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. Leigh

    Big Biden fan here! If he feels good about the race then so do I!
    Obama Biden 08

    November 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Wanderer

    We can tell the different between the righteous man and the small-mined one through what they said. Biden understands the friendship should be separated from politics. I have seen and heard some Republicans are hostile to the Democrats or vice versa. I believe, regardless of whether we are Republicans, Democrats, or Independents we are still all people of America. If we can’t live in harmony here in the U.S. would the people in the world believe America is a sincere peacekeeper?

    Forget about the party, forget about race, forget about gender, VOTE for the one who you believe will bring hope to this country, fairness to people, and likely to be loved by the world.

    If this country has been in trouble deeper and deeper, it would be wiser to turn the wheel to a different direction. At least it would bring some hopes.

    Please VOTE according to your own INSTINCT.

    November 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Diana Ewing NJ

    I am so tired of hearing Biden is being Muzzeled...... when Palin was hid from reporters for so long.... and the press and media attacked if they questioned anything...

    Everyone knows about Joe's mouth... and his experience and his ethics.. and he is out on the trail answering questions...

    November 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Dixie AZ

    Joe Biden is full of life and intelligence. He is a fine family man who has never belonged to a successionist organization or abused the ethics of his office. I am pleased to Vote Obama/Joe the Biden.

    November 1, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Sean from Orlando

    November 1st, 2008 10:38 am ET

    He should not want to be friends with such a low life, just because you were a POW in a war , Doesnt qualify one to be president of the United States… for all we know Mcsenile HAS post traumatic stress syndrome !!

    Well just because you’re the freshmen of the senate with no military experience, executive experience, and a history of 20 year support of racial segregation semi-racist church as well as various terrorist connections (like Obama has) does not make you qualified to be President of the United States either.

    November 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Ben

    Voting for McCain for lower taxes is like shopping at Walmart. It seems like a good idea at the time but what do you get? You get cheap goods that are made by sweat shops. You get pink slips from your employer and then no way of buying the Walmart specials. Let's face it, nobody reading this post will actually be paying more in taxes under Obama other then the fact that you actually might have a job therefore will pay more in taxes. Wake up people, when was it okay to use Totalitary governments slave labor to make our goods? McCain wants to reward big coorporations for exporting our jobs. I'm all for global trade, only it should be for the countries that play by our standards. It is up to our Government to regulate, something that McCain opposses. Stop shopping Walmarts and vote for Obama!

    November 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Jose

    I already cannot stand Obama. I will never call him my President

    November 1, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Mn voter

    Rush L. is right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Axey

    Blkkbeauty: "Stop slinging kindergarden insults and act like an adult !!!"

    We should all act like the adult you are. ****"low life" "Mcsenile" "post traumatic stress syndrome !!" "put down the crack pipe" "Sarah Failing"****. I hope you see the irony in your post.

    November 1, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Anonymous


    MCCAIN RULES!!!!!!

    November 1, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. melinda in NV

    The absolute venom that I read from people on these articles is disgusting. You say the worst things about republicans as if their opinion doesn't count as much as yours because they don't scream it hysterically. What happened to the party of acceptance?

    When it looked like Palin was muzzled you screamed about it, now you deny it about Biden! Turn it around and look at it RATIONALLY. It does appear so – admit it. Stop using your intellect by just screaming the DEM party line – it makes me want to vote Repub – just to not be identified with such venom-spewing robots.

    Use your logic, not your hate to make remarks and these comments can be useful. Anytime CNN prints something not along your line of thinking you go into attack mode – as if CNN is making up news!

    Turn it around: if Freddie Mac gave millions to the republicans (like they did the dems) and those same senators VOTED to bail out FM, you would be SCREAMING about it. Other way around and you all say "so what?" as if there isn't a conflict of interest there. There are so many things you need to look at logically.

    November 1, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. naliakar

    I have noticed this of CNN. They struggle hard to conceal their disdain for Obama in the guise of being neutral. I also wondered why Anderson Cooper and John would accentuate not just the feelings of African Americans but make it appear asif Obama’s win is only important to Blacks. Remeber also that after being dissed by Maccain Larry King chose to have him on on the same day the channel rejected Obama’s infomercial. What is more, they went ahead and scheduled Cindy Maccain for maximum impact on Monday evening. In reality CNN is worse than Fox. At leas we know where Fox stand. the hypocricy of CNN is shocking.

    — naliakar

    November 1, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Emi

    Joe Biden rocks.

