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. josh


    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Bruce Jamison

    You people are ridiculous !............It's football talk..........shows the absolute desperation of Republicans............

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. SCOTT

    The combination of this story with its ridiculously misleading headline is sad–misleading, pandering. Are you all trying to cover the news or influence it? Please, MR or MS Editor, tell me what journalism school you went to so that I don't send my kids there.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Let's Unite

    I am one of many Ohio State students who happen to be ardent Obama/Biden supporters regardless of how they feel about my buckeyes.

    The pot is unstirred CNN.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. mike

    Wow... are we supposed to believe this is news? Come on. Who cares how he tries to motivate his favorite team. If he had told them they could beat any college team, are you saying that would lead to Obama losing every state?

    Gimme a break.

    September 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. SimonSays

    locker room talk is now political discussion? get a life

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

    I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church is also upset over one of his recent campaign stops.

    There was an older woman introducing him to the crowd and she was trashing Gov. Palin and Biden was smiling and at the same time blessing himself with the sign of the cross.

    I doubt Jesus wants us to use the cross in that manner.


    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Joey D

    I worked from my home office today. I can see my house from here!

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Ridiculous

    Really CNN? Realy?!?!?! Are voters in Ohio so stupid they'd refrain from voting someone because he supports a football team other than theirs? This is the dumbest story I've seen all season.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Kevin in Portsmouth, OH

    So...? Biden isn't alone. Here in the southern end of Ohio we've been joking that some of our high school teams could beat the Buckeyes this year.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Donna in California

    Is this the best story you've got CNN?

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Anne

    Are you serious? If someone is dumb enough to switch their moral views regarding this election because Biden (supposedly, not confirmed) made a sports joke about his love for his home team, they are an idiot.

    And why is this news?

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Well, wasn't this kind of stuff expected of Biden?
    I think the individuals calling this a non-story are being native. The other side always latches onto these things and puts a very negative spin on it. In the end, it comes across as Ohio bashing and that would have an affect on some voters, whether you think that makes them dopes or not. It's also naive to think this one comment would determine who one would vote for; it's a cumulative effect and a comment like this goes in the negative column.
    Yet it still is not quite a dumb a comment as Obama calling McCain part of the old boys network. As you listen to Obama say that, any half-wit would immediately recognize that Biden has been in Washington longer than McCain. Comments that are none too bright from both ends of the Democratic ticket.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. bk

    No, Ohio probably doesn't care about this statement, but they do care when Obama goes to the Canadian Gov. and tells them he is not going to do anything about NAFTA, he is just trying to get Ohio people to vote for him.

    Just as PA people care that he went to the rich in SF and told them about them being bitter and clinging to their guns and religion. Obama is an arrogant elitist.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Nikita

    I understand the good old boys network and loyalty to sports, but let's be real, this is about politics (the competent running of our country). You don't choose your doctor, lawyer or preacher based on their college sports loyalty. I'd hope you wouldn't pick your President/VP based on his college sports loyalty either.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Scy

    Hey, if people base their votes for our nation's future on who someone supports in a football game . . . no hope for this country anyway. *shrug*. And I don't care WHO you support. I don't care if McCain or Obama or Palin or Biden comes out against my favorite football team. I sure as hell won't vote for or against someone based on that idiocy. Why is this a news story anyway???

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Dianne

    It's okay to say the economy is fundamentally sound (yawn) or that someone stopped the bridge to nowhere (but didn't) (double yawn) – but trash my college football team? Rally the troops in protest (OMG) – it's football trash talk? Not in my White House!!! LOL – non story. Move on.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Kate

    This is pure HOGWASH. Ohio fans know about competition and being a supportive alumni. Joe Biden was giving a cheerleading speech to his alma mater. Ohio fans get that. I think they would have thought Joe was untruthful and certainly disloyal not to support his school. The only people who change their tune (and story) regardless of the truth are found in the McCain camp. Anyone remember how he changed the POW story from the names of the defensive line of the Packers to the offensive line of the Steelers for the Pittsburg audience? Give me a BREAK.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Anna PA

    This is the stupidest news story I have ever heard! Why would you print this horrible story. And, Is the McCain camp really trying to make this an issue? Pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Oh please - people are just too darned sensitive! What happened to our sense of humor? Our right to free speech? Do we have to have a censored script for every word we speak lest someone be offended?

    Good grief - there's plenty of real news today without needing to 'make' some like this.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Renea B.

    "The Ohio Republican Party is already attacking the Democratic ticket over the comments. "Biden is taking pot shots at the Buckeyes," Ohio GOP party chairman Bob Bennett said. "

    Is this all the Republicans have to work with? How pathetic. It's FOOTBALL!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Whynotus, PA you and John McCain have anythign better to do? this is newsworthy? How about billions to bail us out from 32 out of the last 42 years of republican deregulation and banker freindly policies? Obvioualy Senator Biden was doing exactly what you said he was doing...tongue in cheek wiht his alma mater football team.

    This is so much more important that Sarah Palin obstructing justice and refusing to testify in front of an investigating wonder rove likes her soo much.

    Can we stick to impostant issues? Stop you senationalizaing stup9ic headlines.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Pittsburgh

    If you're stupid enough for that to bother you then you were going to vote McCain anyway

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. Paying Attention

    This election is serious. Sports are for fun.

    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Annie

    I am so sick of this whole mess: Biden should go to Michigan and spout about the team UP North – He will live to eat his words – Go Bucks -Bye Biden and that other guy too......


    September 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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