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= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/24/art.bidencrisis.ap.jpg 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. katiec

    I would think it would be hard to be friends with a man who
    has thrown away all honor and integrity to try to win an
    election.
    Know there are politics but there should be a limit as to
    how low and how shady the republicans will go.
    Be careful, the votes still have to be counted and the
    pubs will try to steal it once again.

    November 1, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  2. Let it go..........

    No matter WHO wins, we ALL must get along and put this division behind us. This is SUPPOSE to be the UNITED states of America, NOT the DIVIDED states of America. People need to take a look at themselves in the mirror and ask, "HOW CAN I MAKE THIS A BETTER WORLD FOR ALL?" We ALL must work for common ground. Cut the mela-dramatics>...

    November 1, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  3. TAINOPOWER

    Obama tax plan ? From 250,000 to 200,000 Biden say 150,000 and now the New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson say 120,000? and obama is not in power yet . Wen he does don’t know how low will it go? Maybe under 42,000. Well at least the people that don’t pay taxes are going to be happy. I will do my best to keep my taxes low .I will vote for McCain.

    November 1, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. Blue By You

    Joe Cool. What a statesman.

    November 1, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  5. facts are facts

    Biden and McCain might be friends but there is a huge difference in their personalities with Biden being easy going and friendly while McCain is hostile and grumpy.

    McCain is irratic and desperate whereas Biden is calm and unwavering in his appearance.

    McCain will likely hold a grudge as he has the same mentality as Bush which is you are either with me or against me and if you are against me you are an enemy. There is a word to describe the latter and it fits both Bush and McCain to a Tee.

    November 1, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. INDEPENDENT

    MCCAIN HAS SHOWN HIS TRUE COLORS AND HAS SOLD THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY OUT!!

    ITS CAMPAIGN FIRST, CORPORATIONS FIRST AND RICH FIRST THEN COUNTRY!

    GET REAL- OBAMA 08

    November 1, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. al from nj

    Obama is a Chicago politician with no experience.

    McCain is a war hero with vast experience.

    Please stop with this American idol mentallity.

    Support a man that will protect us from the world.
    Support McCain

    November 1, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. teebo

    what has obama's aunt's immigration status in the US got to do with obama. I happen to be a legal immigrant soon to be citizen and immigrants do not discuss their statuses.....period

    November 1, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Allah Bless Our Messiah

    For the most part I agree with katiec, except it is Obama and Biden who have dishonored themselves.

    November 1, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. Bob

    Common sense
    .
    Please use your common sense people. NOBODY in office (Either Obama or McCain) would cut the defense spending. Period.
    The McCain camp is desperatly grabbing any idea or lie to win this election. Please don't let the next 4 years be like the last 8. I do not trust McCain. Obama has fresh and great ideas for this country and he has the intellegence to seek answers to complicated issues.

    Please give Obama a chance. Vote with your common sense and your heart. Forget about one being republican, democrat or a different race.

    I'm voting for Obama. I hope you do too.

    November 1, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. worriedmom

    I think Biden is a decent man. I still believe that he has been trying to tell us Americans in code that there is something to be wary of with Obama. I just think he got himself into something he nows really don't want. You can bet if Obama is President he will dump on Biden!

    November 1, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. blaising

    Sure he's still your friend Sen. Biden...he calls you "my friend" all the time.

    I mean, he even calls ME his friend...and I've never even met him!!

    Yee Haw!!

    Levi...LEVI!! Git yer white-trash behind outta that there south lawn 'an come're 'an feed this here baby!!

    YEEE HAAWWW!!!

    November 1, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. Texas Trail Dog!

    WHAT MAKES YOU THINK McCAIN WANTS TO BE YOUR FRIEND. YOU HAVE LOST ALL RESPECT OF ABOUT 60 MILLION VOTERS IN THIS NATION. IF YOU OBAMA SUPPORTERS DON'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH OBAMA'S AUNT BEING HERE ILLEGALLY, HIS CONNECTIONS WITH WRIGHT, THE TERRORIST, REZKO IS NOT ENOUGH THEN WOE UNTO AMERICA WHEN YOU PEOPLE START RUNNING THE UNITED STATES.

    November 1, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. Christine CT

    I don't care if they are friends, I care that the politicians can be trusted to what's right for us.
    Joe the Biden is one cool dude, he can find better friends than that.

    November 1, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. Seattle Sue

    I wonder how McCain can return to congress and face those still in congress(the ones that have not been voted out) that he has called thieves and liars.

    November 1, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. Susan

    I am sure they are still friends. It's all just political now.

    November 1, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. KJL

    I don't think Biden was "muzzled." More likely, he realized that every word he said would be put under a microscope so he spoke more carefully. As for his friendship with McCain, that probably never really existed. A good working relationship is not a true friendship.

    November 1, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. Virgie from NY

    Every time I hear Sen. McCain speaks, it makes me puke. What a dishonorable man he becomes. I regret feeling bad about him in 2000. He sold his soul to evil this year.

    November 1, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. Dawn

    Friendship is valued by both men and women. I would like to have a friend like that, even though we may agree to disagree.

    Obama/Biden08/12

    November 1, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. rick

    I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHEN I WENT TO HILLBUZZ AND SO THE GOP INTERNAL POLLS.
    MCCAIN AHEAD IN MICHIGAN NEW JERSY PA AND DOWN 1 IN CALIFORNIA
    I AM BEGINNING TO BELIEVE THAT MOST OF THE MSM ARE GOING TO TO LOOK FOOLISH

    ESPECIALLY MSNBC

    HEY CNN YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO CHANGE THAT ELECTORAL MAP

    November 1, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. Illinois 2

    Joe, if you are really interested in whether or not you and John McCain are still friends, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call him, after all you both have cell phones...

    November 1, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. ANGIE

    I think Mccain has lost alot of friends because of the Sleazy Dishonarable way he has ran his Campaign, I dont think anyone looks at Mccain the way he use to be he has lost alot of Respect!

    November 1, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  23. Texas Teacher

    Go Biden!!

    We are all used to McSame's mug slinging and lying. He has lost all integrity! I used to at least respect the man even though I did not agree with his politics. Voting with Bush 90% of the time is obscene to me! But the way McSame and McBarbie are running their campaign is more that obscene. It is unAmerican!!! Beneath contempt!

    November 1, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. brock101

    You know some of us will need counseling after the election. Our country is still filling the pain from 2000. I wonder how many true conservatives will be honest.

    November 1, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. Quit complaining

    Who ever calls Obama a socialist for his values and spreading the wealth. If you recieved a stimulus check, or Grant money for a project, A loan for a car, loans for school. If you recieved a tax return anytime in your life. Then I am going to need you to return every penny you unappreciative spoiled brats. What do you think taxes are for quit complaining.

    November 1, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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