November 1st, 2008
08:40 AM ET
14 years ago

Biden denies 'muzzling,' unsure if he and McCain are still friends

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden invited questions from traveling reporters for the first time in weeks."]LIMA, Ohio (CNN) – Joe Biden invited questions from his traveling press corps for the first time in almost eight weeks on Friday night, rejecting reports that the campaign has muzzled his famous talkative behavior and saying he hopes that he and John McCain will still be friends after this contentious election is over.

“I don’t know, I hope [the friendship] is intact, John and I have not had a chance to speak,” Biden said, standing in a burger joint with his wife and one of his granddaughters. “I hope [it’s] intact because I still admire him, I still like him.”

“We have strong, strong, fundamental disagreements on policy, and we have our whole political life together. I mean, we've been arguing about everything from Amtrak to Afghanistan for, you know, as long as we've been together,” he continued. “I believe when this is over, win or lose, John and I are likely to be around in one form or another, in one job or another, and I hope, my hope is we can work together.”

Biden roundly criticizes his friend of over three decades for the “scurrilous” attacks Republicans have launched on Barack Obama at the end of this election season. Friday night he accused the Republican nominee of being wrong on “every single foreign policy judgment,” but said he was pleased to see that McCain’s latest television ad is a positive one.

“I hope John ends this campaign with his strength,” said Biden. “Win or lose, it's not a good thing to end in sort of this bitter tone. No matter what happens.”

Until Friday night, reports of a ‘muzzling’ from the Delaware senator’s campaign were widespread, as he avoided speaking to the handful of reporters that travel with him for almost two months, ignored questions reporters asked during photo-ops at local stops, strayed very little from the scripts of his campaign speeches and kept them brief.

“Well, I’ve had over 200 interviews,” Biden countered, referring to appearances he’s made with mostly local media since joining the ticket. “I’ve been doing half a dozen to a dozen satellite feeds everyday. I’m doing shows, I mean, so, no one said anything to me about it.”

Biden said he feels good about the state of the race in its final days, quickly adding that he’s felt the same way in the last two elections that Democrats lost. A reporter noted that he’s campaigning in several of Ohio’s Republican strongholds, to which Biden responded that the campaign believes they can compete everywhere and have to because the election “is going to be a lot closer than everybody thinks.”

Pressed on which battleground states he believes will be close, he rattled off Florida, North Carolina, Missouri and Ohio but noted “I feel very good about Pennsylvania” and “Virginia feels really good.” In CNN’s latest poll of polls, Obama leads McCain by 11 percent in Pennsylvania and seven in Virginia.

Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Jessica

    Uuuummmmm. "talinopower"

    Under $250,000 will not see an increase...

    This means, some get cuts, and some stay at the ALREADY LOW RATE UNDER BUSH!!!!! To know exactly who gets cuts vs. who stays the same, go to Obama's website. There is a tax calculator there where you you can enter your information and get the facts.

    Get the facts and remember...we all have to pay for Bush/McCains war without sacrificing what we need here at home.......................................

    November 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. don

    Is it time for Obama Biden?
    Biden was silenced by the campaign since he cannot follow script!
    Obama when rarely off script gets the reaction like to Joe the plumber.
    Obama-Beiden= Holywood in its best, no authenticity.
    Obama-Biden = the mother of all negative campaigning claiming Bush = McCain (a basic logical fallacy, McCain is not a typical Republican).
    No extreme: no socialistic Obama and no extreme-Mercantelism Bush style. America stick to the middle! Extreme "solutions" never work!

    November 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Independent for USA only

    The "muzzled Biden" rumor was a smear game by McCain's campaign again! This is a usual strategy that veep candidate maintains his/her supportive role in order not to distract the presidential candidate.

    November 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. SevenEleventy

    Joey Hairplugs has more indepth knowledge of what? Certainly not the facts! During the VP candidate debate, he said that the French helped us(America) kick Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon in 2006.
    I was waiting for him to channel John Belushi and say, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" While he did sound like he knew what he was talking about, he clearly didn't!
    Slow Joe showed his international brilliance by stating, “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” in response to 9/11.
    The only thing Senator Biden has proven is that he is unworthy to hold the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or any governmental position for that matter.

    November 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Tabitha

    I would much rather have a VP that's not afraid to speak his mind, even if he ends up putting his foot in it, than a VP that can't get her job description straight, does NOT know the Constitution of the US, and can only speak if she's given a script.

    You go, Joe.

