September 9th, 2008
04:44 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain camp says Biden 'sunk to a new low'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Was Biden referencing Palin in his comments about stem cell research?"](CNN) - John McCain's campaign hit back hard at Joe Biden Tuesday after the Democratic VP candidate appeared to suggest Republicans who do not support stem cell research - like GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin - are lacking in their support of children with disabilities.

“Barack Obama’s running mate sunk to a new low today launching an offensive debate over who cares more about special needs children," McCain-Palin spokesman Ben Porritt said. "Playing politics with this issue is disturbing and indicative of a desperate campaign."

The sharp response, indicative of the increasingly heated rhetoric from both presidential campaigns as the election enters the final stretch, came shortly after Biden said advocates for people with disabilities should support stem cell research.

Biden did not mention Palin - the mother of a baby with Down syndrome, and someone who has said she will be a “friend and advocate in the White House" to parents of children with disabilities - but seemed to direct a question to her.

Election Center: Where the candidates stand on stem cell research

“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?”

Biden spokesman David Wade insisted Tuesday the Delaware senator's comments were not directed at Palin.

"This is a clash of policies, not a clash of personalities," Wade said. "We've heard not a dime's worth of difference between the McCain-Palin ticket and the Bush Administration on medical breakthroughs that millions of parents and doctors believe could save lives and transform the quality of life for countless Americans."

Filed under: Joe Biden • Sarah Palin
soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Gramps McCain and Caribou Barbie are getting desperate, and are grabbing at anything they can – even non-issues like this.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Andy

    The truth hurts doesn't it? Biden is correct on this one. Although I still think Obama should dump him and go to Hillary to shake it up again!

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. DKR

    Joe is right and the Repugs response is lame.

    If you question anything "you've sunk to a new low"

    Seriously wake up America!

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Debby

    Please let Joe keep talking his Gaffe's alone will lose the election for his party. How many watched his VP speech at the convention 24 million vs. Palins 37. Even Wolf said poor Joe. LOL

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    The McPain camp says a lot of things... mostly utter BS. They'll undoubtedly continue until they lose. An argument built upon lies is invalid.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Sarah Palin slashed the budget for special needs children 60% in one year [2007] while at the same time charging the state a per diem 313 days WHILE SHE WAS STAYING AT HOME.

    Some fiscal conservative! Some advocate.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. John - Houston

    So the studies that show that embryonic stem cell work has not significantly done more good then adult stem cell research means nothing?

    I like how people have turned this into a political thing and distored the fact that scientifically embryonic stem cells haven't done the job that they were set to do.

    Now they have been ruled obsolete, but does any one care no. Just because you are not for embryonic stem cells, doesn't mean you aren't for stem cell research in regards to adult stem cell, and they have done more work with certain strains of viruses.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. J.B

    The Republicans are doing what they do best. Working the refs.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Jeffrey

    "How are the Dems play politics with this issue?" is such a typical Republican attack-dog tactic. PALIN HERSELF stated in her acceptance speech that she would be a friend in the White House to people with disabilities and those who have children with disabilities. Biden is pointing out that Palin's party's stance is contrary to her statement. This is not "sinking to a new low" or "playing politics". It is pointing out the contradictions being thrown out there by the McCain campaign, the hypocrisy that is inherent in the Republican party and in John McCain's candidacy. What is "maverick" about McCain when he is right there, toeing the party line? How is this different from Bush? Simple answer: it isn't.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Fenarkleman

    Sarah Palin = Mrs. Loopner ("Poor Mr. Loopner. He was born without a spine. But he did invent the Slinky." - Enid Loopner, aka Sarah Palin).

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. chelle

    So the Democrats aren't allowed to question any policy that Sarah Palin has or the RNC has, that is based on her personal beliefs??? That is ridiculous!!!! She has a disabled baby...get over it. She brought up her "support" for people raising disabled children. If she brings it up, it is fair game to challenge her on it. Doesn't matter if it is birth control, sex ed, creationism, or stem cell research. She opened her mouth and allowed her extreme views out.

    This is a legitimate debate. The fact that the Republicans' VP candidate has a disabled child doesn't mean that the debate is off the table.

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Charlie

    Come on they are going against the artists request and everything this Country needs. Sarah Palin doesn't think much of community activism; she'd much rather play insider political games. McCain what have you done? Obama/Biden '08

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Lesley

    Reading the views of the candidates by the link in this article, it sounds like they are advocating the same thing. I'm not sure what Biden is talking about! It looks like McCain supports stem cell research. Biden better get off this kick or rephrase it to be more specific.

