October 1st, 2007
04:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Biden explains why Gore, Kerry lost

Biden said Al Gore and John Kerry failed to communicate their national security credentials.

ROCK HILL, South Carolina (CNN) - Sen. Joe Biden, touting his experience on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a campaign stop here, said that former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry lost the 2000 and 2004 elections because they failed to convince voters they had the experience to protect Americans.

"Why did we lose?," Biden asked a crowd of about 50 people at the office of the York County Democratic Party. "We had good, decent, honorable men running [in 2000 and 2004]. But anybody who thinks we're going to elect a president who cannot lay down unimpeachable credentials on national security, who cannot demonstrate by his or her record or character that they have the strength and vision to protect America as well as ending this war, I think we're making a mistake again."

Biden said that most Americans agree with Democrats on domestic issues, but that President Bush did a better job in 2004 of winning over voters on national security issues.

"What he [Bush] was able to communicate wrongly, and what my candidate and your candidate [Kerry] was unable to communicate unjustly, was that he would keep America safe," Biden said.

He told the crowd he would trounce the Republican nominee in a national security debate.

"I can hardly wait to debate Rudy Giuliani," he said to cheers. "I can hardly wait to debate Mitt Romney or whomever they choose on matters relating to national security and homeland security."

Biden, still in single digits in national polls, also took a thinly veiled swipe at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, suggesting that he is the only Democrat who can appeal to voters in red states. He said a viable Democratic candidate must be able to win in states that went red in 2000 and 2004, particularly in the South.

"I truly believe, and I predict to you, electability is going to become a major, major, major factor at the end of the day when South Carolinians and Iowans and folks in New Hampshire go to those polls or caucuses to cast their vote."

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Al Gore • Joe Biden • John Kerry • South Carolina
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. I have one

    Joe Biden - you of all people - as a democrat - should be making darned sure that the voting machines - you know the pre-programmed ones that got the blessing of the REPUBLICAN PARTY - those machines SHOULD BE RECOUNTABLE AND NOT PREPROGRAMMED how dare you say it is for any other reason that the Dems lost the last TWO selections

    October 1, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. Ryan Indianapolis

    Sorry Joe but you have Zero creditablity on any issue and you would not win one RED STATE,,please Joe you have no chance of winning. Pack it up and go home you BIG MOUTH...

    October 1, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Colony 14 author, Mount Prospect, Illinois

    "Biden said that most Americans agree with Democrats on domestic issues." If he and his fellow democrats think Americans want with higher taxes, abortion on demand in the ninth month of pregnancy, drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, open borders free health care and and amnesty for illegals, gay marriage, nationalized health care, child molesters set free by liberal judges, and $5,000 bribes to newborn babies – no wonder they lose elections!

    October 1, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. Des O'Dwyer, IRELAND

    Great to see Senator Biden in top form. Voters are realising that he is the most experienced candidate in the race and the only one with a PlanForIraq.com . It has already happened in Iowa where he continues to get stronger. When you compare the so-called Top Two Democrats, it looks like they have been in Congress a wet weekend.

    Go Joe!

    Des O'Dwyer

    October 1, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. elizabeth fenimore, sacramento, ca


    Does the Emporer have NO CLOTHES????

    Are we in La-La Land?

    Gore/Kerry lost the election because Bush and his cronies subterfuged the elction. They STOLE it.


    October 1, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. david a belanger,veteran us army

    But anybody who thinks we're going to elect a president who cannot lay down unimpeachable credentials on national security, who cannot demonstrate by his or her record or character that they have the strength and vision to protect America as well as ending this war, I think we're making a mistake again."
    so biden please explain just what you stated, bush/cheney and this adminastartion have commited so many impeachable offences that i have stop at 100 so why are these crimenals still running this country..why come on tell us

    October 1, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. laurinda,ny

    Oh no. It was because of the hanging chads and people with the same names as felons were not allowed to vote. I saw the documentary by that English chap.

    October 1, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    no need to explain, Biden. people rightly saw gore as a tax and spend democrat who was weak on nat'l security, didn't particularly care for the military and would expand every social program, even for those who are able bodied (but who just choose not to work). So, no need to explain, Sen. Biden.

    October 1, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Michael James -- Illinois

    Biden is not correct.

    True, national security was and always will be an important issue, but Gore lost in part due to being tied to the Clinton scandals as well as the issues with the voter intimidation and vote counting problems, as well as the Florida recount and the Supreme Court decision.

    Kerry lost due to the swift boat ads that called into question his military credentials.

    In both cases, it was personal integrity questions raised by the Republicans that gained enough traction to siphon off votes. It was not a lack of experience on foreign policy.

    October 1, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Tony Nazar, Wilton, ME

    IMO, Joe Biden is wrong on at least two counts.

