January 1st, 2008
02:49 PM ET
9 years ago

Getting to know Joe Biden

Watch CNN's Suzanne Malveaux interview Joe Biden.

Watch CNN's Suzanne Malveaux interview Joe Biden.

(CNN) – Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware speaks with Suzanne Malveaux in this clip from CNN’s Ballot Bowl.

“I don’t think people know much about me personally,” said Biden. “Where I live, I’m married, my kids, my background in terms of my personal life.”

“I’d like people to know all the years I’ve been in politics, my Republican colleagues and my Democratic colleagues have never questioned my word,” Biden told Malveaux. “I decided when I ran this time to say exactly what I would do,” if elected president, added Biden.

The Delaware senator also talked about his family, their role in his political career, and how they supported him when his first wife and young daughter were killed in a car accident 35 years ago.

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Ajay Jain

    Congratulations CNN TV!!!

    By running the "I-Report hour long segment" 10 times in a weekend and New Year Eve, and New Year day. You have shown me the light of the day. Cable has repetition but you have crossed the LIMIT!

    I have discovered my options in FOX NEWS, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC, ABC News, and CBS News.

    Bye bye CNN I have been watching you and reading CNN.com for the past decade since you were the TURNER machine.

    People, pollsters, pundits give undue importance to the IOWA caucus anyway. Isn’t it time to break the back of this myth of IOWA’s importance? They haven’t picked a winner since 1976. I will wait for Super Tuesday on FOX NEWS though I know they are not FAIR & BALANCED! The most powerful name in NEWS?

    Go Hillary44 08! http://hillaryis44.org/

    January 1, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  2. Michele Cowell, IL

    With all due respect, to Betty and all of the rest of America who either don't know, or choose to disregard "the rest of the story about Joe Biden's plagiarism" – the fact of the matter is:

    Controversy broke Biden's candidacy for the U.S. presidency in the 1988 Presidential campaign. He was found to have plagiarized a speech from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. The speech included adaptation of some details of Kinnock's life which were not true in Biden's case. For example, Biden's speech recast Kinnock's words to say,

    "Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? My ancestors, who worked in the coal mines in northeast Pennsylvania and who would come up after twelve hours and play football for four hours? It's not because they weren't as smart. It's not because they didn't work as hard. It was because there was no platform on which they could stand." After Biden withdrew from the race, it was learned that he had correctly credited Kinnock on other occasions but failed to do so in an Iowa speech that was recorded and distributed to reporters by aides to Michael Dukakis, the eventual nominee. Dukakis fired the senior aide responsible, but the damage had already been done to Biden.

    It had also been alleged that Biden had plagiarized while in law school 20 years earlier in a first-year legal-writing class. Unaware of appropriate standards for legal briefs at the beginning of his legal training, Biden used a single footnote rather than multiple citations required to cite five pages from a legal article. Both Syracuse University Law School and the Delaware State Bar Association cleared Biden of plagiarism charges.

    While CNN has been lacking in giving Sen. Joe Biden note-worthy coverage throughout this campaign, I sincerely hope the comments in support of Sen. Biden allow those undecided voters throughout Iowa and all of the rest of America to think very clearly before casting their caucus votes on Thursday – and give Joe Biden the well-deserved credit – Caucus for Joe Biden.

    Michele, Illinois supporter of Sen. Joe Biden

    January 1, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  3. Julie Medford,Oregon

    All the candidates are decent folks and with that said, I want the most experienced proven leader who can not only bring about the changes needed but who can unite this country once again. Joe Biden is that candidate he has proven he can pass bi-partisan legislation time after time and also has the respect of all the other candidates of both parties. Biden also has the most knowledge of foreign affairs then any candidate of either party and that's what this country needs in our next President and not just in our next Secretary of State.

    January 1, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  4. Annie -the Breadbasket of America

    🙂 Ivan from Chicago, IL you wrote a very nice well researched comment.

    Those who try to argue that Senator Obama is like Kennedy by pointing out that he was only a 1st term Senator, somehow fail to see that JFK had spent 6YRS in the US House of Representatives, AND 6YRS in the US Senate, after having served as a Naval Commander in the South Pacific WWII. At 43, he was the youngest President ever sworn into office (as well as the first & only Catholic) and hailed by many as a celebrity. In Kennedy's 1961 inaugural speech, he declared that "the torch has been passed on to a new generation of Americans". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy

    HOWEVER America was fiteen years into the cold war in June 1961, when the Soviet Premier met the NEW American President in Vienna to discuss the east-west confrontation and the Berlin situation. Kruschev carefully assessed the new President, and left the summit THINKING KENNEDY WAS WEAK AND LACKING IN EXPERIENCE. As a result Kruschev felt embolden to ignore Kennedy's demands to stop the Russian military build-up, eventually leading up to the CUBAN MISSLE CRISIS. (for more details google)

    Lyndon B. Johnson stepped into the Presidency – (VP)Johnson had been a Texas Senator with a long illustrious career in Congress. Yet despite being a part of the ESTABLISHMENT his strength in the South was needed to win the Kennedy White House. LBJ continued the Space Race and enacted Civil Rights Laws, Medicare (health care for the elderly), Medicaid (health care for the poor), aid to education, and the "War on Poverty." Although he won election in 1964 , his downfall was the Vietnam War (which was actually inherited from JFK!) and thus to Richard Nixon's election & reelection '68/'72

    IN 1976 with Nixon's Watergate Scandal still fresh in the voters' minds, the Nation was clamoring for ANOTHER CHANGE –> out with the old established guard – in with the new non-Washington crowd. Hence, JIMMY CARTER'S position as an outsider, distant from Washington, D.C., became his best asset. The centerpiece of his campaign platform was GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION. He & his wife Rosyln offered firm family values and a refreshingly humble untarnished appeal..

