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. Vic

    Go early voters.

    Registered Republican "voted" Obama/Biden 08

    October 24, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Griff

    No Way... He is an L Plate learner... Obama... Needs his "Shingle in View"..

    October 24, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Puff

    Joe the blow hard...keep talking Joe, we love it.
    McCain-Palin 08

    October 24, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. stop already

    Obama is buying the whitehouse, this is sickening

    pends more on advertising than McDonalds (among others) for God's sake. Still can only manage a 9 point lead.

    The only reason that 95% + of people benifit from Obama's plan is because over 35% do not pay taxes and will get a free check for doing nothing. So he is in essence buying the presidency by getting all these people to vote in order to get the free money.

    It is a smart winning strategy, however it is not right and I am shocked not 1 person in the media is calling him out on it (that I have heard of anyway)

    October 24, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. paul (reformed republican)

    No matter WHO gets elected, his mettle will be tested by foreign leaders. AS much as he would like to think McCain has not been tested. He has never been in the big chair in the Oval Office. When it comes to that neither one has been "tested."

    It will need a level-headed, calm, rational, and thoughtful person to handle it.

    October 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. Georgia for Obama

    That why I did early vote for Obama/Biden......McCain/Palin is not ready to be president and VP and tell Ashley Todd not to lie to police about Obama supporter attack her at the ATM machine accuse of black man rob her........The republican are lier lier lier lier

    October 24, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Christine K

    I think Biden got it backwards, what he should have said if he were being honest was:

    “I don’t know where Barack’s been the last 20 years, number one. Number two, I’ve watched John McCain, 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, Barack’s been wrong.”

    McCain has been in the senate for 23 years. 20 years ago, Obama was, well, who knows?

    October 24, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Deb-Los Angeles

    Biden, we knew what you were talking about. McShame just twisted your words and the meaning of them. Obama is a brillant man and will make an extraordinary president, and I can hardly wait until he is elected as our next PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

    Obama-Biden!

    October 24, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. voter

    the end of Biden's comment on sunday was that Obama had a spine of steel and can handle a crisis. Biden does have a point about the current economic crisis. McCain says he has been tested and can handle a crisis. McCain's response to the economic crisis indicates he can't handle a crisis.

    October 24, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Mary

    Yes, I have more confidence in the Obama/Biden Team than I ever would with McCain/Palin. Obama is the right person for the job at this hour!

    October 24, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. stop already

    This statement right here along with the proven fact that Biden has made for more and far worse mistakes than Palin should tell you how the media is not scutinizing Biden like they are Palin...

    "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."

    October 24, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. dEMOBRAT

    LET'S FACE IT- JOE BIDEN never really knows what he's saying anyway.

    THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA HAS MADE THEIR CHOICE, NOW MAKE YOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    McCain = Ready....... FIRE .........uh aim?

    Thanks, but no thanks

    October 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Indiana Joe

    I agree with Biden... Obama has showed during the economic crisis the right temperament and during the debates we have seen that he also has the necessary knowledge regarding foreign policy. McCain has been erratic, impulsive and frantic during the campaign, not counting his VP pick. Obama has the JUDGMENT and EXPERIENCE and Biden will provide the EXTRA experience, in case needed. What does Palin bring, other than smiles, winks and low ethical standards? VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN '08!

    October 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. St Paul Mom

    I agree that whoever is president will be tested, and I think that Obama is up to the job. McCain keeps saying that an Obama presidency would invite the world to "test" the US, but I think that goes double for a Palin presidency.

    October 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. former republican

    John mccain would wet his depends if a crisis hapened. then he would say "my friends, we can do this" lets have a spending freeze accept for another 150,000 for sarah palins wardrobe... ha!

    October 24, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Candia

    It seems to me as if McCain is totally obsessed with the Obama campaign. Instead of presenting himself and his own ideas, he consistently remarks in one form or another on things happening in the Obama campaign. Out of ideas? Yeah, I thought so...

    October 24, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. mitch

    this is the most true article of this entire election. barack is the only person ready to lead this country in a new and better direction. we can finally win the war that the 60's generation lost, 40 years ago. it's time to end the war on drugs ,too. what a waste of money and lives. NO MORE WARS BASED ON LIES!!!

    October 24, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. sick n tired

    With McCain in the White House the DUMBING DOWN of America is sure to continue. And it all started with George W. Bush!!!

    October 24, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Meka

    Of course, Obama is better prepared to lead America. Prime example-how he differed from McCain...during the Bailout Bill.

    Obama/Biden '08-'12

    October 24, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Greed is not good

    Obama clearly is more calm and has better tempermant...even under constant attack by Hillary and McCain.

    McCain has been criticized even by his own party for anger management issues.

    October 24, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. Shannon

    wow, Obama sure has a lot of false reports on the fact check stories here. I guess it's ok when he lies!

    October 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. v.ananthan

    OBAMA is saying McCain is helping the "wall street" first and the "main street" last by suppporting to give "ecomony packages".

    And getting lots of votes because of this...

    I do agree with OBAMA ...

    BUT..

    I will be looking carefully whether President OBAMA will be giving these types of "packages " later..

    AND IF HE DOES IN THE FUTURE...

    Then I have to agree that I am so ignorant , foolish and stupid...

    October 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Uncle Sam

    That's not what Joe said last year.
    Ah, the wonderful world of politics.

    🙂

    October 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. Allan G.

    Now he changes his story....Obama must have beat him up. How come during the primaries the opposite was true

    October 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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