October 24th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
14 years ago

Biden defends 'crisis' comments

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/24/art.bidencrisis.ap.jpg caption="Biden defended his comments that Obama will face an international crisis, saying Obama is better prepared than McCain."]

DANVILLE, Virginia (CNN) – Barack Obama is ready for any crisis and better prepared than John McCain, said Joe Biden, defending his Sunday comments that the Democrat would be tested by an international crisis in his first few months in the White House.

“Every new president is tested, Democrat or Republican,” Biden argued in a Univision interview, adding that he doesn’t regret his remarks. “I don’t know where John’s been the last 20 years, number one.  Number two, I’ve watched Barack Obama, I’ve tested his mettle.  I’ve seen him, he’s ready to handle any crisis and based upon the major crises we’ve had, he’s been right, John’s been wrong.”

Biden spoke to Denver’s Univision station in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, pointing to Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea as examples of foreign policy decisions where McCain has been wrong.

“My point was, Barack is much better prepared to deal with upcoming crises whichever they may be than John is,” he said.

“Secondly, John we have a crisis on our hands already.  It’s an economic crisis,” Biden continued. “John is nowhere.  John McCain’s offering up the same warmed up ideas.  He bounces from pillar to post with new ideas.  Barack has had a steady hand, laid out what he’s going to do, and that’s why so many people are rallying to him.”

The Delaware senator told donors at a Seattle fundraiser Sunday that he guarantees Obama will face “an international crisis, a generated crisis” early into his term in office.

“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy,” said Biden. “The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America.

“Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he’s going to have to make some really tough - I don’t know what the decision’s going to be, but I promise you it will occur.”

Obama dismissed Biden’s comments as “rhetorical flourishes," as McCain seized on them as evidence that Obama’s running mate was acknowledging the Illinois senator’s lack of experience.

“We don’t want a president who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars,” McCain told supporters Wednesday in Ormond Beach, Florida. “Senator Obama tried to explain away this by warning – by saying that his running mate sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes. Really? Really? That’s another way of saying he accidentally delivered some straight talk to America.”

The Arizona senator’s campaign put out a 30-second ad Friday featuring audio of Biden’s words, saying, “It doesn’t have to happen. Vote John McCain.”

The usually talkative Biden ignored a reporter’s question about the ad Friday.  A campaign spokesman said he has no plans to address his remarks on the trail.

The senator's defense of his comments went unnoticed for two days in part because unlike Obama, McCain, and Palin, Biden’s staff doesn’t inform reporters traveling with the campaign what local interviews he does.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden • John McCain
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. kevin

    We have to fix home an improve world relations. It churns my stomach to think that McCain/Palin actually have any chance to be our representation. That would be the saddest day of my 36 years. Vote or die. Obama. Kevin Anderson brooklyn teacher

    October 24, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Jerry R Lucas RN Indiana

    Biden said

    That McCain would better to lead then Obama.

    Then when picked he said Obama great?

    Now he said he will be tested

    No, NO not what I want to say.

    well can we get a stright answer or will learn on the job?

    Jerry R Lucas RN

    Male Nurse Magazine .com

    October 24, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Robert in raleigh


    October 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. bill

    biden may have mispoken.but thats nothing compared to mccain palen lie and smear machine.anyone who would vote for this alaska bimbo and grandpa mcbush.deserves just what they get .four more yesrs of the worst .lieingest dumbest SOOOO CALLED PRESIDENT THIS WORLD HAS EVER SEEN

    October 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Lourdes

    Of COURSE our next president is going to be tested by crisis – we're already heading into a depression! (thanks to policies that McCain supported 90% of the time!) The real question is who is going to handle the crisis better, and I believe it would be Obama. McCain hasn't even been able to handle the various challenges of presidential campaigning well....he is easily distracted, unfocused in his message, and has executed extremely poor judgment in his VP pick and in the strategies used in dealing with the economy or his campaign.

    This election is a no-brainer for anyone who isn't paralyzed by fear of change.

