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. OHIO FOR OBAMA

    Senator Biden is a man of intergrity. He will make peace with mcsame, sorry mccain.

    OBAMB/BIDEN 2008/2012

    November 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. nobama

    katiec – You say the republicans go low and shady but the fact is that's where the facts on the democrat's lie, in low and shady places. We haven't forgotten Ayers, Wright. Rezko and Obama's desire to gravitate toward Marxist professors. All these are facts that have been uncovered by those who want to report on the true nature of Obama. Got a problem with that? Then you may be happier living in Iran.

    November 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Fatal Blow

    Tainopower

    It helps not to be intellectuall lazy...do some reading, if you have access to the internet(s) then you should also have access to Obama's website, newspapers etc

    You seem like the apathetic voters that McCain and Palin preys on while they screw you over just like Bush for the next 4 yrs...

    Im making over the 250K, but I see the reason behind taxing me higher...

    So much for a Christian country, where "Love thy neighbour" is only a quote in the Bible , but not a commandment..The US must have the highest concentration of fake christians per capita

    November 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Charles in Atlanta

    Can anyone really muzzle Senator Biden? I don't believe for a minute that the campaign has tried to muzzle him. Afterall, Senator Obama selected him not only because he felt Senator Biden will be the best vice president for our country, but also because Senator Biden in on record for thinking independently and for speaking his mind. When two people are always in sync, one of them may be unnecessary!

    November 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. shawn

    Let it go..........

    admirable post, and certainly the mature way of looking at it. however, i myself will NEVER support nor rally behind a mcshame/palin administration should they find a way to steal this election. dont get me wrong, it wouldnt be a simple "sour grapes" reaction, because if john mccain (a man i once had a great deal of respect for even though i am a democrat) had run a decent and respectable campaign and ended up victorious, then so be it. tip of the ole cap.

    but he chose to use these disgusting smear tactics and personal attacks, which only incited and fueled the bigotry of many americans. he spent far more time in this election trying to convince people why they should not vote for obama, rather than why america should vote for him. he has no honor left, he became a shallow old man willing to do anything and everything to win the presidency, he became everything he once claimed he stood against.

    November 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. jimmy

    hey biden , so you wana be hanging arround the like of mccain even though he is a hater and fear mongerer, and use anything to devide people playing the race card, while you are for uniting, wow, i am surprise at your attitude, hey biden just punt his butt all the way to alaska

    November 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. BM

    Anyone who believes McCain to keep taxes low is misinformed. He caters to the rich.He didn't marry Cindy because she was poor!

    November 1, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Joe Plumber Six Pack for Obama

    You CONservatives are getting sad.

    November 1, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. glenn alexander

    I keep hearing that Mccain is offering a $5,000 tax credit, In our area most people that really need health insurance do'nt make enought to need a $5,000 tax credit or for that matter a $5oo. They just need coverage. GA

    November 1, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. BM

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

    November 1, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. SeriouslyBadVibes

    McCain's campaign has set a new low – one can hope the moderate Republicans will toss the radicals and get back to where they belong in a decade or two (...).

    The difference between the Obama push and the McCain push is just too much. Biden =should= be doubtful about what the future holds for his relationship with McCain; there are some things that simply aren't forgiven nearterm.

    November 1, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. JIM...TX

    katiec hit the nail on the head! McCain WAS a maverick at one time. A man of his word and honorable but he sold his core beliefs and integrity to the far right for his own benefit. Now he's just ICK.

    November 1, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Mark Kahle

    TAINOPOWER – Get a clue everyone already knows..

    The tax plan is as follows.

    250K – 200,001K no tax cut , but no tax increase either...

    200,000 – on down receives a tax cut... so they are all right in stating 150K will get a tax cut under his plan, 120K gets a tax cut under his plan, 5K gets a tax cut under his plan...

    So get a clue and stop your SPIN....

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08 12!

    CLINTON 16 20!

    November 1, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. TK, Dallas, TX

    A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

    The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp, "Why?"

    Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."..............DO NOT VOTE FOR mccain

    November 1, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Carlos

    It really ticks me off how some people take a bit of missinformation and hold spread it like evangelists spread the word of God.

    TAINOPOWER you are clearly very stupid and very ignorant of the facts. McCain twists a piece of policy completly out of shape, such that it bears no resemblance to what is actually proposed, and, rather than (as aTHINKING person would do) scrutinize the claim and resaearch its validity, you run with the bull you are fed,

    You need to learn a little bit about how the tax system works. That would be a good start. But you are too lazy, aren't you. That would require some efoort, nopt to mention, intelligence

    November 1, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. Joyce, from New Jersey

    Go Joe I still say God save this country if the Republicans stay in office. I might want to move into a cave until they go away. Please everyone get out and VOTE and leave the Right Wingers in the dust for once, and let the Dems put this country back together again.

    November 1, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Zach K

    Joe Biden is making the right decision.

    I would do the same thing too, if one of my friends was spreading awful lies about me, and denied any wrongdoing, and Biden's comment proves he is sincere with his decisions.

    Biden. After 36 Years in the Senate, You Deserve being the Vice President of the United States.

    November 1, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. rumel

    reading all the comments on the news stories regarding the american presidential elections of 2008, i am coming to the conclusion that most of those who identify themselves as republicans and are supporters of sen. mccain/palin are intellectually-challenged, have a bigoted streak (think KKK!!!).

    but i hope that the majority, nay the plurality of american voters will choose wisely their president and vice-president this time around because their country and the world could not tolerate and endure another bush-cheney tandem – their domestic and foreign policies have wrought so much damage to our world.

    November 1, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Chuck

    Hey, Tainopower,

    Do you keep copying the same old script for every ticker that comes out? How lame can you get.

    Now, we all know your I.Q.

    Next time, try hard to write something that is fair and balanced that does not misrepresent, mislead, falsify or lie on everything that Obama has been talking about. Of course, with McCain and Palin perpetually attacking Obama, I guess you have to follow suit a copy exactly what they spout.

    November 1, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. blkkbbeauty

    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 !!
    and to the bloger MN Voter, who called Michelle Obama ugly, he or she should probaly take a look in the mirror !! the b$&*# will then see how ugly jealously can be ! and if they put down the crack pipe they will also see how ridiculous John Mcain and Sarah Failing really are ! Stop slinging kindergarden insults and act like an adult !!!

    November 1, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. LuckyRiff

    I heard Biden is excited about his big "one on one" sit down interview tomorrow night...the dems have him talking at a mirror for an hour. Way to throw him a bone Barry!! Then only guy that could make Dan Quayle look like a good choice. It's going to be a LONG four years of hiding this guy...nice decision!

    November 1, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. jay

    The difference between Biden and Palin is that Biden is a deep thinker and Palin is an slogan spouter. He puts his foot in his mouth sometimes because he is constantly thinking, analyzing, examining the issues. When he gets long winded you can see he is think about a topic and has a depth of knowledge. Palin on the other hand reads scripted comments and slogans from a telepromter like her old job reporting high school hockey scores. have her go off script and have an indepth conversation and you have her use slogans and "style" over substance like in the debates or an empty rambling mess like the Couric interview.

    November 1, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Dave, Illinois

    Then Joe should not have lied about his "friends" record and accomplishments. He and Obama are a couple of sleezes.

    November 1, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Sarah

    Joe Biden is great.

    November 1, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. Denise Groves

    For two days I have heard Joe Scarorough state that the Obama campaign have muzzled Joe Biden and today he said iden's campaign was a failure! I was stunned when he made those statements. I called him out. He is so pro McCain/Palin he cannot see straight

    November 1, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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