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. ABrown

    Obama's website explains his tax plan and it has not changed – $250K would not see a tax increase and under $200K would receive a tax break. And, people who don't pay taxes will not receive free money – educate yourself before you criticize. Also, look at McCain's tak plan and see where you stand.

    November 1, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. Joyce Becker

    Don't worry Joe, when your administration is in power, McCain will be glas to be your friend. He is no friend or he wouldn't have said all of those nasty things he has said and spead all of those lies about you and Obama.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08–'012

    November 1, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. LM Florida

    Obama has NOT changed his tax plan – people have got to stop spreading this lie. These are just EXAMPLES, people. As far as it being socialism, we have had a graduated tax system since Teddy Roosevelt – Obama is simply letting Bush's tax cuts to the wealthy expire. NOT socialism.

    A Hillary supporter strongly for Obama/Biden '08

    November 1, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. Emily

    Have to agree with Letitgo.

    United we stand, Divided we fall. We've been divided for quite a few years now. Just read the comments on any news website that allows comments. I think if some of those people thought they could get away with causing serious bodily harm to those who disagreed with them, they would do it. I know a lot of people who will not put bumper stickers or any political signage up (for either side) because they're afraid of being vandalized or worse.

    This is not the America I would want my children to grow up in. People should not be afraid to voice their opinions publically in real life for fear of losing their jobs or being vandalized or worse, and yet they are.

    We need to end these partisan politics and work together to fix this country.

    November 1, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. yellowbmblbee

    I love Joe Biden. Wicket Smaht man! I definitely will feel comfortable with him having to stand in if god forbid anything would happen.

    His morals are light years away from McCain's.....much more of a man than McCain will ever be. Sick of his frickin' war hero story – there are TONS of war heroes!!!!!!! You don't have to be captured to become a war hero....and this race is not about 4 decades's about the next decade to come.

    November 1, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |

    l will vote obama

    November 1, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  7. shirleytown

    Already the figure is down to $120,000 for "spreading the wealth around". Guess the more they spew rhetoric the closer they get to touching on the truth.

    What about that call at 3 AM that Hillary talked about. She said Obama is not a leader and will NOT keep us safe when tested as Joe biden said he would be tested within the first 6 months. Joe Biden said the presidency does not lend itself to "on the job training".

    Why would you elect someone who would put our country at risk for another 9/11?

    The DMC has investigated "Joe the plumber" more thoroughly than their own candidate!

    Now we individuals are called SELFISH by Obama cause we want to use more of our own money and not hand it over blindly to a government that is FULL of wasteful spending?

    And you don't consider that SOCIALISM Obama??????

    November 1, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. alvino

    John McCain has become an angry little man who believes that Obama is stealing his birthright. After an entire campaign of lying and trashing Obama, McCain has done more to divide this country than even Bush.

    November 1, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. Republicans for Obama

    I don't see Sen Biden as not wanting to be McCain friend. It's McRage who might have a problem with it.

    November 1, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. Hal

    If you lose him as a friend , it's no big loss!!! McCain has turned into a nasty old man. No one to be proud of!!!!

    November 1, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. marylv

    Tainopwer.....I've heard this too! Obama has VOTED to tax everyone who makes $42,000. His campaign rhetoric went from $250,000 to $200,000. Joe Biden says it's more like $150,000. Now he has Gov. Bill Richardson saying it's more like $120,000. All talk when what Obama has actually VOTED for was to tax everyone making $42,000.

    Actions speak louder than words!

    November 1, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. edwina

    You van see the tax plan, in writing, on the website, or would actually researchingit for yourself be too much like doing the right thing.

    November 1, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. robin

    I think anyone would agree that as an attack dog for Obama , Joe Biden said personal things about John and lied about what his policy positions were . John being the man he is will grt along with Biden, but no one would trust him as a friend .

    November 1, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  14. Billy

    Second negative Obama story of the day.

    Nothing about Palin's medical records.

    November 1, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. Missouri

    I think Joe Biden is GREAT!! He is REAL! He will be a wonderful VP.

    GET OUT AND VOTE ON TUESDAY!! It is suppose to be a beautiful DAY!!! Take a folding chair if you need to sit, or a wheelchair if you need to ride the lines!!

    I know of some women in their 80's who plan a whole day to GET OUT AND VOTE!!!! FIRST TIMERS TO CAST THEIR VOTES FOR A

    IT WILL LIKE THE 4th of July-TAKING AMERICA BACK!!! WEAR YOUR RED, WHITE and BLUE with an emphasis on BLUE!!!


    November 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Bill

    katiec, don't be so hard on Obama.

    November 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. Fred, So. St Paul MN


    November 1, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  18. oscar

    Joe biden you are the best. you possess the attributes of a leader as Obama. Mccain will not say same of you. thank you Biden.

    November 1, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  19. KLEE

    We don't care – Joe's a good guy with character – I just wish they would muzzle the pit-bull with lipstick though – its hard to take all the "trash" she lets fly out that mouth. Funny though – she can't/won't talk to reporters – talk about being muzzled!!


    November 1, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  20. alvino

    Hey Tainopower, Sarah Palin said McCain would balance the budget in 4 years, and the McCain economic spokesman said that could not happen. What does Sarah know that John doesn't? So what is it?

    November 1, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |

    Joe the Vice President, you are actually better off, if that petty, little old man is NOT your friend.

    November 1, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. chester

    The way Obama and Biden have lied this whole campaign. McCain should say screw you !!!! Dems took the campaign into the cutter where they belong.

    November 1, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. Kozicka

    Tainopower @9:21

    Yes, you listen to FOX and so do I. But I do not believe 1/2 of what they say any longer. Go to Obama's site and see what is there and then compare it with McCain's site. Ha. Every election, Repubs trying to scare people and argue Democrats will increase taxes and the size of Government. Nothing new.

    At the end, it was the Republican WH which is costing us $700 billion+++. And, if you are so afraid of paying more taxes for education and health care – instead for wars – why aren't you upset with McCain's mortgage bail out plan? Cavuto was. McCain is asking you to pay for someone else’s house, you know. Even Obama would not go that far. Your reasoning is just too shallow.

    November 1, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Glenn Martin

    Trust me, because Obama will likely win based on his dishonesty in wildly and intentionally over-promising what he can deliver, I and millions of other people will expose his dishonesty. There will be no middle ground and reaching across the aisle. We will destroy his dangerous ambition. Can't we all just get along? NOBAMA we have just begun to fight. Democrats you ain't seen nothing yet. CNN, I will turn your website offer forever on November 5th. You were dishonest in coverage as well.

    November 1, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. Faithlyn

    I am watching the polls ever since CNN has been carrying this election and if each week there was a swing amongst both Party then i would have some doubt in my mind about the final predictions. But since the last 4-6 months Obama has been leading. If Democrats loose this election then i know the system is a mess and full of illegal practices.

    November 1, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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