September 9th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Biden questions GOP disability advocates on stem cell research

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Watch the Mcain-Palin event on"]

COLUMBIA, Missouri (CNN) – Joe Biden suggested Tuesday that advocates for people with disabilities should “support stem cell research” - a remark that follows repeated pledges from Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, the mother of a baby with Down Syndrome, to parents of children with disabilities that she would be “a friend and advocate in the White House.”

When asked about the issue at a Tuesday rally, Biden did not mention Palin’s name, but seemed to direct a question to her.

“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy…and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect,” he said. “Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?”

Related: McCain camp says Biden 'sunk to a new low'

Biden told voters “the disability issue is not a new issue for us” and said he and Barack Obama would support stem cell research — a political hot potato that Sarah Palin does not support because it involves the use of human embryos.

In an illustration over the controversy of stem cell research — a key issue for some conservative voters — the Republican ticket is split. John McCain supports the practice.

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. jim, kansas city

    As a catholic, I can not see how Biden can support embryonic stem cell research. Being pregnant, giving birth it is a miracle on itself, from the moment of conception.
    When it comes to faith Biden, put your money where your mouth is. You know very well the stand of Catholic Church on embroyonic stem cell research, you personally are talking as VP democratic nominee not as a catholic in this issue.
    Also I want to add one more thing, we had a discussion last night with my wife. She is democrat, I am republican, go figure.
    She has a MBA in accounting and finance, and takes a lot of offense when all media treat abortion as most important subject to females on this election. I mean really what are media here trying to say?
    As for comment on Palin's baby, it does not even deserve a response, that is very very low. I think Obama should distance himself from this comment or it is going to backfire. I can not even imagine that something like this would come out of Bidens mouth, actually I guess I can, but gally this is not giong to turn out good.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Eliot from Chicago, Illinois

    As the parent of a special needs child (fragile x syndrome) medical research is extremely important -including stem cell work. (Kirsten – Many of those other cells have shown horrible side effects in studies). And praying for our children is not enough.

    We need:


    Supporting full funding and enforcement of IDEA in schools

    Support savings accounts for special needs children which don't effect their medicaid benefits

    Jobs for those over age 21


    No pandering

    No sideshows at conventions

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Jeffh

    When she brought her baby to the RNC and trotted him out there for everyone to see it was ok for her to use him to further her position?

    But when a candidate talks about an actual issue that many people care about in a frank and candid manner and it has a loose reference to the other candidate, it's completely forbidden and off limits?

    Typical new republican bull-crap. I used to be a republican, but all of this right wing fundamentalist bull has completely turned me off of the party. Not to mention they are a spend-first ask questions later party now.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Shari, NY

    Mrs. Palin – I thought GOD (not country) was first! The hypocrisy reeks to high heaven and suggests that you are pandering to non-believers. Also, your party should stop stealing Sen. Obama’s ideas and slogans! Remember the 8th commandment!

    September 9, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. rory ryan

    What does this have to do with religion? Help me understand the logic. STem cell research is about trying to fix potential years of heart ache, religious or not.

    September 9, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Luz I. Ortiz

    I support stem cell research for I support any help to mankind when there is need as a consequence of disease. Our Lord gave us intelligence so that we could help others. I must say that as a woman and a Latino I strongly support Barack Obama. I have supported him and now also Biden. Obama is not just any man. He is the American dream, working to help others any way he could. He could have taken the easy road as a lawyer because of his high intelligence and lived the high life with plenty of money, yet he chose to work in Chicago as a community organizer. Obama has the strength, faith, fortitude, intelligence, and charisma of many persons before him who sacrificed for the United States of America like John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Edward kennedy...
    I live in Puerto Rico and even though I am a US citizen I cannot vote for the President because we are not a state. I am asking other Latinos and US citizens to open up your hearts and vote for Obama. He will not let you down and he will help the economy and bring your sons or daughters back from a needless war. We need to unite in prayer for all Americans so that the next years will bring peace and stability to the United States. There is much to do, lets get together and do it!

    September 9, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Foreign observer

    Palin so far is a nobody on the issues. She tries to hide her convictions so she can stay interesting but unknow until she gets elected.

    September 9, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Peter (CA)

    Stop foaming at the mouth folks. Biden used an example, he did not mention Palin by name. Are we at the point that if Obama or Biden say the word "woman", McCain's stormtroopers will shout "SEXISM!!!"

    Biden is a smart guy. He has brought up a relevant issue and he presented an intelligent argument. Try to get that from the other side.

    And he does not say disabled people should not exist. What he says is....if we have the means to remove that burden from their lives why shouldn't we? Stem cells could be used to cure cancer, heart disease, MS, etc. Does Biden want to get rid of all people with those diseases?