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. Does Obama Palin Comparison?

    Finally, someone is talking about those who really matter…the KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. Please, please vote for SARAH PALIN, and put a real advocate for these children in Washington. (And don't believe the rumors that she cut funding for special needs in Alaska…Google ANNENBERG PALIN to learn the truth, and educate yourselves )

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Herman In LA

    Go after her Joe...

    Thank you so much...

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Bob

    This is Karl Rove politics.

    A majority of Americans support stem cell research. So to take this advantage away from Obama/Biden, the McCain campaign creates a false controversy about benign statements the Obama/Biden camp makes. McCain's mess–ignore the issues you care about and vote for McCain because he's a "war hero."

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Deranged and Evil

    This comment will not have the effect that Biden is trying for. Palin is the one who has the Down's Syndrome child and Biden is trying to make it look like she doesn't care about him. It will backfire on him. Biden, how could you be this stupid??

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Steve Rainey

    Please stop the seemingly endless barrage of attacks on Sarah Palin. We are only energizing the opposition and not helping our own cause. Let the media dig up the dirt on her, which they will inevitably continue to find, for the world to see her for what she is. Barrack is staying positive. Follow his lead. Stay focused on the real issues and the significant differences on the issues. That is where our advantage lies. That is where the truth is. After the last election, we all said NEVER AGAIN. For the same reasons, it is happening again. GOP brought on Palin as a distraction and the Rovean tactics are working again. Don't fall for it, please! We will never convince the other side to think like we do. All we're doing with the petty comments is firing up people that normally wouldn't be fired up to vote in spite of you. It's a mistake. If it happens again, shame on US.


    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. JD, St. Louis, MO

    This is unbelievable, and reminds me of when Kerry took a swipe at Dick Cheney's daughter being gay. Biden implying that Palin doesn't care about parents of children with disabilities simply because she may not support embryonic stem cell research is nothing short of asinine.

    If the quote is correct, Biden is likely wrong anyway. The quote says "why don't you support stem cell research?" Many conservatives do indeed support ADULT stem cell research, but are against EMBRYONIC stem cell research. While I'm not certain, I have a feeling that Palin also supports ADULT stem cell research.

    But regardless, we're not idiots, Biden. There's no question that your comment was directed right at Palin. Your spokesman telling us otherwise is sheer lunacy.

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. G, South Florida

    I am so sick and tired of hearing Palin name period because no one knew who she was 2 weeks ago and now she is so popular among republicans but she is only good for one thing and one thing only..

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Maria

    If the republican vice president pick was Pawlenty, Biden would have been saying the same. It's just now, that Palin happen to have a child with disabilities.

    But Republicans want to make an issue about anything that is not actually an issue. Because they have no say on the real issues.

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Kate

    I'm tired of CNN censoring my posts, even though I don't rant & call names but simply talk about a very important issue getting no air time. I am going to try yet AGAIN. I could care less about the drama that is Palin. The nation needs to focus on who is making policy here, and that is McCain – and he wants to tax my employer-paid medical benefits as income. That’s right. That is what his tax plan calls for. So he gives a 3% tax cut to everyone (including the super, super wealthy) but then adds my medical benefit premiums paid by my employer as income and taxes them! I have never thought of that as income, though maybe I should. Instead, it is a lifeline for me – a working mom with small kids. I can’t afford to be taxed on it. I can barely afford the premiums that do come out of my paycheck, along with the co-pays, deductibles, things outside the policy etc etc. I can’t afford the Republican ticket. I’m not rich. I will go under. I will have to choose between my home and insurance. And that is tough choice, since I have small kids. Maybe I will have to opt out of the insurance at work to avoid those taxes. I think a lot of people will. Talk about increasing the number of uninsured! Have you looked at your paystub? Do you even know how much your employer pays for that insurance you complain about because it covers less and less every year? Because if you haven’t, you don’t even know how much more McCain is going to tax you in order to give more tax breaks to the super wealthy and big corporations. How does this plan help working families?

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Matt

    How is she going to be a "friend and advocate in the White House" to parents of children with disablities, when she cut funding for schools for special needs children by 62% in Alaska? When is the media going to drill her on these things...maybe when they are given permission to talk to her.

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. ss

    Hit em Hard Joe don't give up. Remember ones a Bull Dog

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Steve

    How is he wrong?

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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