October 12th, 2008
08:11 PM ET
13 years ago

Clintons campaign with Biden in Scranton

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/12/art.bidenclinton.gi.jpg caption="The Clintons and the Bidens campaigned together Sunday."]SCRANTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) – The most powerful couple in Democratic politics came out to campaign with Joe Biden on Sunday - the first joint rally the Clintons have done for the Obama-Biden ticket, and the first time Bill Clinton has campaigned with either of the nominees.

Both Clintons sung the praises of the Delaware senator to a crowd of 6,000, pointing to his accomplishments in his 35-year Senate career and to his roots in this hardscrabble Pennsylvania town that has become synonymous with the blue-collar working class electorate.

“If you had a secret ballot of all the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress,” said former President Bill Clinton, “and you asked them to put two or three names down of the people in the entire Congress who know the most about the economic, political and security challenges of America and the world, his name would be on every single secret ballot.”

Missing from much of Clinton’s eight-minute introduction was Barack Obama himself, the latest in a series of lukewarm statements of support from the former president. Clinton said he would spend the rest of his life thanking those who supported his wife in the primary, and said that she had done more to support Obama than any of the other Democratic runner-ups combined.

Praise for Obama came in the last sentence of his remarks, when he said Obama is the best candidate in the race.

“If you ask yourself who has the best ideas, who’s got the best instincts, who’s got the best ability to understand these challenges, who’s got the best supporting cast, the answer is Barack Obama,” said Clinton. “And that’s why Hillary’s here, that’s why I’m here, that’s why you’re here.”

Senator Hillary Clinton made her message clear in the first minute of her remarks, saying “we must elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden on November 4th.”

“This election is too important to sit on the sidelines of history,” she said to applause from the crowd. “I haven't spend 35 years in the trenches fighting for universal health care, for children, for families, for women, for middle class people to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our nation and the hopes of our people.”

She continued to slam Republicans for the country’s economic downturn and accused them of thinking the middle class “isn’t fundamental, it’s ornamental.”

“That's why,” she continued, “sending the Republicans to solve this economic crisis is like sending the bull to clean up the china closet. They broke it and we're not buying it anymore.”

Both Sens. Clinton and Biden have roots in Scranton. Biden spent his early childhood here. Clinton’s father was born in Scranton; growing up, she spent summers in the area.

Biden stuck mostly to his stump speech, but played up those northeastern Pennsylvania roots, telling the crowd that before the speech he visited his childhood home in the Green Ridge part of town. He joked that he wasn’t sure whether “it came from this valley,” but the thing he admires most about Hillary Clinton is her lifelong fight against the abuse of power.

“One thing I find about this city is what we learned in our faith and our family. There is the one most serious abuse a man or a woman or a government can engage in, is to abuse power,” said Biden. “Everything she's devoted her life to has been on the side of people who have been on the other side of power.”

Aides say the Clintons will be more visible on the trail in the final few weeks of the campaign. President Clinton was expected at two rallies in Virginia later Sunday afternoon so he left the stage as soon as he was done speaking. Sen. Clinton will spend time in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other swing states. Biden campaigns in New Hampshire on Monday before embarking on a two day bus tour of Ohio.

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Ina

    thanks bill and hillary

    October 12, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. mitch

    wow! what a team! a now a real leader to lead us all.

    barack obama /joe biden '08

    October 12, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |

    can we please stop talking about Bill Clinton...The guy do not like Obama. He's just like those angry PUMA women.

    October 12, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. go away mongers- Ventura,CA


    October 12, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. John in Gig Harbor

    Turn up the heat Joe, Bill and Hill! Let's take it back!

    Obama/Biden '08!

    October 12, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Richard A. Spomer

    To Bill and Hillary Clintons the two of you never should have supported the Obama/Biden campaign you knew they were shotty and un electable.

    October 12, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. Gil

    There is the real dream ticket for the Democrats – Clinton-Biden! Too bad.

    October 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. Lu from Houston, TX

    Biden, agent of change and peace.

    Palin, agent of animosity and division.

    October 12, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. Republican for Obama/Biden

    It was so wonderful to see Bill and Hillary and Joe and Jill. God Bless them. Joe Biden is going to make a great VP and Barack Obama is going to be one of our greatest Presidents. They have moral values, integrity, judgement and experience. They will lift American's up and bring the nation together.

