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. Concerned

    Biden is an erratic kook! His "rhetourical flourishes" are making him look like a crazy old man! His speeches have become nothing short of irresponsible...and at worst, could be extremely dangerous, inviting harm on Americans. He should really just stay in the background, and keep his mouth shut. In fact, is it too late to drop Biden from the ticket? Obama could probably get rid of this boat anchor, and still win the race!

    October 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Nevada Mom

    A ridiculous comment by Biden?

    A gift to McCain/Palin?

    A reason to vote for McCain?

    October 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Zagazaw

    McCain already failed his first test by picking the wrong VP. and therefore put his campaign in a crisis, that he is not handleing well.

    October 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Becky

    Biden is right, whoever wins will be tested, The world is curious as to how the Next President will do, how he will either be the same or different from the current president. McCain is foolish to think he has already been tested, as a POW maybe,. But the truth is McCain HAS NOT been tested AS the president.

    October 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Mike

    Go Biden........Obama/Biden 08

    October 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. teesha

    Agree completely

    October 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. women 4 Obama

    I have no doubt Barack is much better prepared to deal with crises. He is young, smart and highly educated and once he is in the office, he will surround himself with the best advisors. On the other hand the way McCain is handling his campaign and the way he chose his VP really scares me, it proves that he can’t make a good decision in the time of crisis.


    October 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Ralph

    I believe Joe strongly believed that Barack would be the next president. So he didn't have to mention John McCain.

    Regardless, no matter who wins the White House will be tested. Base on both men policies, I am more than sure that Barack is more suitable to handle any crisis that comes his way.

    Just look how both of these men are handling the economic situation.

    October 24, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. republicans hate america

    none of you complained when W outspent Kerry by leaps and bounds in the campaign. how does it feel when the democrats turn the tables now?

    October 24, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Bill, NY

    Joe Who?

    Nobody cares about Biden. Sarah Palin outdrew him 2:1 in his own home town of Scranton, PA.

    Joe's biggest crowd to date is 2,000-Sarah Palin signs that many autographs at her rallies of 60,000 as in Orlando.

    October 24, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Buttercup

    Biden is right, presidents are tested. It's part of the job. Would happen to Obama or McCain. Personally I don't think a senile old windbag and a lunatic fringe monger from Alaska would handle it near as well as the frontrunning Obama/Biden ticket. But it's not over get out and vote as soon as you can, mine has been cast already

    October 24, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Independent Voter

    McCain's got a hot temper and an incoherent, clueless VP. You're stupid if you vote for this GOP ticket.

    October 24, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Curious

    If mccain offers taxcuts to the wealthy, and some of the wealthiest companies are going overseas, he essentially is giving them a tax cut, without penalties which meant Obama was telling the truth. CNN please do a better job with your fact checks.

    October 24, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Republicans= Me First Country Last

    stop already,

    How about you stop lying. You can't get a tax cut if you DON'T PAY TAXES!!!!!! You have to actually file a tax return to get a tax cut! That means you have to have a JOB!

    What part of that can't you understand?

    October 24, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Get real!

    Back peddling would be alright. That is to say that Biden misspoke about crisis facing Obama. But to say that Obama is better prepared to face a crisis than McCain is ridiculous. I read many of the Obama groupies comments everyday and I think that people just fail to understand the issues and are just clouded by their idolizing of this celebrity, but now to say that Obama is more ready than McCain for a crisis- I think it's time to lay off the Kool-aid guys. You're drunk with hope and change.

    October 24, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. karen-phoenix

    Joe Liberman said EXACTLY the same thing!!!! Stop this insanity!!!
    AND anyone who thinks Obama was NOT born in Hawaii is nuts!!!
    It has all been vetted!!! McCain was born in Panama and would unelegible too!!!!! Stop this insanity!!!
    Republican for Obama/Biden!!!!

    October 24, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. hometowndemocrat

    I'm sick of hearing that Obama is "buying the whitehouse". If people don't want to vote for him they don't have to.

    The repugs are just sore because he has the support of more people that that "washed up old Senator McCain"!

    October 24, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |



    OBAMA 08

    October 24, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. hurriCAIN PALIN

    cnn why dont you post my comment, because its pro-mccain? so bias

    thats the biggest bunch of bull i've ever read. nobama aint ready for anything. biden and nobama democrats, get your heads out of nobama – where the sun doesnt shine.

    October 24, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. nadeem

    McCain and Palin are a pair, the houses (8), the clothes($150,000.00), the planes (2 – they each own one), the personal make-up artists (2), the cars (9)

    What a joke

    October 24, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. C A

    The choice is clear.

    A VP candidate who makes gaffs but is intelligent with experience, or a VP candidate who makes gaffs, is incompetent and has no experience.

    Like I said. The choice is clear. Obama/Biden 08

    October 24, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Retired Navy for Obama

    You go 'Joe the VP'!
    Those of us who have REALLY been listening KNOW that whoever is the new President WILL be tested. We know what you meant. Hands down, Obama is better qualifed for any and all tests, nationally and internationally. As a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, I've also watched closely for who will be a better Commander In Chief for our military. Yes, Obama has EARNED my support for that as well, for MANY reasons. I honor McCain's former service, but that doesn't qualify him as President. If it does, maybe I should be on the ticket... (Not...:))
    Voted Today in FL!!!!
    Go 'Joe the VP'!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 24, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. Carole

    CNN – here is an easy one for you to put in and KEEP IN

    Spin, spin, blah blah

    October 24, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Idiots for MCPALIN

    People want to go to the Palin rallies because she is DUMB and she makes stupid mistakes and thus very entertaining. She is the biggest cartoon character ever in political history I used to think that Elmer Fudd, I mean W was the worst politician but it looks like PALIN IS!!!!!!!!!!

    I am so tired of Scranton, PA! Tell Palin to walk around in Philly and find out how many people will shout at her in a negative way!!!

    October 24, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. C A

    Funny how Palin may draw larger crowds yet nationally Biden's polling numbers are much higher than Palins.

    Perhaps many in those crowds attending Palin rallies are there to watch for mistakes or ctastrophes like those who attend hockey games to watch players crash into the walls.

    October 24, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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