    September 9, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Bruce

    Someone needs to PUMP a BRAIN Cell into all the republicans so they will learn that stemcells are not only from unborn children. There has been some real science going of in this country and now stem cells are available for other sorces. But when you are against scientific research you would never know.

    September 9, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Independent Dave, Iowa

    It is a fair question.

    This is an election, we deserve a civil, informative response.

    September 9, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Michael

    How characteristic of democrats. The long term sufferer of logorrhea should just be quiet.

    September 9, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Foreign observer

    Palin so far is a nobody on the issues. She tries to hide her convictions so she can stay interesting but unknown until she gets elected.

    September 9, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. mmd

    Wow, the only other person I am aware who lies as well and as much as palin is little lost caylee's mother casey anthony.

    I bet palin knows where she little caylee is.

    September 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Richard

    Biden SHUT UP!

    Hillary supporter for McCain!!!! 2008!

    September 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Raoul

    Republicans seem to express outrage every time the TRUTH is spoken.

    September 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Ren

    Wonder why the other, newer entry about this doesn't allow comments?

    Palin is the one who uses her son as an on-stage prop. She's also the one who cut funding for special education in Alaska. Seems like this is an issue worthy of discussion.

    She is becoming even more ridiculous.

    September 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Woman from Texas

    It's the same thing that when Palin and McCain cut funding for programs for unwed teen mothers but want everyone else to support her family!

    God loves the truth and I'm going to tell it! Tell it Biden!

    September 9, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. IAMWMD

    Carl Rove really outdone himself by advising McBush to select Palin. She's nothing more than Rove on female hormones and is trying to turn the election to a beauty pagent. Not gonna work after the October surprise that's waiting.

    It's great for her to get in front of her crowd and lie because it's gonna bite her in the a## sooner than later.

    Palin is not my primary concern. It's the all out effort that's already began on the part of the repugs to suppress and prevent the Democratic votes from being accurately counted again.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Mike Cobb, Palo Alto, CA

    Yet another example of the negative campaigning of McCain/Palin. Stem Cell research and why it is important is a very appropriate ISSUE to be on the table ... it is one of the many things where Bush 43 has, in my view, hurt the American people. This is just one example of too many where the McCain/Palin people want to make everything about personality and avoid the substantive policy questions that should be the basis for voters' decisions. It is up to the media to keep the focus on ISSUES and POLICIES, and not reward negative attacks by giving them traction.

    September 9, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Obama-Junkie, IL

    That's fellow bloggers, get the truth out. Stop believing what Palin and McCain say without digging into their votes, policies and positions. When Palin made a plea for support of parents with children with disabilities, what is she purposing she would do? What is her record on the issue?

    Unfortunately, it is very sad to see many Palin supporters defend her without even knowing Palin's public positions.

    September 9, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Any Woman Won't Do!

    He said the Republicans, not just Palin. And as many people have said before, you can support OTHER types of stem cell research; a lot of very conservative people don't support any type. OMG he never said anything about her child or anything having to do the down syndrome, but thanks for grasping at straws, seems to be the McCain's camp way of doing things. Oh but never mind they mock Obama's choice to be a community organizer, or his faith, his patriotism, his wife... but he and Biden are never supposed to say anything in response because then he's being too negative? So if he doesn't attack but does defend himself, he's playing politics as usual? How about not letting people think that they can get away with lying?

    Biden could've talked about the fact that she cut funding for Special Needs children, but he left that alone. He could've said a lot of things about Palin, but he hasn't and neither has Obama. Its ironic that he goes out and gives these speeches and everyone calls him an empty suit. Palin does the same thing and she's a maverick. wow. Only in America.

    September 9, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. scared

    Can McPain stop talking about bridge to no where and earmarks. Can they come up with something credible and not a lie. Vote Obama he is more focused and in touch with real people. The people that make up more than 95% of America.


    September 9, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Mike, TX

    Perhaps had stem cell research been in the advanced stages decades ago, Biden would have a brain.

    September 9, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. B. Obama, Chicago, Illinois

    Sheesh, Ol' Foot in His Mouth Joe did it already?!?!?!
    *calls Bill and Hillary*

    September 9, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Rob

    I do not mind strong religious convictions. But seeing Palin stand in front of her church and say the Iraq war is God's plan. Her Pastor standing next to her yelling that Alaska is a special place that God will spare in a soon to come world destruction. Then they both stand on stage and watch a church video that shows the world being blown up except for Alaska. Can we say, Doomsday Cult? What is the difference between David Koresh and Sarah Palin? The difference is that Palin wears lipstick and may be President!

    September 9, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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