    #1 My opinion only – Gore and Kerry didn't lose their elections – they were stolen. The United Sates of America suffered its first coup in 2000 and its second in 2004. The implications are so serious that even those Democrats who know this for sure, deny it.

    #2 Again – opinion. I don't claim prescience. Edwards could probably take the reddish purple states as could Obama (if the blacks are permitted to vote). Hillary is probably toast in a south still locked into the submissive wife myth. Richardson has as much chance as Biden.

    October 1, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  11. Brenda Connecticut

    Gore has every right to hate the CLINTON CRIME MACHINE. Bill stole the money meant for Gore to run and gave it to his wife, Hillary's senate run. HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?

    October 1, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  12. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Don't forget that those 8,000 people with felon-like names were all black.

    October 1, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. RalphB Austin

    Hooray for the senator from Mastercard, sticking it to, uh I mean sticking up for, the little guy. Shut up and go home Joe.

    October 1, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    I would have voted for my dog before voting for the two of them dimwits.

    October 1, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Gore and Kerry could also have been more aggressive in attacking the dimwitted Bush.

    October 1, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  16. jillian, Chandler, Az

    Biden – you are my candidate – but instead of attacking Kerry and Gore – attack Hillary and Obama. Take them down, they don't deserve to be in the top tier – YOU DO!

    October 1, 2007 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  17. Stephen, Naples, Florida

    Kerry lost the 2004 election because he could not convince a majority of Americans that he showed the leadership qualities necessary. The Democrats who think the election was stolen are in serious denial – and guess what? Unless you face reality, you will be saying the same thing in 2009.

    October 2, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  18. Ian, Erie, PA

    I'm glad this Einstein here figured the election losses out, and shared this priceless nugget with us. I would have never guessed that in a lifetime. I mean, who wouldn't have total confidence in that group of brainiacs running things? Only a friggin' moron would question these geniuses at work.

    October 2, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  19. Lynn Ensley McCaysville, Ga.

    Hillary will win this election if she will stand up and not let the repubs distort her views. She will have to be a middle of the road Democrat without the tax hikes. Convince these old boys down here we can keep our guns and point out the fact that the Republicans under George Bush have all but destroyed our country.

    October 2, 2007 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  20. Jean Quenot, Berkeley, california

    Let's face it. Our country has lost its clout in the world. This is now the post-American era. The world is not looking at us anymore for leadership or guidance since teh neo-cons took over.

    We are governed by a group of criminals. How would you call people who start a war, to which all the people of the world are opposed, for no reason at all, and kill tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people, including yes, four thousands of our own children?

    Biden and Clinton voted for the war, so why would we vote for them? Kucinich is the only one who tells the truth.

    Wake up Americans!! And vote these buffoons off the white House and the Congress.

    October 2, 2007 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  21. Pall Forloney, Riomaggiore, Italy

    Stop this debate on old stuff. It is a NEW election and NEW People running. All you hear is Bush, Bush, Bush, he is not running. America need a leader who will stand up for the American people, not sell out the white house.

    October 2, 2007 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  22. alan ST Louis MO

    Joe Biden is much better in national security then Clinton and Obama. But there pretty much the same as domestic issues.

    It is a shame he dont get nominated becuse hes not popular.

    Sad , this country elects popularuty over Wisdom and smarts.

    Cliton and Obama flip flop on national securty to promote there popularity.

    And yes Biden would pull a lot more votes from the right then Cliton or Obama would on general election.

    So bottom line if he wins the dems race Biden will have a very easy win for general election. If the other 2 win, they will charge the swing voters to stary right but some of em go left.

    but since Biden so unpopular he lose the dem races .So we have a close general election where republicans have a better chance to win. Probably why they want a clinton or Obama in the general election.

    And why Biden is not as popular becuse the republican spin machine is tring to pick there democrat opponet. which is by there preferance is Cliton then Obama. That is why they bash on the two the most. Becuse they think the democrat sheep will get mad and pick clinton or Obama to get back at the republicans.

    So do we play in the hands of the gop as beeing democrat SHEEP??

    October 2, 2007 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  23. Steven Stewart, Portland, Oregon

    Social Programs are not important? I dare say not, I am far more worried about the horrid places we place our poor childern and destruction of our nation over our greed for other people's wealth. Soon we will not be number one people, get used to it. It happened to Britian, it happened to Russia. We will not go out in a bang or war but through out stupidity to do what is wrong versus right.

    October 2, 2007 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  24. laurinda,ny

    I agree with Ed from Ellenville and Chris from Conn. it is better not to have either. Let other people decide for you.

    October 2, 2007 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  25. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    I agree with Jeff Spangler. Democrats need a candidate with some backbone who is not afraid to attack his opponent like a junk yard dog. I get tired of the Democrats' namby-pamby, wishy-washy, limp-wristed Presidential campaigns. ("Oooh, you Republicans are so mean!") How about you Democrats acting as if you want to win the election, for a change?

    October 2, 2007 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
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