September 22nd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Biden strikes back at McCain over judgment

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Biden took aim at McCain on foreign policy and national security Monday."]
BALTIMORE, Maryland, (CNN) – One day after John McCain questioned Barack Obama’s judgment to be commander-in-chief in front of the conference of the National Guard Association, Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden came to his defense in front of the same gathering Monday, hitting McCain on foreign policy and national security.

Biden also countered John McCain’s accusation that behind Barack Obama’s views “lies the ambition to be president.”

“No one party has a monopoly on virtue or good ideas,” said Biden. “We can question each other’s judgment, that’s what elections are all about but we have to stop questioning each other’s motives and each other’s patriotism.”

“We all put ‘country first,’” he added, borrowing the McCain camp’s slogan. “When John and I send our sons to war, they don’t wear a Republican flag or a Democratic flag. They wear the American flag.”

McCain’s son Jimmy, a Marine lance corporal, has served in Iraq. Biden’s son Beau, Delaware’s attorney general and a member of the state’s National Guard, will be deploying there this fall.

Like McCain’s Sunday remarks, Biden’s lines on patriotism and the American flag got a rousing reception from the crowd. The crowd was silent during his attacks on the Republican nominee.

The senator raised eyebrows among reporters when he veered off his prepared remarks toward the end, replacing short, punchy lines ending with “John was wrong, Barack was right,” with lengthier arguments that referenced his own experience and understanding.

“Whoa!” exclaimed Biden after saying that McCain had asserted before the Iraq war that there was no history of conflict between Sunnis and Shias. “One of my problems is maybe I read too much history. There’s an overwhelming history, an overwhelming history ladies and gentlemen, 1200 years of it, of clashes between Sunnis and Shias.”

“You want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” he later added. “I can tell you where they are. John says he’ll follow them to the gates of hell. You don’t have to go to hell. Just go to Pakistan. Just go to that area. That superhighway of terror that exists between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The original text also ended with the argument that in order to have a strong military, there needs to be a strong economy. Forgoing the planned conclusion, Biden left out the news of the day and a chance to promote the plan Obama was introducing in a “major” economic speech.

Biden heaps praise on the National Guard at every campaign rally and Monday spoke glowingly of the domestic and international work the National Guard has done, and pledged to increase medical and economic support in light of increased service burdens in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Barack and I are here, we are going to set this straight,” he said.

Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. M. Winners

    Hey Joe – And don't forget to remind McCain that his economic policy should not be like his Iraq policy.
    You know – Ready, Fire, AIM and "smear, fear, mock and LIE" to get it thru congress...

    September 22, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. No Hillary = No Obama

    Hey where was Biden, Pelosi and Obama when the greedies were handing out money like there was no tomorrow? Don't dump this financial mess on the Republicans. What about Alan Greenspan – why didn't he open his mouth and do something? There's enough blame to go around both parties.

    September 22, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. Scott L

    Biden misses the point....he is calling out OBAMA, not Joe.

    This is about Presidential judgement...not VP judgement. And Obama has zero judgement...LOL! He didn't even pick Hillary....what a mistake!

    September 22, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    America first, always America first. good words Biden.

    September 22, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Scott L

    Go Democrats Go!

    Raise my taxes mo!

    Go Democrats Go!

    Kill more jobs for dough!

    GO GO GO!!


    September 22, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  6. we love you Joe!

    people please choose with your BRAIN... cause if you do, there's no way you should want to continue these disastrous republican 8 years....

    September 22, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. D&D

    I respect this guy, he knows what he is doing and he's doing it very well!

    September 22, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. inuk of the north

    Joe Biden – 63,000 votes

    Hillary Clinton – 18,000,000 votes

    Joe Who?

    September 22, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Janice Il

    Mr. Biden , Does the word National (in National Guard ) mean nothing? It sure meant something when Bush was in it. These soldiers are husbands and wifes and fathers and mothers. No body cares about this. Can you tell me that this is an all volunteer army when these people signed up for the (National Guard).?

    September 22, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  10. GIGI IN LA

    v p--–a bo v e----h i s--–p a y----g r a d e

    September 22, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Cindy McCain, are you going to release your tax statements soon?!

    September 22, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    I understand McCain and Obama are going to have a traditional, open-style, give-and-take debate format, while Palin prefers the George Bush "soft-toss" style of debate. Too bad because Biden would have excoriated her in the open forum!

    September 22, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. james

    Man, the McCain drumbeat is getting more and more desperate. The campaign went from being poorly run to being the most dishonest, sleazy attack and non-issue campaign in history. Now the guy looks so confused and exhausted it's looking like he might die before the election. His supporters have got to be feeling pretty stupid right about now. They are looking more and more like the Goldwater crowd of 1964.

    September 22, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. NOSS

    Let me sell you some worthless Stock comprised from "derivtive paper"; who knows what in there, we don't even know the true value. You sell it back to me; I sell it back to you; you sell it back to me and we pocket all the commissions from these trades before we dump this in an international package to a foreign investor.
    When the POO floats to the surface we demand a bail out from the FEDERAL RESERVE and we are OFF the HOOK

    Where has CHRIS DODD, Chairperson of the Senate BAnking Committee and BARNEY FRANK, Chairperson of the House Finance Committee been hiding these last few years?

    September 22, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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