    November 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Refreashing to hear this news, too bad McSame can't say the same thing.

    November 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Cheryl

    Joe is a nice, sweet and honest guy. What would someone like him even want a friendship with McCain for? I am also very worried that somehow the ballot boxes are rigged...and that is why they keep talking about how close it is. Obama and Biden can be proud of the campaign they have won. They didn't get personal or hit below the belt. The argued policies. McCain and Palin, on the other hand, have called Obama a liberal, a Socialist, hinting he is a communist, pals around with terrorists, etc. They've done nothing to stop the jokes about Hussein Obama, and little jokes about Osama...whoops, I mean Obama. Joe the Plumber is just a cheap and stupid trick. It's the dumming down of America big time. Someone like Biden as a running mate is refreshing. At least he isn't getting his votes by wearing skin-tight skirts, and even as Tim Gunn put it, "Weaing Disco Barbie Boots." When Obama and Biden win, at least they have won "fair and sqare!"

    November 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    blkkbeauty – Your comments are a disgrace, and you should be ashamed.

    November 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Marie Banderas in TEXAS

    I want to know why Biden would even want to be friends with "this" McCain, who clearly is not the same McCain he used to know..I really want to know more about McCains "black" daughter too, and have seen the series on McCains other black relatives TOO, who he refuses to have anything to do with even though his brother DOES and attends all family reunions ! Also want to SEE Palins medical records, hear more about Palins Alaska charges and outcome, it appears to ME, there is more left un said about McCain and Palin than Obama..all the dirt has already been thrown at Obama, and he has had to take it, and still remains calm, and respectful ..and knowledgible, ready for office...
    voted for OBAMA already in tEXAS

    November 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. cb

    blkkbeauty – Your comments are a disgrace, and you should be ashamed.

    November 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. JT Dale

    I really do respect Joe Biden. As a member of the US Senate for 35 years, you got to expect what the guy is talking about. McCain really has no room to call the Obama-Biden ticket inexperienced. McCain and Palin together has about 28-29 years of experience. Obama and Biden together has about 39 years of experience on the ticket. So in other words John McCain has no room to talk about Obama having no experience on his ticket. Obama08.

    November 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Stephanie


    And your point is????

    As desperate as your party is to take a single word, and turn it into " a story" i too would be practicing 24/7 and making sure my every word was deliberate & on message.

    At least Biden doesnt claim that the VP runs the congress!

    I'll also betcha Biden wouldnt go hunting and shoot another human being! (OOPS.... gosh.... so sorry i shot ya! but look at the good side.... at least your not dead like thousands of americans are in IRAQ!)

    And Biden isnt going to force me (by laws) to have a baby by someone who rapes me! (You were raped? OH GOSH, your bad! Now as your reward, you have to carry that baby for the next 9 months and give birth to it because my religion trumps your stupidity in putting yourself in a position of being raped!)

    November 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Country first

    Republican fear tactics.
    Hussein is just a name is that suppose to scare people? when you are a baby you do not choose how you want to name yourself this is just good sense. In America you will find different name from Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Peter, George Bush, Sammuel Alito and etc. This is a multy culture country and people from different part of the are leaving here and they name their kids accordingly. That do not make the kids bad or a terrorist; in fact they are American like all of us. We have people from Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Lybia, Venezuela leaving in the USA and the fact that they have roots from these country do not make them bad people.

    November 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. FormerSoldier


    -Posted by blkkbbeauty

    I have combat-induced PTSD (they label it a disorder now, not a syndrome), and I think perhaps you should get your facts straight as to what PTSD actually is, and how it affects people, before you open your mouth. Nobody that I know that has PTSD (which I imagine is far more people than you know), has ever done even accidentally had an act of violence, or have done anything out of rage. Senility is a completely different case. Based on Sen. McCain's fully released medical files, he does not suffer from dementia (AKA senility), or PTSD.

    PTSD is not something you can simply cover up. You cannot choose the moments in time that you remember a fragment of your best friend's brain ending up in your mouth after a hollow point impacts his skull, you can't choose the moments that you remember scrambling to aid the 15 burnt and dismembered bodies of your platoon all over the ground and hearing the same guys that you used to drink with or go to the club with scream out in pain.

    So if he does have PTSD, why don't you take some time to thank him for bearing the responsibility that you were far too cowardly to bear instead of using it as a precursor to hate the man. He has many other flaws that you can smear without having to unjustifiably hate a natural human reaction to carnage.

