, UT

    what does Obama mean by his “i just got make this clear…” comment? Is he afraid Biden’s comment makes him sound gay? Obama is a homophobe. I hope hillary picks someone else to be VP.
    Posted By John, Memphis

    Obama is not a homophobe, you should do your research. And his comment had nothing to do with homosexuality. The comment was jokingly clarifying that he hadn't cheated on his wife.

    June 29, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. Jeff, Detroit Mi

    And this is news because??? This might possibly be the most wasted bandwidth in the history of the internet(s all of them)

    June 29, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Tim Los Angeles

    Senator Biden does a great job of stirring the pot and enciting a reaction. He needs to continue that fine work, and drop out of the presidential bid.

    June 29, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. nellieh/Amherst/Oh.

    There are other reasons to get tested for HIV/AIDS. I did because the lab that cleaned the cadaver bone used as a spacer in my cervical spine wasn't cleaned the way it was supposed to. When the lab was informed by the FDA of their error the FDA left it up to the lab what to do about it. Naturally, their solution was to do nothing and for my doctor not to advise me of the screw up. Fortunately, my Veteran's Administration neuro-surgeon felt it was unethical not to tell me and advised me to get tested. I did and fortunately it was clean. This two years after surgery.

    June 29, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Matthew

    Joe Biden isn't a racist. The first sentence of the article clearly states that he was asked a race related question. Why is it racist to answer it by specifically talking about the race in question?

    June 29, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Lahaina, HI

    How exciting to see our informed leaders talk about being tested for HIV.

    June 30, 2007 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  16. marie, richomd, virginia

    I understood Obama clearly. He wanted everyone to know he did not cheat on his wife like the clintons. It had nothing to do with homosexuality.

    June 30, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. bloomingotn

    Good for Biden. He's right. It's not "racist" at all. The numbers speak for themselves and the black community DOES have a troublesome and disproportionate number of AIDs AND babies born to single Moms, 70% or so the last time I looked. Unless one attributes it to "God's will" or "superior fertility" there is a rationale explanation and Biden's fits that description.

    Hell, at least the Ds can talk about the issue instead of thinking that supporting "family planning" will make you burn in hell forever.

    June 30, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  18. Ann, Chicago, IL

    Joe Biden is truly a disgusting individual.

    July 1, 2007 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  19. kb Delaware

    Biden is doing his best to help this world. People should use their brains a little.

    July 1, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |