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. Mary

    I really don't think that with the economy tetering on the brink of total collapse thanks to the GOP, voters will be swayed by such trivial things as this. Yeah, football is important, but it kind of pales by comparision to thinks like jobs, the cost of gas and groceries, and the security of retirement savings.

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Seriously?

    The economy is tanking and they're worried about a football game?! Enough with this petty stuff!

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. KJ, CA

    You know – if people vote for a Presidential ticket based on their sports likes and dislikes we are in bigger trouble than I thought! Give me a frickin break here!

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

    This is the problem with politics. You can't speak your opinion on any single matter without getting into "hot water" with another group who thinks differently. For god sakes this is getting ridiculous

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. park more

    Please trust me, we are democrat but Nooooooooooooooooo Obama and Biden. Obama is looking for political career. MacCain is looking for the best for america. Now you can choose

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

    Bill Gates for President!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. The most trusted name in hackery

    ...THIS JUST IN...



    ...STAY TUNED TO CNN!!!...

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Jim, IN

    The only person that would be swayed by an argument like this, is a dropout republican that was voting McCain anyway. Even swing Ohioans arent this stupid.

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. hurriCAIN PALIN

    all the probamas really trying to brush this comment off that biden

    made, probamas=idiocy

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

    And this election can be as well be decided by latinas!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Too afraid to give a name

    As a new resident of Ohio I have to say that I would be very afraid to diss the Buckeyes (even though I secretly hate Buckeye fans). These folks are quite strange about OSU, and it is short sighted politically to speak badly of the team (I wouldn't do it in a resturant where I had ordered food either). Personally, I took more offense to the "be patriotic pay more taxes" comment by Biden, but I think this one will hit harder in Ohio. Joe might want to get back on message soon.

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. spiveyivey

    You are really reaching on this one!

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Marquise

    Oh where oh where has Hillary gone oh where oh where can
    she be?

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Bruce

    If the future of this country rests on what football team omeone says something about it..we are in worse shape than I thought we were.
    Come on people wake up this election is about the future of the country, not about football.
    He is from DE so why not support his team...
    This is just stupid, and something that the repubs should be ashamed of even bring into the election.

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Jennifer NY

    Oh, for Pete's sake – this is a news story and makes him unworthy of being VP? After Bush, the "Decider" ?

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Chris from Michigan

    I can't wait til the Vice Presidential Debates start so we can see Joey the Shark eat Sarah Palin alive! Joe we know you didn't mean to diss on Ohio as a state, one college isn't a representative of the entire state and to say that the Democrats don't care about Ohio is the rediculous. This is just more of the same smear tactics the Republican's are using because they know they can't win this election honorably. If you don't believe me go to and look up the article about McCain's Lie's.

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Joseph

    Obama = LOWER taxes for 95% of the US.

    peackarack = ignoramus

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. CitizenAJ

    Are you kidding me? A person with common sense will see it for what it is, giving his team confidence. Has NOTHING to do with the state of Ohio or the people of Ohio. Please, do some real news reporting CNN, you are becoming an Enquirer!

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Emma

    Repbulicans give it a rest! How does Biden's comments affect the economy or help us out of this economic mess that the Republicans have gotten the country into?

    Play ball and get over it! This country is in serious trouble and you are discussing who is going to kick who's a–?

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Mark in Austin

    Oh for crying out loud!!! It's football! If he didn't support his alma matter, that would speak worse. If people in Ohio change their vote b/c someone says their alma matter is going to whup some butt, then so be it. Why is this even a story. Sigh.

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. tulsa

    You're kidding, right?

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Coop

    This is dumb! If anything, it makes him seem more human. Makes him seem like he is any other sports fan who supports their team!

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Len

    Would you people STOP reporting this nonsense! Thank you, that's all!

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Joe

    This is crazy. Are they serious with this. I am going to change from Republican right now. I can't believe that a party official is trying to make this a story and of course CNN would post it. What a joke!

    Indiana former Republican for Obama/Biden

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Jason - Ohio

    If people would actually change who they vote for based on comments about a sports team then this Counry is seriously doomed. Its sports. Who cares!?! There are much more important things to worry about than college football... and i dont mean the NFL. People need to get back to reality, because in reality sports are games and nothing more.

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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