October 22nd, 2008
02:08 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama says Biden given to 'rhetorical flourishes'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.obama.biden.jpg caption="Barack Obama said Biden has engaged 'in rhetorical flourishes'."]
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) –- Barack Obama dismissed his running mate’s recent comments Wednesday that if elected, his new presidency would immediately be tested by adversaries looking to “test the mettle of this guy.”

“Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes. But I think that his core point was that the next administration is going to be tested regardless of who it is,” Obama told reporters after meeting with his national security working group. “The next administration is going to be inheriting a whole host of really big problems and so the president is going to be tested and the question is will the next president meet that test by moving America in a new direction by sending a clear signal to the rest of the world that we are no longer about bluster and unilateralism and ideology but we’re about creating partnerships around the world to solve practical problems.”

Obama added that with the economy in a “free fall” the United States is more vulnerable than ever. He said because of the Bush administration’s policies the next president will have to deal “with two unresolved wars, Bin Laden and Al Qaeda communicating regularly and training folks to potentially attack America.”

The McCain-Palin ticket seized on Senator Joe Biden’s comments made at a west coast fundraiser to highlight what they say is Obama’s inexperience, and have said on the stump Obama would need “on the job training.”

Obama dismissed the notion that his group of national security and foreign policy advisors were scrambled together in Richmond to counter Biden’s remarks and the Republican attacks.

“It would be pretty hard to gather this group in two days. They have pretty busy schedules. We actually had this planned about two weeks ago, two to three weeks. It was prompted by the fact that I was focused fairly single mindedly on the financial crisis and I asked my staff to convene this group because I think it’s very important at a time when we are so focused on the economy, and rightly so, that we not lose sight of that fact that we remain threatened and there are a whole host of international challenges that we’re going to have to deal with,” he said flanked by fifteen members of that group, including former Sen. Sam Nunn and several high ranking retired military officers.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Mn voter

    If Obama is elected, he will be kicked out of office along with Biden. They will be out one way or another. THEY WILL BE KICKED OUT BY THEIR OWN PARTY. Obama will make some major mistakes that will put us in grave DANGER. All with in 1 year.

    October 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Peter (CA)

    Keep foaming at the mouth right wingers....all I see in your posts are the same things I see in McCain's ads...all accusations with no substance.

    Checks and balances? Did you worry about that in 2000 or 2004 when we had Bush and a Republican congress??
    And now look where this country is.....we need a big change to clean up the mess your guys made.

    October 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |

    Any new President may be tested. McNasty has never been in charge as President either. He is NOT TESTED. If the way they reponded to the financial crisis is any indication–I'll take the collected-contolled-and thoughtful manner of Obama's, over the erratic-panic-indecisive-emotional McCain. McCain is so trigger happy and takes action before thinking. He'll just bomb-bomb-bomb-somebody. Liberman won't be there to correct him when he has the wrong enemy-Palin will-Good luck with that.

    October 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Jeff

    Obama is already speaking and addressing issues presidentially. As any good leader would he is organizing and surrounding himself with very competent and capable advisers. Now let's so our leadership by voting for the right person for our next president, Senator Obama.


    October 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Reese from NC

    That is why we like Biden. He is honest almost to a fault. Clearly at times context is not McCain's or the media's strong suit. What he said made complete sense. The new president will be tested and both Obama and McCain are more than capable of handling it. The major difference is McCain will shoot first and ask questions later and Obama will weigh the pros and cons of the situation and make a sensible decision quickly. The only reason it is an issue is we are in the middle of a presidential campaign and the parties are trying their best to discredit each other.

    October 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Amanda "Hussein" Smith

    I'd rather have an intelligent man tested than an erratic one. Who knows *what* McCain would do under such duress–he couldn't even campaign and vote on the financial crisis at the same time.

    C'mon everyone–show your support by changing your middle name to Hussein, too.


    October 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Linda

    I don't understand the fuss. I think what Biden was saying is that things are tough, and the next president would have a challenge that would need to be met shortly into his term. Even the toughest and most experienced leaders have challenges that must be met. This is much-ado about nothing - typical Republican reaction. But Palin doesn't know what the Veep does and that's OK. We used to say that all Veeps do is go to dignitary funerals. If that's the case and she can keep her mouth shut, she could handle the job. The only good thing I can say about her is that she's well groomed in her expensive designer suits!

    October 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Mari for Obama

    I will sleep better at night knowing Obama is our president and Biden is his backup. BIG improvement over the past four years and MUCH better than McCain/Palin. Obama/Biden rocks!!!

    October 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. we want universal healthcare!

    how has palin been able to escape explaining the fact that she and her hubby had been members of the cessesionist party in alaska?

    how does she manage to keep "obama = unamerican" nonsense alive in corporate media day in and day out?

    ooops! i answered myself: corporate media = neo-con thieves.

    October 22, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Adam

    OK Angus and the one before you. Colin Powell and Susan Eisenhower, Jim Leach, and many other Republicans who will
    be voting for Obama are all Communists, right?

    How would you feel if John McCain would be compared to Mussolini or worse? You guys argue about Obama's elitist policies, and then we find out that Sarah Palin is charging Joe Six Pack or that Joe the Plumber to pay for her daughters to stay at the Ritz and wracking up $150,000 in wardrobe expenses? That's sort of like Russia, too, where the leaders have all the goods, and the people are all living in poverty.

    October 22, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Lyndon,CA


    October 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Melly




    October 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Karen

    We still love ya, Joe!

    October 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Tony


    How dangerous could that be if NOBAMA were to become President.

    October 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Republican for a better Country

    Obama is an accident waiting to happen if elected! Biden's comment was to build acceptability for Obama's lack of experience.

    October 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. karen Raleigh

    McCain lies and twists the truth and has nothing to say and I mean nothing–his speeches consist of talking about Barack and Joe and lying about their policies.. Obama/Biden 08

    October 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. Lisa in Oklahoma

    I dont understand why everybody is flipping out about what Joe said. Speaking the truth sucks and you know everybody has talked about this for months. I think that Obama will be just fine when he is tested.

    October 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. cindy

    Obama is a very knowlegable person and has great judgment and doesn't react to foreign relations with a knee jerk response to attack as would John McCain... So half intelligent person out there that thinks that Mccain would be bext in a time of crisis in completetly mistaken and has been taken in by the war mongers rhetoric!!!

    October 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Steve/ Houston,TX

    As usual, Obama comes out on top! GOP tries to make a stir about a non-issue and it just gets wiped out. I know they must be fustrated.

    October 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |




    October 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Amy

    Very well said Barack!

    October 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. G

    GO OBAMA!!!!

    October 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Baze

    Good ole Biden and his big mouth


    October 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Janet

    Who cares about these two socialists?

    October 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. RAY IN NJ

    Now THIS is a President!!! Such wisdom and foresight is what's sorely needed right now!!! It is so, oh, refreshing after eight years of chaos, uncertainty, and "dumbness" in the White House!

    October 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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