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. GCG - Austin, TX

    TAINOPOWER: "From 250, 000 to 200,000"

    Obama has *always* said that 250,000 for FAMILIES, and if you read his actual program that's been on his web site for months, you will see that he is talking about 250,000 for families that file taxes under the "Married Filing Jointly" area. Those that are either single or "Married Filing Separately" come under the 200,000 amount.

    So, in one sense, families get more of a ceiling and a break than single folks, but the marriage penalty is still in strong effect for people that are "Married filing Separately" since if both people get close to $200,000 they'll end up getting more of a break than families that file jointly.

    November 1, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  2. Hard Working Mom

    Hmm...you call me an idiot and then want to be friends? I'm wrong on everything for the last 30 years and you want to be friends? I'm sad, I'm desperate, my party's a joke...yeah, Joe, let's be friends.

    What a joke Biden is. I guess everyone's forgotten about his plagarism and resume embellishment that cost him the Democratic nomination. It was so long ago- years, even.

    You're not comfortable with Sarah Palin, but you think Biden's leader of the free world material? Our country is in serious trouble.

    November 1, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Muz

    God love him, but he’s a raging maniac, and a dear, dear friend.

    November 1, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Sherylanne

    Lowering the "living large" amount down to $120,000 after early voters casted their votes.... hmmmmmmmm... a glance into what will happen if Obama is elected.

    November 1, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  5. Trish

    Katiec who are you kidding? Obama has gone the lowest of the low. He did it with Hillary and now the American people. Just wait – if he gets elected he will go against every promise he has made to try to decieve the people. Wake up and do your research.

    November 1, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Puffin

    Yes, you listen to FOX. Go to Obama's site 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 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Chuck

    Have you noticed for a while now how McCain has frequently used the word "fight" in his stump speeches. He certainly is showing his true colors as a warmonger. This man is truly scary and devisive.

    November 1, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. Redneck from Kentucky

    Good luck! McCain seems the type to carry a grudge. You think he is an angry old man now, wait till after the election.

    November 1, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. Cynthia a conservative voter

    Thanks Joe for being yourself. Joe American. Average Joe. Joe for average Americans. Good luck on election day. Sarah Palin said last week that "God's will, will be done on election day". I hope she realizes and accepts that God's will on election day does not include her attaining office, but it does include her becoming a full time mother again!

    November 1, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. mume

    tell dem Joe,Obama/Biden08

    November 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. Tylen

    Joe Biden is again showing the steady leadership that proves he is ready to be VP. Way to go JOE!

    November 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Life long Zony

    Awwww isnt that sweet. I hope they can remain friends too but for now. Biden your work is not done my friend. Obama/Biden 2008

    November 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. Stevo

    Biden is a good man. He will make a great VP. He may talk a lot or make a gaffe here or there, but the guy is solid.

    Go get em Joe!

    November 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. Sue

    What's up wtih the headline on this one? You make it sound like Biden is doubting his friendship with McCain, when in fact, he merely said they haven't talked much and he hopes they will remain friends. I'm getting really tired of the media making the news...can't you just get back to reporting it?

    November 1, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Joanne Urish

    Senator Biden is a gentleman in every sense of the word. I like, admire him, and am sure he will be one of the very best VP we've ever had. Senator Obama is very fortunate to have him.

    Also, I don't believe for one minute that he has been "stifled". I'm sure it was his decision to back off because he didn't want to do or say anything to hurt Barack chances for election.

    November 1, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. JG

    PA, don't let the country down. VOTE FOR CHANGE, VOTE BLUE!!!

    November 1, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. carlo

    For all of the ignoramuses who post on here: People under $250,000 will see no increase in taxes. People under $150,000 will get a tax cut. It's really not that complicated. I guess the country has to cave in before some of you will vote for a black man. He has run the most organized and successful campaign in history, but for some of you, nothing Obama does will ever be good enough. You same people, however, think Palin is great. This is the same woman who took six years and five colleges to get a freakin' undergraduate degree and who has a pregnant teenage daughter and a future son in law who are high school drop-outs. Her other children apparently never go to school, and her special needs baby is kept up all hours of the night, but she's a great role model. If Obama had a family like that, all of you would be calling him and his daughter welfare recipients who are eating away at the taxpayer's dollars.