    Unfortunately for America (although maturing into a great elder statesman) CARTER'S LACK OF EXPERIENCE RESULTED IN SEVERAL MAJOR CRISES: including the take over of the American embassy and holding of hostages by militants in Iran, a failed rescue attempt of the hostages, serious fuel shortages, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan!!!

    "CARTER advocated a policy that held other countries to the highest moral standard possible, a standard by which, he believed, Americans would want themselves to be judged. His Presidency was dominated by the IRAN HOSTAGE CRISIS, during which the United States struggled to rescue diplomats and American citizens held hostage in Tehran for 444 DAYS! By 1980, Carter was so unpopular that he was challenged by Ted Kennedy for the party nomination – and although Carter received the Democratic nomination, he lost the election to GOP Ronald Reagan." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter


    The Oprah-Obama Traveling Circus shamelessly drew attention away from the best candidates 🙁 and gave media hype and name recognition to the least qualified. Now the masses are enamored by his eloquent speeches and PROMISES OF CHANGE, ignoring and making excuses for his lack of experience! When will America ever learn??

    AMERICA CAN NOT AFFORD ANOTHER NEOPHYTE IN THE WHITE HOUSE – when the world situation is even more precarious than ever before!!!

    January 1, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. paul

    Ivan, the biggest reason Hillary failed on health care was that she didn't get anybody involved. She thought she could pull it off with a few academics and think tankers brainstorming on whiteboards, crunching spreadsheets, and marking up draft plans around a conference room table for about ten months.

    That wasn't encouraging, it showed precisely the wrong instincts needed to lead the country. Obama's background as a city councilor in Chicago is probably much better for that type of thing- he knew he couldn't solve important problems by issuing orders or crunching numbers, he had to work with lots of people and groups with different interests, backgrounds, and political affiliations over a period of years. I think the level of confidence and polish we see in him today partially reflects that background.

    So I don't think Obama's inexperience will hurt him much on domestic issues. It may hurt him in foreign policy, just like JFK struggled with the Bay of Pigs – but notice how JFK recovered, to face down Khrushev (sp) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Knowledge matters, but leadership and character matter even more.

    Also, the only candidates who are really well versed in foreign policy are McCain, Biden, and Richardson, of whom only McCain has a realistic shot of being around in February. I agree that Biden would've been a great choice as POTUS, had he been taken more seriously by the press and voters.

    January 1, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. Rob

    Joe is the hero of hair plugs. Could there be a better qualification to be a democrat candidate.

    January 1, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  7. Bill in Florida

    ....re Ivan/Chicag's quote..."Hillary's inexperiance was the reason that Health Care legislation failed in the '90's, but now with the experiance she has gathered, I'm willing to wager that this time Hillary will win her fight to get Health Care for every American."

    "experience"? Yes, but gathered by Her Highness promising Corporate America whatever they want if they back 'her Health Care Plan'. When the Corporations are finished dividing the spoils the benefit for the people will be words only.

    Recently overheard.."about time we get a woman in the Whitehouse". That is really using the brain you were given! Why not an Italian, or a young man, or an older man, or ? All other attributes of any other candidate seem meaningless.

    January 1, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  8. Bill in Florida

    ....re Ivan/Chicago's quote..."Hillary's inexperiance was the reason that Health Care legislation failed in the '90's, but now with the experiance she has gathered, I'm willing to wager that this time Hillary will win her fight to get Health Care for every American."

    "experience"? Yes, but gathered by Her Highness promising Corporate America whatever they want if they back 'her Health Care Plan'. When the Corporations are finished dividing the spoils the benefit for the people will be words only.

    Recently overheard.."about time we get a woman in the Whitehouse". That is really using the brain you were given! Why not an Italian, or a young man, or an older man, or ? All other attributes of any other candidate seem meaningless.

    January 1, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  9. Evan, Roseburg OR

    It's really a shame Biden isn't a frontrunner, and I'm not sure why he's not. Maybe after the standard set by President Bush, people feel he's overqualified for the job. Whatever the reason, hopefully he'll be chosen to for Vice President.

    January 1, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  10. alan

    Joe Biden consistently outperformed every other candidate of either party in all of the debates to date. It is a shame the national media don't give him the attention he deserves. Biden is ready to be President. He has consistently been ahead of the curve in almost every single foreign policy crisis of the last 20 years. We can't afford to elect another President who needs on-the-job training. Biden is the real deal. I'm really hoping Iowa gets a good, up close look at him. They will like what they see.