    October 12, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. j

    I saw part of this and I think the Clintons haven't recovered from Hillary's loss yet. It's obvious they'd rather be pitching her rather than Obama. I also think Biden would rather be running with Hillary. Still, they're doing the best they can for Obama under the circumstances. If Hillary runs again in 2012, I'll be voting for her.

    October 12, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. bertha doucet

    the clintons has done so much to show their support for obama.sometimes some of the american people judge the clintions unfairly.the clintions in my book are good people. Houston Tx

    October 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. josh

    go hillary, i love u

    October 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. CMJ

    Oh leave Bill alone. He's doing what he is supposed to be doing – he is reminding people what a GREAT GOVERNMENT IT IS WHEN DEMOCRATS ARE IN POWER – and boy! do we miss it!

    October 12, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. nelson mcnarland

    It's all good for Obama and Biden

    October 12, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. Tracey

    Thank you Clintons! We all appreciate all of your hard work! And despite what people may say, we all know that you two are doing what you can to get Obama elected! We are democrates! The policies of the democratic party is what is best for this country and the world! Let's ascend ! Let's change is country for the better and keep the past of this country as just history and not our reality. We must move forward, we can not stay in the past, one does not grow in life if one is still stuck in a past life. This is America the beautiful! This is what this great country represent . . .love and peace! Obama/BIden! It is the spirit of love that the ticket represent that will change this country for the better and not the worse!

    October 12, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. supporter

    Keep letting the people know Obama is the one with the better plan. He is the one that leads the way. McCain only copies all the good ideas he hears from Obama and tries to push blame off on him when things go bad.

    Palin is back at pushing the fear and hate theme. She is dangerous but her ties to AIP will haunt her

    October 12, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I actually enjoyed the Clintons' comments today. I hope they can deliver some votes to Obama-Biden.

    October 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  18. Southerner

    Clinton cannot publically denounce Obama without destroying his wife's political future, but he knows what a horrible president Obama would be.

    October 12, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. Chipster

    Sen. Clinton is right. Republicans in the White House, House of Representatives, and Senate spent 6 years destroying our economic security. Lame attempts to blame the Democratic congress simply won't fly. The president will veto any real change and Democrats don't have a super majority to override his veto. Until we have a Democratic president and legislature, we'll never be able to correct the economic disaster that supply-side economics has created. The rich get richer but nothing trickles down! Vote for Democrats for congress and the White House. Republicans talk about fiscal responsibility but it's Bill Clinton who straightened out the mess Reagan left him. Bush squandered the surplus he inherited from Clinton.

    October 12, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. Rodger

    Thank you Hillary! You'll get my vote and support in 2016. I'll even send money! Tell Bill to be more like he was in Florida. The time is here, time to take over 60 votes in the Senate...Hillary should be the party leader.

    October 12, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  21. Terry H

    I'm disabled and on a very low fixed income yet I made several donations to Hillary Clinton. I regret every penny of it. If I had known she was going to roll over like a lap dog for Obama I would have never given her the time of day. Thank God a real woman has stepped up to the plate to represent those of us who are tired of being oppressed. I used to think I was a democrat because democrats were supposed to be for those of us who are disadvantaged. I have learned that is not true. To me the DNC showed it's true colors when they allowed the voter fraud to affect the primary and once again women were cheated out of their place in history. Take it home for us Sarah! We're pulling for you! Shake em up and show em what a real woman can do in the White House!

    October 12, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  22. weneedstrongleadership

    Please take your group to all the swing states, Florida, Ohio North Carolina. Your combinded credabilty is equal to 3 McCain and 6 Palin. Joe I saw your, speach from scranton and it was very patriotic and inspiring, America needs you all at this time more than ever.

    October 12, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  23. cutie

    It is wonderful to see the clinton`s put aside their differences aside and support ing their democratic party . they should continue until Nov. 4 2008

    October 12, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  24. Lovely in VA

    I just had the pleasure of seeing President Clinton about 2 hours ago in Roanoke, VA. He owned the place and did a fine job firing up the crowd here. It was just great, the atmosphere was soooo happy! I was about 20 ft away and I must say he is most handsome! It was a beautiful day!!

    October 12, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  25. Pua, HI

    Good for the Clintons to support the Obama/Biden ticket. I would like to see Al Gore out there, too.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 12, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
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