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. jrzshor

    all fair in love, war and politics. I hate him now. I love him later

    November 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. fohenko

    McCain will endorse Obama on Monday night

    November 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Libertarian for Obama '08

    Right on, Mr. Biden.

    November 1, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. JD in Moraga

    "McCain – my dear, long-time friend...and a dangerous psychopath."

    November 1, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Joe the Thinker

    Palin will ask what is an endorsement .

    November 1, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. Simmy

    Great for you Sen Biden to be able to forgive him! But don't forget that the evil nature that came through during his campaign is still lurking beneath the surface. Think hard about trusting him. Do you really want to pal around with him – given his erratic tendencies?
    P.S. Chose you friends wisely!


    November 1, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Get Real

    Sorry Joe... In the Republican World if anyone has a difference of opinion, views, religion, thought, race, demographics or choice then you can not be their friend. Even more so, you can not even be American.

    The Republican Party has become Anti-American and everything our country was founded upon.

    You will not be able to speak with him unless you meet his preconditions which are to:

    Admit Barack is a Terrorist
    Admit Barack is not American
    Admit Barack is not really half white... he misses the 1/8 rule so he is Black
    Admit that Barack is a Socialist
    Admit that Barack is the Anti-Christ
    Admit that Sarah Palin is Smart and Capable
    Admit the Surge has worked (even though we are still there)
    Admit that Taxes on the Rich is un american
    Drop out as Barack's running mate

    November 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Say it ain't so Joe

    Joe, oh Joe.. You are a bumbling fool.. Nobody has listened when you said Obama was not ready to lead. Nobody listened when you said Obama will be tested because he is inexperienced and he needs our help and prayers.. Nobody listens to you. There is good reason for that, and John McCain should never speak to you again. You have smeared his good name, and said horrific things against someone who you called friend. It is typical of you.. McCain said nothing negative about you..

    IF you are in office you will surely be the biggest laughing stock since Quayle.

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

    What a joke

    November 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. No way Joe

    Joe is a bumbling fool. IF he gains the VP he will be the biggest laughing stock since Quayle. John McCain should shun this once friend. With friends like that who needs enemies????

    November 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Peter

    McLoser has lost, good luck with house and senate seats republicans

    November 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. McCain- A patriot

    blkkbbeauty- For you to speak of a man who gave his life and liberties for you to spout your hatred is shameful. You are exactly the type of person drinking the coolaide for only race as your platform. As far as beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder, and you should look at yourself.

    November 1, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Pat

    Maybe Joe Biden had better look up the meaning of the word “scurrilous” before applying it to John McCain’s campaign.

    Maybe Joe had also better look up the word “bold-faced lie” - now touting Obama as the best thing since sliced bread, while insisting earlier - “I think he can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the- job-training.”

    The thing that Democrats find so “offensive” about McCain’s campaign is that it asks REAL questions about Obama and his policies.

    Others don’t find that “offensive” at all – but, rather, an absolute IMPERATIVE in electing the next leader of the free world.

    November 1, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. robin

    With the personality of a used car salesman , and the foolishness of repeatedly defeated pesidential candidate ( but still grasping) Joe Biden has molded into a defender of Obama who has at the very least divided loyalty to America . If a person is sorry , great . But do not trust anymore.

    November 1, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. bill

    Well he'll make her a Citizen along with the other 20+ Million Illegal Alien parasites that have no respect for the law !!!!

    November 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |

    Well Biden you win some and you loose some and if you just happened to lose McCain then good riddence. As far as the muzzling goes, THE MEDIA IS SOOOOOOOOO BRAINED WASHED INTO BELEIVING THAT THERE IS NO WAY THAT OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN IS SO CORDIAL. The media has been engaged in Nasty politics for years and now that this year a new coalition has formed, the media is like a dog in heat stroking for dirt!

    November 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Erick 4 Obama

    firstly, the average american makes around $40,000 a year. on the far lowest end it can be $15-20,000 and on the high end $60-70,000. so no one makes taht kinda of money and if they do then they don't need any help. that is wealthy to the average person who, even with college education, only makes $40,000 a year. so the nuimber keeps changing because the obama folks are tying ot deifne rich. a rich person only sees themselves rich at a million dollars, while us average folks see rich at $100K. so they are only trying to define it to the critics and punditst like Fox news and Sean Hannity and them. I hate those guys.

    November 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Lisa

    I could not gbe friends with someone who has thrown the kitchen sink including the plumbing with it at me... John McCain will say and do anything to win... he lacks the judgement and expertise to get us back on track*

    November 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. midwest mom

    to all who will scream, "see, I told you, proof Obama is a terrorist" VERY VERY careful. This is an immigration issue and immigrant families may very well be the ones to decide this election....go ahead, alienate them, discriminate against them, let your hatred rear its ugly head....go ahead...point your fingers and refer to 'them' or 'that one' will only hurt the party you claim to love.....I dare you to for just one minute have empathy for those who seek a better life in this wonderful country.....this is a test, how will you do?

    November 1, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. The Manchurian candidate meets Joe the VP

    John McCain hung out with communists in the formative years of his life in Vietnam, so Joe will have to work with him when he is VP and Obama president, if we are to believe all the lies and propaganda that he has propagated during this campaign. Just be careful he doesn't try to shoot you in the back, Joe!

    November 1, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Sarah

    Joe Biden is an idiot.

    November 1, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Marilyn

    Joe, you no longer deserve John's friendship.

    November 1, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. bob in LA

    Don't woory, Joe. john won't remember that he's been hurt by anything said.
    He puts his arm around Bush after bold , hateful lies in 2000.

    November 1, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Neeraj

    Well, at least Joe didn't misspeak or say something the GOP strategists can jump upon and misquote out of context. (I think)


    November 1, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |

    The question is, why would any one want to be the friend of McCain the traitor any way.

    November 1, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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