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. w.l. jones

    When I were young my Daddy always talk about the Queen of England and now I still feel closes to English speaking people. Said enough.

    November 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Who would want to be friends with Joe Biden?

    November 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Joe the mechanic.

    Biden will not be muzzled because he tells it like it is. The fact that clever Rovian McBush aids twist his words does not alter the real truth.
    I think the relationship between Biden and McBush is strained because Biden is disgusted with the low brow tactics of the McBush campaign.

    November 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. GEAH

    I see someone claim "Biden is a deep thinker."

    I guess that explains why he think "JOBS" is a three-letter word. Or why he would tell a guy in a wheelchair to stand up. Or why he think America and France drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon (where in the world did his aneurysm-rattled brain get that one?).

    Biden is an exceptionally scrambled "thinker".

    November 1, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Texas Teacher

    It is strange to hear two candidates.... and the Clintons speaking about the issues.... yes, in very strong terms, but not attacking the repubs two candidates as human beings.

    Whatever happens, Obama and Biden come out of this standing on their two legs upright as Human Beings. While McCain and Palin are like Four Leggeds of the lowest level.... if you lie down with pigs, do not be surprised if you get up smelling like HOGS. McCain and Palin will be a long time shaking off the nasty oder of the way they have run their campaigns! I for one will never forget the stench.

    Proud to have voted for Obama and Biden and a straight Democratic ticket! Proud to be an American Indian... .a First Nations American voting for my choice for the direction of this country. No more Bush years! Clinton days are a coming back!

    November 1, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. allycatred

    why does McCain think he is the only MAN OR WOMEN THAT HAS BEEN IN WAR AND BEEN A P.O.W. i hate to tell him, but there is a lot of there them out there, but they don't get to tell there stoy's. what about them. I will talk for them, they need to get to tell ther story's.McCain want us to think he is the only one to go though that. i am so tried of listen To poor OLD MCCAIN What in did for the war and our people. i want to thank my husband and the rest of our p.o.w and the other's that lost a lot in all the war. i t make me sick HE IS THE ONLY ONE TO HELP OUR CONUTRY. THINK PEOPLE THERE IS MORE OUT THERE THAT GAVE MORE THAN HIM. THANK YOU

    November 1, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. GettaJob

    Forget the election:

    Since Barack Obama has proven he will be the most wonderful leader ever, by virtue of his coolness, lets just forego all elections.

    OBAMA '08-'58'!

    Who needs democracy!? Let's make him king for the next 50 years!

    November 1, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Maggie

    Tainopower, do you even KNOW what YOUR candidate's tax plan is? Well I do – first you will have to add in what your employer pays for your health insurance to your income. Then you will be taxed on that income. You will pay more in tax than you do now. Even with the "bare bone" he is throwing you (the $319 that he is giving to average incomes), you first have to add in the $5,000 to $10,000 that your employer pays for your health insurance. Your tax will increase under McCain's plan. Unless, that is, you are a millionnaire, in which case you'll see a huge tax reduction. That is McCain – always looking out for the rich guy.

    November 1, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Melissa

    Meh, its politics. Pity if he lost a friend over it though.

    November 1, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. beauzo

    Man, I sure don't want the DMV running my heathcare... Whoa.

    November 1, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. cj

    The big difference between Biden's Gaffes and Palin's are that Biden says things that are true but probably shouldn't be said in the midst of a campaign. Where as Palin gaffe's reflect on her ignorance and lack of understanding on the issues.

    November 1, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Betty, Virginia

    I understand the sadness Biden must be experiencing. I had a lot of respect for McCain at one time and it saddens me to see what has become of him in the name of power.

    November 1, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Sean, TN

    Hasnt anyone noticed that over the last 8 years we have had the largest redistribution of wealth in the history of this country? From the bottom straight to the top. Does this mean that the republicans are socialist? No, sounds more like Facist.

    November 1, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Jim Treacher

    Yeah, Biden's a deep thinker, alright. That's his two-letter word: J-O-B.

    November 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. BJ

    Hey got any illegal alien relatives living in public housing like your partner?

    Oh's ok to be illegal if you support the Demoncrats.

    November 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. mitch

    mccain shouldnt have taken the low-road. obama never left the high road. i vote for honor. i vote for barack.

    November 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Send the Obama myth back where it came from!