    October 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. Joyce in Florida

    To Paul (reformed Republican), well said. Yes, it will take a level-headed, calm, rational, and thoughtful person to handle the mess our current Administration made. And that person is Barack Obama. There is no way McCain can do it; he is an angry and bitter man. We don't need someone like McCain running our country. It would be another disaster. He just twists words to fit his current temperament; he knows he is losing and is desperate to say anything. Obama/Biden 08!!!!

    October 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. boered1

    It is simply a fact the new president WILL face a crisis, beyond what the current administration has left us. Obama will be challenged, but what McCain and the rest of the radical right have forgotten is the rest of the speech that even if Obama does not have the correct answer immediately (and I defy ANYONE to show me ANYONE who they will garuntee will ALWAYS have the right answer to ANY situation) Obama will make sure he has the right people around him to help him make the decision he might fail but at least we will know he consulted the best and the brightest before hand.

    McCain will be challenged and he might fail also, but the difference is he will just respond as he has during this campaign with letttle regard for others input and a kneejerk fighter pilot response

    October 24, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Bruce

    Vote Obama/Biden!!! Vote Now!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 24, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Charlie Bradley

    Ed-Washington DC, I couldn't have said it better myself. Being in the leadership position, requires the ability to have a sense of peripheral vision. Look left, look right, forward, behind, then bring all the sources to the middle and formulate the plan to get you through what needs to be done. McCain and Palin do NOT have, or at least they haven't demonstrated that ability.

    October 24, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Republican Voting OBAMA

    No need to explain, McCain/Palin are just stupid...

    October 24, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. Gobama

    Totally agree with Obama with regard to Biden's sometimes over the top rhetoric. lol

    Seriously, people can Joe Biden see the future? Can Biden really see future crises? lol

    If Joe Biden could see the future, then he wouldn't have bothered to run a Presidential campaign. Biden was DOA in Iowa.

    All Joe needs to do is to parrot Obama's positions and statements; and stop trying so hard, Joe; because Obama has been quite capable of doing his own heavy lifting.

    McCaint may need a know-nothing Falin to carry his campaign; but Obama has demonstrated that he's a Natural Born Leader. See Obama's effective 'No Drama Obama' campaign.

    October 24, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |

    UM OK?

    October 24, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. Kirk

    I guess that settles it...That is, unless it's only ok for Palin to say things like "yes we'll attack terrorists that cross into Pakistan" and 'I like visiting pro-america states' and then claim she meant something completely different the next day. Why does Palin get to cancel out the things she says so easily yet the GOP take far more open ended statements by Biden and run them into the ground?

    October 24, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Donna

    Joe the Senator....all the way


    October 24, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |

    whatever happened to the PUMAS?

    October 24, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. Peggy - TX

    Just voted – straight party Dem

    Love U Joe. The truth is we know there will be crisis afer crisis and Obama is the one to best handle them not angry, ex-POW, McCain.

    October 24, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. rm

    Palin is not ready to do an interview alone, but she can handle a major crisis? Get real. Republicans would vote for a blow up doll to protect their elitist policies. That's right, I wrote elitist.

    October 24, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. mzgemini, carnegie,pa

    Give me a break... McCain had to suspend his campaign to fly back to Washington and be a fly on the wall for a crisis that he had no clue how to deal with, which clearly showed his inability to multitask. How is he going to deal with a major crisis as president and deal with all the other issues that are already going on? He would definitely be a bigger target for testing than Barack. He doesn't even seem to know who to turn to for the best advice on anything. I have several family members who have served in the military and I do not see where their military experience did anything but mess them up psychologically, just as we are seeing with a lot of these kids that are coming back from the Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Why is intellectual ability and judgment so threatening to Repubs?

    October 24, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Christopher Coleman

    This is a true statement. Whoever the president will be will be facing many crisis. 2 wars, a failing economy, mortgage crisis, unemployment crisis, and an International crisis of countries that do not presently like America. Thanks to the last eight years of George W. Bush. How much more a crisis could anyone wish to face in the first 6 months of their term. I believe that Barack Obama will be able to handle that situation.

    October 24, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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