    November 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. cb

    MY comment is awaiting moderation? Are you kidding?

    November 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Pat

    Carlos November 1st, 2008 10:34 am ET

    It really ticks me off how . . . You need to learn a little bit about how the tax system works , , , That That would require some efoort, nopt to mention, intelligence
    Go ahead, Carlos - please enlighten us on how it works - you sound like just the guy who can do it! And while you're at it, try learning how to spell!


    November 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. MarineInVa

    Ahhh, Joe Biden realizes who is likely to be the next President, so now he's hedging his bets. Smart guy.

    November 1, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Country first

    Hussein is just a name is that suppose to scare people? When you are a baby you do not choose how you want to name yourself this is just good sense. In America you will find different name from Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Peter, George Bush, Samuel Alito and etc. This is a multy culture country and people from different part of the world are leaving here and they name their kids accordingly. That do not make the kids bad or a terrorist; in fact they are American like all of us. We have people from Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Lybia, Venezuela leaving in the USA and the fact that they have roots from these country do not make them bad people. Nasty, Nasty campaign can you afford four more years of this mess. After this eight years term this republican president will still have his mansion and guess what? that mansion is pay off for. Some of you already lose your home and some of you will. Some of you already lost your job and some of you will while the people that cause this financial mess are getting richer. The president which is partly to blame for that mess is still getting his fat pay check every week and never think one day how his bills going to pay for because you are paying for them. These republicans claim that they are conservative and religious and the democrats are not while all of them are doing the same things. What is the difference by telling abortion is wrong when you doing it behind the close doors. These are selfish republican’s behavior. According to statistics abortions, divorce, gay and lesbian have almost the same proportion among church people than non church people. You need common sense leadership. We do not need selfish leadership. Can you afford to have these selfish leaders in office again?
    They had tried everything and I tell you it is nasty. These republicans believe that they have not done enough damage to this country and they are trying to scare you. What is that mean now? When they say that his aunt is here illegally. If you an American you an American and I think your background, your religion, and race should not be matter.
    Now that socialism, terrorism do not work they want to bring these nonsense to scare you America. The economy is issue # 1 and they had chosen not to talk about and try to scare you with these nonsense. This war need to come to an end because $10 billions dollars a month can do a whole lot here in the US from job creation to education and infrastructure improvement. Our current president is a republican and they had done enough to our economy and job market.

    November 1, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Ron

    You Obama/Biden followers are need to pull your head out of the sand. Biden is a laughingstock! "Stand up, Chuck. Let 'em see ya. Oh my God! What am I thinking?..."

    Do you people know anything about your candidates? McCain is a genuine American hero and has suffered far greater indignities than Obama, Biden or any of you could possibly imagine. Palin is the embodiement of the American dream. A small town girl that got involved and took on the corrupt politicians in her state and is on the precipice of becoming the first woman in American history to be a member of the executive branch of government. Those qualities are not the only reasons to vote for them, but they're more than most of you could say for your candidates.

    Your misguided hatred for President Bush has clouded your judgment. If you had nominated Sen. Clinton I would be less inclined to even respond to you folks. Barack Obama is the least experienced candidate from the two major political parties in modern history and yet you blindly put your faith in him.

    Voting for change? Be careful! You may not like the change you get and the country will be worse off for it.

    "Country first" is more than a slogan. John Kennedy said, "ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." Please, don't vote for Obama because he has promised you the moon and the stars (and the oceans rising). He's only promising you this in exchange for your votes. Don't be bought!

    November 1, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Larry

    glenn alexander–it's apparent you don't have a clue what a tax credit is.If you have not voted yet,find out what a $5000.00 tax credit is-you will want to vote for McCain.

    Mark Kahle–Find out the FACTS,you don't have a clue because they HAVE said $250,000,$200,000,$150,000.and now$120,000 .McCain has always said NO TAX INCREASES FOR ANYBODY !!

    Don't vote your EMOTIONS ,vote with your BRAIN

    November 1, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    WOW !!!





    November 1, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. Phillips

    For the sake of the US and the world I hope Obama wins this election. As a Canadian it will sure change my mind on how I feel about the US. If he wins I might even visit. If for some strange reason McCain is elected as your next president and his policy stays the same as BUSH then I and many others will continue to stay away from the US and continue to hold the US in contempt.

    November 1, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Brooke

    I'm sure, that if McCain wins, Joe's nose will be browner than any of them.

    November 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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