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. Tolu

    Anyone with half a brain knows what Joe Biden meant, but hey, let the loser and their in-house spinmeisters have some fun too; it's about all the fun they're gonna have between now and Nov 4th.


    October 24, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Jasmine in Germany

    McCain is an old fool. If he thinks he's already been tested, he flunked. Let's not forget Obama was against the Iraq invasion. Biden is right.

    October 24, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. TONY




    OBAMA / BIDEN '08!

    October 24, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule and Winky Half-baked Alaska

    Colin Powell said it best: Both would be a good president, but Barack Obama would be an exceptional president and a transformational figure. Smoke that JohnnyMac and Sarahcuda!!!

    October 24, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Sharon - NC

    The reason Sarah may, on occasion, attract more of a crowd than Joe Biden is the same reason why people slow down to look at a traffic accident, or go to the bearded lady's tent at the circus.

    October 24, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Simmy

    Leave the real Joe alone! He's our man! OB08!

    October 24, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    @ "STOP ALREADY"......... listen get your facts right! Americans do pay taxes, we always have. The average American earns $44,389 (2007 Census B.) Even my retired parents living on a fixed income are taxed. Do your research, don't just listen to the AM radio-hate-lies-and-fear-mongers!

    I am always amazed by the vile that far-right-folks on these blogs spew. You do not talk about issues without insulting someone, that's why SO many Americans have tuned you out.

    October 24, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. mume


    October 24, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Griff

    You can be Ant-Bush... You can Vote for Obama...
    But if You do... You may as well pull the Peg, out of the Guitine yourself..

    October 24, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. stop already 2

    stop already... you weren't complaining when "W" was buying and then stealing the elections in 2000/2004, your just jealous that Obama outsmarted your dumb replublican party!! – BOO HOO!! It just proves that it is not too hard be smarter than a republican – Just look at Palin!

    Good luck to you all!
    Go Obama08/12

    October 24, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. jerry

    Obama's not ready for anything other than to lie, lie, and lie again, switch positions etc. He's even changed his tax plan now because the people didn't like the first one. He was a community organizer and failed at that, what other job has the guy ever had other then the senate for 145 days, when he voted entirely on political lines? Has never stood up to Polosi like McCain has his party. John's has show he'll step over party lines to do what is right, Obama? If it has to do with Socialism, and taking your rights away, he's all for it.

    October 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Sean, TN

    WaWaWa! You republicans are such sore loosers. "the media dont like my candidate, they only say bad things about them and nver say anything bad about the dems" Well then turn off your tv and turn on the radio. Lord knows there are plenty of GOP lovers there. And if you look at the polls maybe its not just the media that loves Obama, but also the majority of the american people.

    October 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. Matt

    Give it up Joe there is no excuse to cover up what you really ment. Barack Obama is dangerously inexperienced as you have said several times before he picked you for VP. You can't un-ring that bell.

    I don't think innocent people need to suffer just so Obama can be tested. That's why no one is going to vote for him and his big rally will turn into the largest pity party ever.

    October 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. Tom

    Would you rather have Obama as president and have him tested (think Colin Powell as an advisor) or Sarah Palin as president and have her tested (think Bush advisors). Talk about a nightmare scenario.....

    October 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. jadedat51

    McCain, you are AN IDIOT!!!!!!

    You, too, Sarah.

    Tell you what: if this worries you so much (and those of your "voter base" that buy into this garbage), why don't you go live in a cabin, way, way back somewhere in the wilds of Alaska. Then you can be safe from this impending doom that you're ranting about.

    And leave the rest of us alone.


    Anxiously awaiting November 5th.

    October 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Independent for Obama

    At least he doesn't take back his comment., unlike some Republicans, anti-americans, pro america, ring a bell Republicans. . It's true all presidents are tested as Joe Liberman said. Who cares. I want some of my 401 k back. From $75,000 to $25,000. I'll take my chances with Obama.

    October 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Colin

    Joe Biden is right and go look up the quote of Joe Lieberman saying the exact same thing about John McCain in 2007 give me a break. McCain claims he was "tested" during the Cold War....you were a pilot you don't have a choice you're given an order and you carry those out. John McCain hasn't been President so he has never been tested in a situation that a President would be tested in. It is also fact that most countries and enemies would be more likely to test John McCain because of his short temper, his older age, and because he is a War Monger. That is fact and stated by several different people not just me making something up.

    I love how ignorant some of you Republicans are, open your eyes educate yourselves about your own candidate and the people that support him. This statement has been said by numerous people in both parties you guys just want to attempt to put him in the same boat as Palin after all the idiotic remarks she has made.

    October 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  18. Ed - Washington DC

    The gist of Joe Biden’s remarks have been misconstrued by many, even in the press, and warped by the other side.

    I thought Joe Biden was trying to say that an Obama presidency would receive a challenge from a crisis of some sort, and that the Obama administration’s response will not be the obvious correct one – but in the end it will turn out to be the correct one because Barack Obama and his advisors can see past the obvious, unlike their Republican opponents. Am I wrong? Or were Joe Biden's remarks so subtle that everybody misunderstood them – me, too?

    Judging from Barack Obama’s statements and current events, I’m inclined to believe Joe Biden.

    October 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. pam Eugene OR

    Get real@ 5:49
    I would much prefer to be drunk on hope and change rather than drunk on fear and anger that McCain is pushing.
    Hope and change aren't bad things 🙂

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

    I think many of us like Biden's outspoken nature. I get a little tired of processed political speech. He tends to say what I'm thinking, and it makes me smile. Go, Joe. Those that don't agree, don't understand anyway. They are an interesting team...steady, intelligent, thoughtful...and outspoken, intelligent, thoughtful. Note I'm a sucker for intelligent and thoughtful.
    62, white, female, southern...voting Obama all the way.

    October 24, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. tulsa

    We love ya Joe. We understand what you meant.
    It's true, you do like to talk. Yes, you do love those rhetorical flourishes. But we know your heart is in the right place. Your command of the way foriegn policy works is a great help to Senator Obama.
    You keep on keepin' on. We've got your back.

    October 24, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  22. Crisis: Obama/Biden

    I believe that in the face of a bad crisis it will be too much for McCain's heart to take.

    The man's age alone scares the hell out of me; much less he is reaching that age when senility starts to rear its ugly head.

    October 24, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. onelove

    Joe is 100% correct. Notice how the MSM NEVER mentioned Joe Liberman's making the same comment about McCain. And Palin should know better. The DNC needs to make an Ad with Liberman saying it about McCain.

    October 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  24. Anita from Arizona

    Personally I think if McCain got elected, we would have a greater chance of being attacked because he is so divisive in his thinking and not liked around the world, the US wouldn't get any help for any country.

    It's easy for a bully to attack a loner (McCain), than someone with lots of friends (Obama).

    United is the only way to succeed in any global crisis, General Collin Powell knows that and anyone with common sense knows that.

    October 24, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Larry

    All Democrats have ever done is bought there office by promising giveaway programs,then somebody(the public) has to clean up and pay for the mess,this Wall Street crises will take years.Who knows how bad Obama will screw everything up if elected.

    October 24, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
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