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. Jon

    If I did not know better I might think that the man likes to stick his foot in his mouth

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. CNN, What are You Thinking?

    What is really going on CNN??? Honestly, I am a huge supporter of CNN but this is a little stretch to think that being a fan of the team where you went toschool is going to make a huge difference in the political process. Regroup CNN!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Sarah

    Are you kidding?! If voters are turning against Biden because of a comment he made to a rival team to get them amped up before a game, what kind of use of democracy is this! How petty and juvenile for someone to say "You're cheering for a sports team in another state? Well I'm not voting for you!" I honestly don't think the American population is that petty, or at least I hope not.

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Matt's funny to see the Republicans so desperate that they'll try to turn college football rvialry comments into political's so sad

    And for those of you who think McCain's "Bradley Effect" campaign strategy is going to work, I would direct your attention to the 2006 election of Harold Ford. Wake up. McCain is only trying to make it seem like he'll bring change and reform now (like Obama has been saying all along) because he thinks it will convince Obama supporters who aren't sure if they really want to vote for a black guy to come vote for the white guy who will give you the same things without the blackness.

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Ric from NM

    How can this be of relevance to any political campaign???? Wow!

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Obama Jr

    I dont think the people of ohio arethat stupid. To change their vote because a running VP doesnt like their football team. If so GOD help us all...!!

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. jdm

    Why is this news? I could see if Sen. Biden made a racist or sexist comment. This is absolutely ridiculous. What people should be getting upset about is the fact that people hit by hurrican Ike are still without power, trying to make it in very poor conditions and even worse, a lot of them have lost everything. Get mad about that!

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Me

    Are you kidding me? Hot water? Stop it, CNN. STOP IT. This is an insult to the intelligence of Ohio voters.

    The best political team my foot!

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Linda

    Get real and report only issues that matter to the U. S. voter. Leave this kiind of stuff to the National Inquirer. I thought CNN was a serious new network.

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. the other jd

    OK-So Biden likes sports, and trash talks just like every other sports fan.

    More importantly, why does Sarah Palin hate America enough to support the Alaska Seccessionist Party.

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Brina

    So a football team is more important than the economy.....republicans are so silly and stupid.

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. HMMA

    This is just plain STUPID !!! C'mon CNN !!???

    September 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Billy

    OMG, the election is over because of football....

    get real.

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Brian, New York

    As a Buckeye Alum, I don't think that was a wise comment to make. Ohioans take OSU college football verrrrry seriously. Poor judgment, but I will still his poor judgment in a statement or team choice over the reckless McCain and pitiful Palin.

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. cari

    And the Ohio GOP's response – TOTALLY ridiculous. The last thing on any responsible person's mind in the election booth will not be football. The GOP is pushing independents away with this nonsense.

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Let's rebuild this country

    Wow CNN, very impressive work! LOL
    wake up! that's sport


    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. John in VA

    By that logic I shouldn't vote for Obama since Biden wants his alma mater to win over my alma mater? Give me a break.

    Besides, my alma mater (Virginia Commonwealth) beats up on Delaware in men's basketball anyway.

    Vote for common sense, not lipstick!

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. rin

    omgaaaa are you serious cnn.... lol its sports football and men.... omgahhh this is to stupid

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Huh...

    Must be a real slow news day for this to make the front page of CNN. Oh, maybe not......

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Georgia Gal

    On one hand I think Biden sometimes needs to think before he speaks, but on the other hand ... he's talking about his alma mater ... of course he would say something like that ... who wouldn't??

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Tony Radell

    This just in...College football fans will determine our next president. In other news, wrestling fans turn against McCain, who has shown support for the Iron Sheik!

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Never let them see you sweat....

    Really no story here!!!! EVER HEARD OF TRASH TALKING!!! No sense of humor! Let me real!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Los

    Sorry, I don't follow basketball

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Suzanne

    I think it's great that he has a loyalty for his team. It has nothing to do with the people in Ohio....

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Why did Obama pick Biden? Why?

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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