September 19th, 2008
07:30 PM ET
14 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. Greg in Annapolis

    Leave it to the GOP and the press to take, what would normally be looked upon as fun, competitive, sports talk and make something political out of it. Go team! Oh yeah, and go Obama/Biden! Crush the opposition! We'll continue the tailgate in the parking lot.

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Alex Camargo

    Wow. I really hope that this was a tongue-in-cheek piece of writing because if this is considered real news, I hope everyone from CNN gets canned.

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

    I don't care – Joe Biden's the BEST!!!!

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

    It's a football game, not a political policy. He's having fun. I don't see what the big deal is. If comments determine people's voting practices, then we're in a lot more trouble than I thought. No news here.

    September 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Back on the schoolyard with McSame followers who think they can be cabinet members when they grow up because they took shop in high school and can put together a mean armoire...

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



    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Independent Just Decided to Vote for Obama

    If football creates these dramas, then football should be banned.

    I have always advocated that football be banned in high schools so our kids can actually LEARN something by age eighteen.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Jude

    This is getting stupid if people cannot tell the difference between a football game and political arena....Why is this even a story. If the Ohio people are stupid enought to vote McCain because Biden was trying to rally his alumni school then don't cry foul when McCain puts you all out of jobs. America are we really that Stupid??? If we are then lets step down and let the Russians or Chinese lead!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. MinFL

    OMG, you have GOT to be kidding? People would vote based on their freaking football team?!

    Instead of focusing on such stupid stories like this, CNN, why don't you focus on the stories that MATTER?

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. ANGIE

    Who cares about sports LOOK AT WALL STREET LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK and people care about sports pleeez republicans they are having a veryyyyy bad week now they think we care about sports well i dont i care about my 401k my home my children my job!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Mickie in PA

    If that's all the GOP chairman in Ohio has to pin on the democrats, it just shows how desparate the repugnicans are. I suppose everyone in Ohio went to Ohio State?

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Raul Dominguez

    This is such a stupid story!!!! I'm from LA, a Buckeye fan who had to sit with 90,000 Trojan fans while they beat us up 35-3! But I'm still for Senator Obama! Give me a break, Buckeyes are not stupid. They will not be fooled into voting against their family's interest. C'mon, Buckeyes, please don't respond to this dumb story!

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    more NON NEWS from CNN

    why not update us on TROOPERGATE and the Palins' refusal to answer subpoenas????

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Peter

    Who cares? It's football...

    The fact that the Republicans are attacking the Obama/Biden over this is ridiculous. It's another poor attempt to distract voters from McCain's gaffs over real issues such as the economy.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Hank

    he's probably right, ohio st sucks

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Marc

    Is this story supposed to be a joke? Is this the story you would hear at the end of a news hour to lighten the mood? Reason I'm asking is this because it's a complete joke. There are so many issues in this campaign, and you are talking about sports. Really? Isn't there something more important like lets say the economy. Yes Cnn, I'm really sure that a buckeye fan who just lost a job because of the bush policies will now go for McCain. Really CNN? If Biden is in hot water because of this, then Palin better go to jail for life for troopergate.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Dr. Vincent J. Petrosino

    This is hot water? Over a football team match-up when the economy is in the dumpster? What is wrong with Ohio people. Biden's support for his home team should resonate with Buckeye diehards! When will the people of Ohio get it? We are in bad times and they should know. Their unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country. How easy is it to get Ohioans off message. Remember Ohioans, it was your vote for Bush in 2004 that gave us four more years of this mess! Now grow up and become responsible adults for your children's sake and do not take the rest of the country down the same path as you did four years ago! Bush did nothing for you and neither will McCain.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. michael

    Its a comment about sports! To think that an opinion about a sports team could change the way a person votes in a Presidential election is a terrifying glimpse into just how shallow and dim the American public has become! Turn off the TV and pay attention to some real issues such as the economy, bringing our troops home, and global climate change!

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Change versus More of the Same

    How desperate are the Republicans if they have to release an official comment about a college football remark?

    I'm a huge buckeye fan by the way

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. ex-Hillary backer for OBAMA

    FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! THIS IS JUST FOOTBALL FOLKS! NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE!!!! Must be some Republicans who are making a big issue over this...

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    Doesn't the GOP reaction just indicate how desperate they are to stir up anything against Obama/Biden? Next they'll be looking for a throwdown between Bert and Ernie!

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Former Republican for Obama/Biden

    Please, CNN, let's try to stick to ISSUES and behave like real, professional JOURNALISTS. That is why you got into the news business, isn't it?

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. AJ from Houston, Texas

    So making a comment about a football team can change who you support for president now?

    Wow! You must be really stupid to let that change who you are going to vote for.

    How petty!

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. ln

    One question: Are you kidding me?

    Anyone who would even consider voting for or against a particular candidate because of comments made about a football game/team is ridiculous! I would have to question his/her mental state.

    Absurd. I can't believe this is even a news story.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. briwil

    We have Palin in hot water because of recent comments about Iran and Russia, Troopergate, the Bridge to Nowhere, earmarks, lack of knowledge about foreign policy, and so on. Meanwhile, Biden is in "hot water" because he, uh, made a comment about a football team. You're kind of digging here CNN.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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