    November 1, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Steve

    You will clean up corruption, McSame? What was the Keating 5 all about? Seems to me that started the corruption in Washington!

    I would suggest you read some facts rather than vomit the nonsence you hear on the web. The prosecutor insisted McCains name be taken off this list of the "Keating Five" but since the other 4 were Democrats, a deal was struck to leave him on. The Prosecutor (Bennett, a lifelong liberal Democrat) said McCain should not have ever been implicated in this, he is totally innocent.

    McCains name was left on so fools like you could crow about it 25 years later.

    November 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Gloria Steinberg

    Joe Biden is a fool. Most writers to this blog will disagree, but it's obvious. If you listen to what he said about Barack Obama during the primaries, and listen to him now, he is in essence calling himself a liar. That's what a fool does.

    November 1, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Kelly

    From a Canadian neighbour to my US neighbors. Elect Obama, you will be glad you did. He represents views in the majority of the G8 countries. I know he is be called a Left Liberal. But then Palin is SO Right Rebublican, they probably meet around the bend.

    The most richest, most powerful country in the world can't afford medical insurance for 47 million people.

    In Canada, Brittain, Germany and more every citizen has health care. Next to the War, which the majority of the world condemns, your health care and economy will be straightened out by Obama and is highly educated economic team.

    November 1, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Dee

    After his performance in this election, Joe BETTER maintain his friendships across the aisle. He sure hasn't done anything to endear himself to the left.

    November 1, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Rae

    Vote, vote, vote. Make it a landslide so this thing is not tied up for months in the courts. We do not want the supreme court to pick our president again.

    November 1, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    A bitter fight is a fight, but eventually, you'll have to find that INNER GUTS to sit together.

    The Bush hated Clinton and yet, when Clinton opened up his library, the Bushes were there.

    November 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Eugene

    How can McCain win PA when he never visited the city of Philadelphia, where the blacks live. North Philadelphia, Germantown? We have not even seen a McCain flyer or anyone working on his behalf. I guess we are invisible, too black for him to see us huh. Well Mr McCain we will see you on Tuesday at the polls get ready to party.

    November 1, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. JL

    I can't wait t'ill this is all over! I've never been one who had any interest in politics – I find myself constantly on CNN waiting for breaking news... all the name calling and put downs by the so call GOPs. ENOUGH!!! – 2 more days to go! let us all pray and visualize Obama/Biden winning at a landslide...

    November 1, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Jim

    Hey... McCain, Joe the plumber is not really a plumber, sooooo why do you keep calling him a plumber????? Also why has Palin not released her medical records could it be that they would reveal the Palin gave birth to only 4 children and not 5.

    November 1, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Matt, Las Vegas

    Joe Biden is too good a guy not to say something like this folks.

    I tell ya what though; my slash and burn campaign against the Republicans will never stop, even with an Obama win. The Republicans are totally out of touch, and starting to look irrelevant in the modern political landscape. We've seen what the policies of the GOP, McCain & Bush get us.....2 wars, a collapsing economy, bailouts for 700 billion+, Al Qaeda strongest it's been since 2001, Pakistan deteriorating, an emboldened Iran, Collapsed Housing Market, The world hates us, on and on it goes.

    The Republicans can never be allowed to control both branches of Government again.

    November 1, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Yonas Sirak

    It is time to vote for Barack Obama

    November 1, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Beatriz Perez-Sanchez

    If the polls are right, Americans are going to be stuck with Obama for at least four years. Given the unrealistic hope for change that he and his media acolytes have built up, the disappointment that will set in once the electorate realizes that it has been fooled into buying an empty smooth-talking suit full of hot air will be even greater. I predict that Obama's inability to change anything, except the amount of money that will be wasted by his administration, will result in enormous mid-term Congressional gains for the Republicans in 2010. Like Jimmy Carter, Obama is an ostensibly decent man (although one of even less substance) who was never cut out to hold the nation's highest elected office. Like Carter, he will turn out to be a disappointing failure and a one-term president. If the law can ever be changed to allow those who were not born in the U.S. to run for President, a certain California governor might be able to turn all the blue states the deepest shade of red in a future election. Speaking of the foreign-born (as a former native of Chile, that applies to me as well, by the way) , will Obama ever produce his birth certificate? The country will face an interesting legal problem if Obama wins the Presidency and is later found out not to have been legally entitled to run for the office because he was not born in the United States.

    November 1, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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