    Muzzeled is definitely the word! The thing is the truth about Obama comes out thanks to Biden. At least now a lot of us know how other Democrats really feel and Biden is right to talk about Obama weaknesses! There are too many and that"s why I will not vote for him!

    November 1, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. annie - never again a dem.

    You obama supporters better wake-up before Tuesday!!! Last Chance to save our country and vote McCain/Palin!!!! obama has one plan and one plan only – destroy our country!!!Why do you think all the biased news medias are so in the tank for him!!! obama already voted to raise taxes on people making $42,000 or less and his campaign speeches are already on a sliding scale of his version of who needs to get taxed and who doesn't!!!

    November 1, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Florida Woman

    Hey Tainopower, can you read, are you smarter than a 5th grader?
    $250,000 no tax increase for working families
    $200,000 no taxes increase for individuals
    $120,000 to $150,000 is where the MAJORITY of the tax cuts will be (that is what Richardson and Biden were taking about)
    $42,000 is a misrepresentation by McCain/Palin (AGAIN) is was a budget vote not a tax vote.
    By the way Palin got her ONCE (not any more)high Alaska approval rating by RAISING the TAXES the OIL Companies and "Spreading the Wealth" to the people of Alaska by giving EVERYONE of them checks but her words were "an Equitable Share", oh and look what she did to Wasilla with the Ice Rink (mega debt to a small town)
    MCCAIN is ONLY going to cut taxes if you make OVER $250,000.
    But Gee, at least Ombam/Biden give you details to ponder, Mc Sleaze/No Ehtics Palin, only give you buzz words no detail,or attack Omaba,being a POW 41 years ago does not automatically make to ready to lead this country or that he was tested, he broke and sign a letter of confession to the Vietcong, many Vietnam era Vets call him Songbird McCain (my Ex did 3 tours in the 70's...Country First My A____! The choice of Palin made it very clear it is Politics First, I go into a cold sweat anytime I think what his cabinet would look like.
    We NEED the really Smart Guy...yeah "THAT ONE",Colin Powell said it all.

    November 1, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Jessica

    This comment is not relevant to Sen. Biden, but was to do with those on Fox News, and these blogs screaming that that commercial that show a clip of Palin winking after McCain quote about relying on his VP pick for advice on ecomonic matters was "misogynistic"and "sexist".

    (The commercial was spot on, by the way...LOL)

    As a woman, flirting, with the audience, has NO PLACE ON A NATIONAL STAGE. This type of behavior belongs in a 1950's sitcom. If a woman wants to be strong, she needs to prevent herself seriously. I wouldn't dream of going to a job interview and winking at a panel interviewing me. The campaigns are nothing more than extended job interviews in which the panel is the American people.
    I think her obvious lack of knowledge, vicious attack methods, and annoying mannerisms are the reasons why her favorability ratings are the lowest for a VP candidate in US history.

    For the few Hillary supporters who moved to McCain because of Palin...I beg you, study up on Clinton's policies and contrast them with Palin's and you will discover polar opposites. VOTE ISSUES, NOT GENDER!


    November 1, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Annette

    If Palin can avoid the reporters, what's the big deal on Biden??? the national news media have been drulling to get interviews with Palin, yet Biden has done interviews and talked with reporters. Why is this news on Biden talking with the media? The media need to muzzle themselves, and stop looking for that " big scoop" and report the news as given.

    November 1, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. GoPalin

    Biden is a drag on the campaign.. he was right, Obama should had picked Hillary! BTW: new poll released, more and more Americans are growing more confident of Governor Palin. and those same Americans believe that Biden is a drag... he can't bring in the same crowds that Palin brings.. so CNN, keep on spinning

    November 1, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Obama/Biden 08!

    I think McCain if he loses will have the most sour case, of sour grapes imaginable because he believes he's ENTITLED to be POTUS. I don't think Biden need worry about McCain he won't be wanting to talk to either Barack or Joe anytime soon!

    November 1, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    On November 5 we will all still be Americans - with big challenges.

    We expect our leaders to put differences aside and work together.

    Obama 08!

    November 1, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Brian Wilson

    Ok, Biden, how about we just go ahead an elect John McCain. You like him, right? You've practically just endorsed him. I hope McCain end his campaign with strength too.

    November 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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