    November 1, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Giselle Thayer

    Would you turn your back on John McCain knowing that he sacrificed his own life for our country?

    For two thousand and seven days (5 ½ years) John McCain said “Country First” even if this meant receiving torture beyond belief by the Vietnamese captors. For two thousand and seven days, McCain did NOT turn his back on the nurse, the bus driver, the school teacher, the immigrants, the white, the black, the hispanics, the entrepreneur, the rich, the poor, and senior citizens. On the contrary, McCain said “I will sacrifice my life for every single American Citizen in the United States of America” even if this meant being in solitary confinement, getting the most atrocious beatings, getting smashed with a rifle on the shoulder, getting jabbed in the ankle, getting jabbed in the groin, getting knocked down, getting kicked in the head, getting the ribs cracked, having a high fever and losing consciousness for long periods of time, lying on vomit, blood and waste from the inhumane beatings.

    This is our ONLY opportunity as a nation to do the right thing, and say “In McCain we trust” Please show your gratitude and loyalty to our country and to everyone in the United States by voting for McCain and Palin…

    “I can only hope that every man that was ever in the military will read this book and appreciate the contributions of men like John McCain III. We all owe a debt of gratitude to men like him, true Americans who sacrificed everything for their country.” (Wayland Mayo)

    November 1, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I would never be friends with McCain. He's a hater, and that is not what we're supposed to feel for other people. He's also a liar. I just don't like him at all.

    Wonder what he would be today without Cindy's money? Interesting.

    I voted early for Obama/Biden – the constitutional guys.

    November 1, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Bob from S S

    JUST MENTION THAT WE HAVE AN ILLEGAL RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT . AND WE GET MANY AGREEING THAT THAT IT IS OK ! WE LOVE A LIAR , WE HATE OUR FLAG , AND WE ARE GOING TO DO AWAY WITH OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM . WE LOVE CATERING TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES THAT DESPISE US . THATS WHY THE DNC HAS SPENT SO MANY DOLLARS TO GET THIS JOB DONE . HOLLYWOOD STYLE .

    YOU KNOW TRUSTING OBAMA IS LIKE TRUSTING BILL CLINTON WITH YOUR UNDER AGE NIECE.

    NEWS MEDIA'S DARLING .

    DNC DIG , DIG MORE DEAD VOTERS STANDING IN LINE . GOT ONE IN A LITTLE RED WAGON , HE LOST HIS LEGS FIGHTING FOR YOU . AN DIED NOW YOU DIG HIM UP TO VOTE FOR FLIP FLOPPERS .

    NO JO, NOOO BARRY HUSSIEN , WRIGHT ONCE AGAIN.

    November 1, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Pat in Cali

    tainopower – you probably voted for Bush twice. nuff said. Are you better off than you were 4 years ago.

    John McSame is redistributing wealth to the wealthy by giving tax breaks to CEO's and oil companies.

    November 1, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    If I hated everybody who disagrees with me, I would be friendless.
    Joe will have to work with McCain as a senator regardless of who wins. We have had enough sniping and infighting. A house divided can not stand. Yes, I blame everyone who voted for Bush for this mess we're in but they will still get a Christmas card.
    Time to grow up.
    Obama/Biden

    November 1, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. NOVA

    If you think your taxes are going to be lower under McCain.....you're the same people that wrote off our country into ruin when you voted for Bush.

    I guess misery loves company, in some sick, twisted fashion?

    November 1, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. MBFLA

    Why would you want to be friends with a guy who would obviously sell his soul for power, Joe? McCain is not the guy you once thought you knew.

    November 1, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. Cindy

    With friends like McCain, who needs enemies. McCain has slung one muddy lie after another at Obama and Biden. It would be hard to call him a friend. In business, they say "nothing personal," but McCain has made his whole campaign personal.

    November 1, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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