September 19th, 2008
07:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Biden in hot water with some Ohioans

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden may have upset some crucial swing state voters."]

(CNN) - Joe Biden's off-the-cuff remarks on the trail have at times taken the Obama campaign off-message, but the Delaware senator's latest riff just may have landed him in hot water with voters - and die hard football fans - in a key battleground state.

Speaking to members of the University of Delaware football team Friday morning, the Democratic VP candidate said he thinks the Fightin Blue Hens (1-1 this season) could thrash a certain team from Ohio.

"I was out in Ohio," he said while fiddling with a football in his hands. "I told the folks in Ohio that we'd kick Ohio State's ass!" (It remains unclear if Biden actually ever told Ohio voters this.)

Biden, a proud University of Delaware alum, was clearly trying to rally his Division 1-AA team ahead of their match-up with Furman this weekend, but the comments couldn't have come at a worse time for faithful Buckeye fans who saw their team suffer a 35-3 trouncing at the hands of USC last weekend.

The comments also come as polls show the race in Ohio could hardly be tighter: A CNN poll of polls in the Buckeye state shows Obama holding a slim 1 point lead there. Close enough, presumably, that enough angry OSU fans could just make the difference - at least that's what Republicans are hoping.

The state GOP is already attacking the Democratic ticket over the comments, as well as his comments yesterday suggesting it was patriotic for some wealthier Americans to pay higher taxes.

"As if his comments about it being a patriotic duty for Ohioans to pay higher taxes weren't bad enough, now Biden is taking pot shots at the Buckeyes," GOP State chair Bob Bennett said. "Barack Obama and Joe Biden must really think they can win this election without Ohio, because they're doing their best to lose it with stupid comments like these. Keep talking, Joe."

David Wade, a spokesman for Biden said, “I think this episode explains exactly why we’ll win Ohio: Joe Biden is loyal to his home team, and John McCain is loyal to President Bush."

"We forgive the Republicans on this one, though," he added. "After watching John McCain flip flop on everything from taxes to torture, they’re just mystified by someone who takes a position and sticks with it.”

UPDATE: Michigan Democrats, fans of OSU arch rival University of Michigan, weighed in on the back-and-forth, calling John McCain a "Panderer in Chief" for recently purchasing Ohio State apparel on a campaign swing.

"John McCain won't be hailing any victors on Election Day if he thinks Michigan fans will let this recent pander slide," said Liz Kerr, a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party.

soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    I can't believe you published this story. So juvenile.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Que Quedas there anything else going on in thw world

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. thomas

    People are sensitive to comments about their home grown, but this is just typical football banter. I don't think anyone from Ohio would be foolish enough to squander such an important vote over such nonsense

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Latina for Obama (nj)

    I like this guy!! he is just like one of us!!



    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Daniel

    If the people of Ohio are that stupid, that they vote based on who is or is not a Buckeye fan, then they deserve that dithering old man and the washed up homecoming queen that the GOP is running. On top of that, I've lived in's a dump!

    Bayou Joe...are you serious? Do you think that moron Palin is going to kick Joe's butt in a debate? I hope someone helps her figure out what the Bush doctrine is by then!

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Joe PA

    Well Ohio State does Suck!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Brandon - Gahanna, Ohio

    Tiffany, that's exactly what I was thinking.

    I'm an all-around Buckeye fan, but you know what, I'll still be voting Obama/Biden. Their sports team preferences are not what I base my vote on. I think it's absolutely ludicrous to take a story like this and politicize it. It sounds like something McSame & Daily Scandal Palin would try to do, and probably will be doing on the news this evening or tomorrow. Come on people.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. G.I. Castillo-Feliu/Rock Hill, SC

    Oh no! we're back to the pettiness of last week.... pigs and lipstick, now angry Buckeyes (or, next time, Spartans, Wolverines, etc., etc.). Grow up! Let's stick to the REAL issues.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. ohio state undergrad

    So what, it's a sports team, I would be supporting Ohio State football as well. Get over it republicans if you really think that's going to change The Ohio States student bodies mind. HA!

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and BIDEN way to stick to your support your almamator , that shows loyalty and pride, I would do the same.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Matt

    Way to lay th etrap Joe!!! Now McCain's camp sounds even stupider by trying to turn football trash talk into political leverage.

    Here's some advice McCain campaign: when you think you've got a good hook, count to 10 before speaking...if it still sounds liek a good idea to open your yappers, go ahead. I fully expect McCain's campaign to be very very quiet if they take this advice.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Megan from San Diego

    This might be the stupidest story you have ever put on the ticker and the fact that the McCain campaign responded to it is even more pathetic and shows thier panic.

    It is football season you fools, everyone talks like that!!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. georgia independent

    C'mon down to Georgia Joe and diss UGA or GA Tech – I don't care either way, but at least you'd get someone else talking about Democrats down here!

    Doesn't anyone else think this is just dumb considering the issues at hand?

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Amanda

    I'm from Ohio, and currently living in another battleground state, Nevada. I really hope that no one from my home state is dumb or stubborn enough to make a huge decision like who our next President will be, based on a football team, no matter how big a Buckeye's fan you are.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Ryan from New Mexico


    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. mitchell

    good grief! i guess my baby polar bear message flamed out,huh? does alaska know about football?

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Jack

    I'm an OSU grad and a big Buckeye fan, but I take no offense in Joe's comments – he's just being loyal to his home team. After the way we played against USC, he might even be right!

    Obama 08 / Yes We Can!

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    If folks in Ohio (or any where, for that matter) base their decisions on whether or not a candidate supports their favorite football team, then it's time to take away some of their electoral votes. Or they can move toTennessee.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. AS IF

    this is waaaaay too petty! AS IF!!

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Lesley

    What nonsense! It's clearly a sports thing. How about reporting on Biden's speech to women today! A really worthy story. Am I reading CNN or something cooked up by Fox News? I can't tell anymore.

    September 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Marilyn

    Why is this news? Biden is always putting his foot in his mouth!

    September 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. californian in ohio

    you've got to be kidding me. why is cnn even publishing this republican-manufactured story? how pathetic are the republicans for thinking the ohio electorate is dumb enough to elect them because of some college football trash talking?

    September 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. marty

    Who cares..........the people of America are wasting their time listening and judgeing the crap that comes out of these morons mouths.
    WHO CARES!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Sudesh Rahi, NJ

    CNN, this is the news you have to report? With everything going on in this country and around the world (which i've seen CNN rarely cover in the US), you have this comment about football?????? Come on, can you be professional newsreporters for once??!!

    September 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. A Boston

    C'mon we're all adults. Jokes are jokes and the seriousness is the economy. The media quick to make something out of nothing. Bottom line is we can't afford McClueless on economy to run the country into the ground.


    September 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. N Smith

    THIS IS A STUPID STORY. The RNC's response is even MORE stupid, if possible. This is a potshot?? Wow. Next.

    September 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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