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. dj

    If a friendship is truly solid, it will continue no matter what happens professionally. The formula is simple....business and personal are two totally separate entities. So Joe, bottom line, you'll find out who McCain really is, a friend or foe! Should he not remain a friend, he never was in the first place!

    November 1, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Kina, A Veteran in NYC

    i guess the next ad from Sen. McCain's campaign would use Sen. Biden's comments as an endorsement for Sen. McCain as president..haha...Go out and vote, ppl...

    Obama/Biden 08

    Kina.

    November 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Misha

    BIDEN IS A HIPOCRITE

    November 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. jay

    I just watched McCain speaking and just can not believe the lies and distortions. Obama has said all along 200K-250K no change, 1K-200K tax reduction. And the "Joe the plumber" is totally false Joe is a unliscensed plumbers helper. To have one of your platform planks hung on the thoughts on the economic thoughts of Joe is crazy.

    November 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. TAINOPOWER

    ZOGBY: MCCAIN MOVES INTO LEAD 48-47 IN ONE DAY POLLING

    November 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. THE MCCAIN SHOW?

    Joe Biden has more credibility in his middle finger than Mccain and Palin put together. I think come November 5th, it will be McCain wanting to reach out to VP elect Biden, most probably on bended kness seeking forgiveness for all the sins he has commited during this election cycle. sarah, hopefully, will be left out in the cold, a distant memory in Alaska (where she belongsRussia.

    November 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. 1 Country

    McCain takes this race personal because it's more about his legacy as a POV becoming President. So i think he feels that anyone who questions that is wrong. Joe smart Sarah is not. Obama calm McCain unstable. What would you have leading you.

    November 1, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. 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 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. BM

    Did you forget Biden that McCain holds grudges? You should know him better than anyone! A liar is dangerous! One thing leads to another. McCain has run a dishonorable campaign. The things he has done to steal this election is incomprehensible.
    Joe the Plumber was a plant. Now I'm wondering about the one who carved the "B" in her face and blamed it on a black man. Now just suppose she had given a description of someone and it had not been determined to be a hoax. Someone's son would be in serious trouble.

    November 1, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. THE MCCAIN SHOW?

    Joe Biden has more credibility in his middle finger than Mccain and Palin put together. I think come November 5th, it will be McCain wanting to reach out to VP elect Biden, most probably on bended kness seeking forgiveness for all the sins he has commited during this election cycle. sarah, hopefully, will be left out in the cold, a distant memory in Alaska (where she belongs).

    November 1, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Nostradamus

    I wouldn't worry much, McCain appears to be in seriously ill health. Biden won't have to work with him long.

    November 1, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. obambi

    I hope all of you mesmerized college students for Obama enjoy your welfare state when you graduate. After all those years of hard work, you are forcing employers to cut jobs due to high taxes..Please face reality–where did your dreams go? You will never head A COMPANY OR GET A HIGH PAYING JOB WITH OBAMA AND PELOSI IN CHARGE.THEY WANT TO KEEP YOU DEPENDENT ON THEM. DON'T LET OBAMA RUIN OUR COUNTRY. If not for the young and vulnerable, Obama would be losing big. You are smart, but not wise.

    November 1, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. THE MCCAIN SHOW?

    Tainopower, you ignorant thug, try learning to read before you post your Faux News approved lies and propaganda. See you at he polls!

    November 1, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Palin has more experience than Obama

    Joe has been put on a very tight leash.

    November 1, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. dbcrum

    You go Joe!
    Even Biden knows the REAL Obama and that hs is not fit to be president!

    November 1, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. whatintheworld

    People can hide behind the tax stuff all they want. No one is complaining about the taxes they paid under Bill Clinton and Obamas will be the same. It really is a sad commentary. Oh and I love the hypocracy of that new McCain global warming commercial. Obama's character is good enough to ENDORSE McCain but not run for president? Give me a break!!!! If Obama were not black this race would have been OVER long ago. However, I remain eternally hopeful and I am inspired whenever I see the people at Obama rallies who come from ALL walks of life that want UNITY. Thats what the world I want my children to grow up in looks like. Not the very scary homogenous McCain rallies.

    November 1, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. oscar

    Mccain will not want you as friend because he is bittered. He wanted to be president at all cost. No more country first for him but president first. he has got a new friend in palin who he believed is more experienced and better that you and obama put together.No one leaves the best and goes for mediocre. It can no longer be the same.

    November 1, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Hannah Stevens

    The republicans will split off into two parties in 2012, the true fiscally conservative moderates and the right wing religious wackos. And the right wing wackos will select Sarah Palin and Joe Plumber as her vice president nominee.

    November 1, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. SNL

    You know Joe,
    It seems that your 'friendship ' with McCain is one-sided at best. He hasn't even acknowledged you this whole time during the campaign. You are starting to sound pathetic.

    I still plan to vote for Obama even though Biden is a wet blanket.

    November 1, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. Will T.

    just go vote...

    November 1, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. Independent white female patriotic voter

    I love Joe Biden, I think he is a great guy, but if I was running for President, I would muzzle him. He gave the Mccain campaign something to talk about, that is not his job. His job is to tell the American people why he thinks their ticket is the best choice for the people. I hope Obama/ Biden will win on Tuesday and show the country how dedicated they are to making our lives better. I believe in them and believe in their vision.

    November 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Joe the Thinker

    It is time for the extreme right wing party to go away. Hopefully a more moderate party will be able to form. I want my children to have choice just like Caribou Barbie. I suppose we really wont need to worry about the defunct GOP for at least 8 years.

    November 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. Boomer

    McCain has shown himself to be untrustworthy. I used to think he WAS a maverick. Now he has bought into the whole Republican philosophy and the far right wing part of the philosophy to boot. It's like I don't even know him anymore! I think maybe this is how Biden feels.

    November 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. John S

    Joe, I really think your old friend is not here with us any longer. I think the John McCain a lot of us admired and respected has lost his way. He has sold out to the Christian right and to the Corporate Regimes of this country just to win an election. Anyone who trys to divide America they way these two have, well, I have another word to call them and friend isn't one of them. To give up everything he stood for, he's very soul to be president reveals to the whole country what type of man John McCain really was. You didn't lose a friend Joe. You would never call a person a friend when he does something like that.

    November 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. McPalin = Shameful, hateful, awful behaviour

    TAINOPOWER – give it up. Everything you post is part of the McCain campaign talking points, i.e. a lie.

    I read that McCain tends to consider people who go against him as 'enemies' so it may be the end of that friendship. It might be hard on McCain 's ego being friends with someone that most people now think is the better man.

    November 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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