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

Biden strikes back at McCain over judgment

Sen. Biden took aim at McCain on foreign policy and national security Monday.

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. Griff

    I write stories about my Toto's in Africa! What does Barack Obama do? He write's Stories about himself...

    September 22, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. Relieved

    I am relieved that there's one presidential candidate who demonstrates good sense, composure, and competence. And more relieved that people are beginning to see the nature of these tickets.

    And calling an entire group of people Pig Democrats illustrates the moral fiber of which one is made.

    September 22, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. Elsa, Philadelphia

    Joe who? 50,000 people showed up Sunday to listen to Sarah Palin in Florida. Biden's biggest crowd to date is 2,000 and they had to give away free beer to get that.

    What a bad pick.

    Hillary 2012

    September 22, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. ERIC, MN

    Go McCain! September 22nd, 2008 6:29 pm ET

    Joe, and exactly what percentage of the vote did you receive??

    Well I would say the Democratic V.P. recieved alot more votes for President than the Republican V.P. did. So, how bout them apples?

    September 22, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  5. help us all

    someone just got burrrned. 😛
    Oh yah.
    BO and JB rock

    September 22, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. lyn

    Go Joe go, Political Ticker I wish you guys say more about Biden,there is very little said of him , and too much of that woman Palin we wish she stop telling lies of Obama & Joe. "Yes we can" Go Obama & Joe.

    September 22, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. Liz T, Tucson

    McCain said in his own memoirs:

    "I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I'd had the ambition for a long time."

    It is the usual Rovian tactic: accuse them of the same thing you yourself are guilty of.

    September 22, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Josh, NY

    BIden will be destroyed by Sarah Barracuda next week. He's such a loser-no one comes out to hear him speak but they come in droves to see Sarah (50,000 over the weekend in Florida)–

    Joe, why don't you drop out and let Hillary in?

    Hillary 2012'

    September 22, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Matt

    Palin dishes it out, but has a lot of trouble taking it. Get the heck out of politics if you can't handle it honey!

    September 22, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Abby

    GO Obama! GO JOE

    September 22, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. Bidden "Obama is NOT qualified"

    He said and he meant it!! Talk about a joke ticket........these two idiots don't even support each other how do you expect them to work together in Washington.......Democrats are idiots!!!!! There is more to the US than a sucky SNL cast and Hollywood actors....overpaid, over rated idiots!!!!

    September 22, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Kadie

    Palin needs to go shoot a moose or ban a book. She's looking pathetic.

    September 22, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. Carol, Indiana

    Poor Joe Biden. No one comes to hear him speak. Sarah Palin outdraws him 50:1. Poor Joe. Go back to the Senate and collect your graft from Freddie Mac.

    Poor Joe.

    September 22, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. The Stateman

    When you look at Sen. Biden you are looking at a true example of a dignified statesman. Respectable and know the issues.
    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 22, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Ted:Canada



    Among the findings:

    - Of the seven countries with the largest majorities favoring Obama, four are NATO allies (Italy 76 percent; France 69 percent; Canada 66 percent and Germany 65 percent.) The other three are Kenya (87 percent), Australia (67 percent) and Nigeria (66 percent).

    September 22, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. MaryAnne

    Biden is to the point and makes a heck of alot of sense.
    OBAMA/BIDEN in 2008

    September 22, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Abby

    JUST CHECKING – seems like ALL comments to CNN
    MUST be Pro-Obama – or – else!!!!!

    FOX – a much better site – FAIR & BALANCED!

    September 22, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. In the know

    You all had better hope obama does not win. It will be the end of our country as we know it. He outright lies and has many of you fooled. Obama will stoop to any level to get elected and progress his twisted liberal agenda.

    September 22, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Poor Old Warrior

    Laura Bush stated on 09/01/08 that Palin’s experience as a mayor, qualified her for the Republican vice presidency.

    Cindy McCain stated Sunday, 8/31/08 Palin had national security experience because Alaska was next to Russia.


    Are you willing to take a chance that the welfare and safety of your own children, may at sometime in the future be the responsibility of the Republican party that actually believes that anyone, male or female, with experience as a city council member and the mayor of a village of 9.000 for 8 of her 10 years of “executive” experience, actually qualifies the candidate for the top office in the land?

    The same Republican party believes that the fact that the state, which has a total population of less than the city of Atlanta, and which she is the current governor of for all of 20 months, during which time she has already managed to create a cloud of suspicion for possibly abusing the power of her office. and is currently being investigated, is actually qualified for national security because the state she is the governor of is next to Russia?

    No matter how you feel about the Democratic ticket at least the one with the lesser experience was ELECTED, and made a VP selection of someone who would bring balance to the ticket and provides some responsibility. The Republican VP was SELECTED by one man that actually believes the Republican statements and beliefs as outlined above.

    You parents out there need to think long and hard about this ticket but more importantly about the Republican party which is apparently so welling to cater to the Far Right that the entire Republican party is willing to chance putting your own kids future in jeopardy, just so they can win an election?

    How exactly is that considered "Country First"?

    September 22, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Susan

    I question McCain on his patriotism. e has turned this race into a free for all to fulfill hiw own ambitions just as he described in his book Faith of Our Fathers. No one is more of a hypocrite than John McCain in the election. He has turned his back on America and gotten in to bed with Big Oil and Corporations.

    September 22, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. Kelly

    I usuallt don't pay much attention to email reterick I get, but not trusting Obama very much this email that I recieved a number of times makes me wonder and I thought I would mention here as a reference, should it prove to be true. Suposedly this came from a excellent sources within the DNC:

    On or about October 5th, Biden possibly will excuse himself from the ticket, citing health problems, and he will be replaced by Hillary. This is timed to occur after the VP debate on 10/2.

    Biden remarks about questioning each other’s motives and each other’s patriotism. We will see, if this is true what possibly could his motives be....?

    September 22, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. Kayla

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Palin's voice. I'd rather listen to fingernails on a chalkborard!

    September 22, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. Jane

    Women voters for OBAMA/BIDEN!

    September 22, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. McCain lost another one

    @The Smartest People will vote for McCain!....

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLOLLLLLLOOOOOO!!!! oh boy, thank you so much for reminding me why it is so important for me to donate, make calls, drive to NV from LA to register new voters and vote myself for....OBAMA/BIDEN. you my friend just earned Obama another donation, thanks

    September 22, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. Alexa

    GO BIDEN!!!!

    September 22, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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