    January 2, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. SusanWY

    Betty & Jacque – why don't you google Joe Biden and plagiarism? You would learn that he was CLEARED of any wrong doing! His staff failed ONE time to cite Neil Kinnick in a speech, for which he properly cited Mr kinnick each and every time before that. He had the HONESTY and INTEGRITY to admit the mistake and bow out of the race. He talks a lot because he offers detailed policy not just empty platitudes (Obama) or useless promises (Hillary) or worthless class war rhetoric (Edwards).

    But, alas, the US is filled with too many Betty & Jacque types that aren't smart enough to recognize a qualified candidate if one fell on them and we'll end up with Romney or Huckabee (god help us).

    January 2, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  12. Theresa, WA

    I wish we had more TV time featuring Senator Biden. He is the person with the most experience, serving on many commities. Now is the time for Joe. If he had more exposure maybe he'd make the first tier. The only place I get to hear his message is on his website. A dream ticket would be Biden and Obama!

    January 2, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. independent voter

    Joe Biden the most experienced candidate I've seen in a while what a change a candidate with experience and the straight forward talk that is refreshing. I hope Iowa gets in right and gives us substance instead of name regonition and deep pockets.

    January 2, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  14. peg

    Overlooked by the media, Senator Biden is by far the most sincere, experienced, candidate running for president. He does not spend time looking for the worst in the other candidates to promote his campaign or grab a line in the news, he doesn't have to chant change because he has already made changes by rolling up his sleeves and working to make it happen. This man is a great person, a respected Senator, and hopefully the next president. He has my respect as well as the respect of anyone who has had the opportunity to meet him.

    January 2, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  15. Sam IA

    To Betty: You don't need to google the episode of plagerism of Kinnick. Mr Biden has talked about this nationally during his campaign and explained it was a wake up call for him. He is the 99th poorest Senator in the congress which should wake people up to the fact that he is serving America, not his pocketbook.
    Please pay special attention to the caucus results in Iowa and you will see how worthless polling numbers are in this system.

    January 2, 2008 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  16. Bill Marshall

    What is with bringing up the plagiarism claims? He slipped up at ONE speech. If you followed that story, you would realize that he quoted correctly at MANY speeches prior to that one. There was no conscious attempt to obfuscate. Do you think George Bush writes his own speeches? Does he give credit to his speech writers for writing it before he gives it? Clearly we are capable of looking past what someone did in the 1980's. I mean, c'mon Georgie was snortin' coke and drunk driving at the time that Biden made his famous speech gaffe. Based on the election turnout, clearly the former is more forgivable than the latter.

    Joe Biden is the best choice for America. 35 years in public service. Somebody likes him. Hillary, Edwards, and Obama are all wet behind the years compared to Joe. Whether you like it or not, experience counts for getting stuff done in Washington. Joe has the political scar tissue to show for what he has done. It is sad when the media machine takes over–this is evidenced by the "soundbite" comments of some of the posters above–the plagiarism claims and windbag references–all caricatures cranked out by the media machine. Joe Biden doesn't just fight for the middle class. He IS the middle class–at least compared to most of the presidential candidates. He'll get my vote. Hang in there Joe.

    January 2, 2008 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  17. Roger, Aurora IL

    Richardson/Biden '08 please!

    January 2, 2008 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  18. Jf

    Joe Biden would make a great President!! He is the one candidate that has a proven track record of getting things done. I fear if one of the other candidates get elected, they may a great plans but I don't think they will be able to get much pass Congress. Biden has proven time and time again that he can and has.

    January 2, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  19. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Yes, Mr. Biden has stretched the truth and stolen others words, but lets consider that every time a Clinton opens their mouths they are either simply LYING or STEALING other peoples ideas (unless the polls say it is not a good idea, then they say it was just a thought but not part of my platform, see illegals getting licenses and baby bonds).

    If the true measuring stick that the sheep Clintonista's are using is experience, Biden, Richardson and Dodd, blow that fraud Hillary away.

    I don't agree with those three on a lot of issues, but all three are good people that FORGOT more than she will ever know about making policies, foreign or domestic.

    What BILL did she ever ON HER OWN think of, put up for vote and get PASSED ALL BY HERSELF?

    January 2, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. Mike Cobb, Palo Alto, CA

    Senator Biden is perhaps the best qualified candidate for President ... particularly when you listen to what he says on the issues. His lack of standing in the polls is a direct reflection of the self-fulfilling prophesy created by the fact that the media has focus the overwhelming majority of their coverage on Hillary and Obama. If Biden had anything resembling that level of coverage, he would be a strong contender in the Democratic primary races. CNN likes the phrase "Keeping them honest." Who will keep CNN 'honest'? As a people, we have ceded far too much of the poltical decision-making process to the media.

    January 2, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. caforjoe

    Let's put the plagiarism issue to bed once and for all. Biden was cleared of all charges of plagiarism by the Delaware Supreme Court, an investigation he asked for.


    Get your facts straight folks. If you want to criticize Biden, pick an issue of substance.

    This is an honorable man.

    January 3, 2008 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
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