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. Janice in OK

    Right on, Rumel!! Obama/Biden '08!!

    November 1, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. tony

    mccain should have pick al sharpton and them we would not be fighting about this dem and rep we all know that this is all about race we are the united states of america and we need to grow up

    November 1, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. stacy

    it is very difficult to take this man seriously, he would panic in a
    heartbeat if put under pressure.

    November 1, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. MLH

    Nobody 'muzzles' Joe Biden. The nice thing is that Barack Obama picked a running mate that doesn't need muzzling.

    November 1, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |

    NIXON, REAGAN, BUSH, BUSH . . . Republican leadership has gotten us where we are today. I wonder if when Sarah Palin gave each Alaskan that $2K+, wonder was that socialism or spreading the wealth! GO BIDEN 08. He will make a fine Vice President and is Presidential material FOR REAL. I am praying for him and Obama, the "Democratic party and their supporters. Keep your guns, keep your religion, READ yoiur bible, and GIVE ME THE CHANGE. Because of America's leadership positoin, the world is crying out for us to change because what happens to us, happens to them. We need Joe and Barack desperately.

    November 1, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. thomas

    Diplomatic Joe, but Mr. Creepy needs to get the boot. He's trapped in the last century.

    November 1, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. zenter

    joe has better friends than mccain anyway...

    November 1, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. jane in Columbus,ks

    Biden at least has extensive foreign policy experience and can string together a coherent sentence or wait, make that a paragraph, and still make sense unlike the repub vp candidate.I can see OK from my house does that make me an oil expert?As for John no longer being his friend with friends like that who needs enemies? I seriously doubt he need be too worried though as John will sneak off into the desert sunset soon enough.Get out and VOTE

    November 1, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Chipster

    Yes, McCain is offering a $5,000 tax credit and Palin advocates a huge boost to special needs children. I'm not sure I understand how that, and other spending promises, fit into McCain's plan to freeze spending.

    Smoke and mirrors?

    November 1, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA





    November 1, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. David Goldman






    November 1, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. John

    And herein lies the differences between the two campaigns. Biden took the opportunity to extend an olive branch and depite their differences, hope that fences can be mended. If the scipt were flipped, I'm sure that Palin or McCain would have taken the opportunity to point out how their opponents are "terrorist sympathizers", "socialists" or some other type of outrageous claim.

    Take note right-wing puppets, the Obama/Biden campaign has taken the high road for the most part and that's one big reason they're winning. Most people just aren't dumb enough to be lead around by the "swift boat" tactics anymore and can see right through them. Biden has just showed you how the playbook has changed.

    November 1, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. tim

    Biden by his flaking for personal injury lawyers has helped to destroy
    small business in this country. These lawyers make is unaffordable
    to get reasonable insurance and put folks out of business everyday
    all around the country with their slip and fall lawsuits. I simply cannot
    believe that anyone who runs a small business would support Obama
    and Biden

    November 1, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. missy, ohio

    We are in the batter box let's knock a Home run Democrats. Yes let's be patience in those long line don't give up We got them just where we want them Outta here..............Obama and his team has ran a very Outstanding campaign you have to give it up to them. just think how his cabinet would run he is so smart and intelligent and a very patient man and a great fatherI thank Michelle Obama for letting the world see how great her husband is and I know he will do the right things and make a GREAT PRESIDENT..........P.S. i VOTED 10/20/2008

    November 1, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Colleen

    I believe in my heart the Republican party has been hijacked and is being held hostage by small minded, extreme thinking folks who really want to stuff God down our throats...there is NO place for their religious rapture in our not tell me you go to church and are a Christian and in the next breath...spew hate...I'm not fooled...
    Republicans! ...take back your party...rid yourselves of the Demons hiding behind the Bible..return to loving your neighbor as yourself...go back and ponder the likes of Tom McCall from Oregon...Ronald Reagan...good and decent men., true Republicans in the best sense of the word...seperate religion from politics...there is good in all manner of individuals...please become someone we can debate and find our way with...the world needs what we had before these nasty folks took over...find your hearts...and redeem your souls!

    November 1, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. SP

    I think the attempted control by the press by the Obama campaign is a serious issue. Facts – Three papers that all coincidentally had endorsed McCain were kicked off the Obama plane this week, to make room for Essence and Ebony magazines, which are monthly publications that don't need the same access as daily papers. An Orlando news station was denied further access to the Obama campaign after asking Joe Biden tough questions. Having a free press is a key part of a free society, so the Obama campaign punishing those who disagree with them as an attempt to control what is said is a real issue. If they are this bad now, what will it be like once they are in the White House?

    November 1, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. pam Eugene OR

    I pray after Obama is elected that all our politicians will get along for a change. There is too much wrong wit our country for in fighting. Loss is not new to McCain. He will get over it in time. In two years he will/should retire anyway.

    November 1, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Country first

    the count down
    they had tried everything and I tell you it is nasty. These republicans believe that they have not done enough damage to this country and they are trying to scare you. What is that mean now? When they say that his aunt is here illegally. If you an American you an American and I think your background, your religion, and race should not be matter.
    Now that socialism, terrorism do not work they want to bring these nonsense to scare you America. The economy is issue # 1 and they had choose not to talk about and try to scare you with these nonsense. This war need to come to an end because $10 billions dollars a month can do a whole lot here in the US from job creation to education and infrastructure improvement. Our current president is a republican and they had done enough to our economy and job market.

    November 1, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. Chips

    I don't care I many gaffes Biden make. He is still smarter then McPalin.

    McCain has said Sen. Obama name so much in his speech. He will no doubt go into the voting booth and vote Obama.

    November 1, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Chips

    Ii don't care how many gaffes Biden make. He is still smarter then McPalin.

    McCain has said Sen. Obama name so much in his speech. He will no doubt go into the voting booth and vote Obama.

    November 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. Math

    McCain made his peace with the Vietcong, so I imagine he will forget Biden's mistreatment as well.

    November 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Awaiting Moderation by CNN

    Was there a ticker when Palin the village idiot was "muzzled"?

    November 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Kathy

    Biden is just a weasel. He or Obama doesn't have a clue. Without a script, they both keep putting their foot in their mouth. Sooo funny to watch them try to get it out. Too bad we have all this fraud, now we'll probably be stuck with them for at least four years. God help us.

    November 1, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Antonio from Kentucky

    I echo "let it go". No matter who wins, we need to stand y him and work with him to make the country better. Our system is full of checks and balances. We will bo O.K. no matter who gets in. If my candidate doesn't when I'm not going to be disappointed in the system. If he loses, he loses. Life goes on and I hope and pray for a better America and you should too. Enough said.

    Antonio Beasley

    USA '08
    Jesus forever!!

    November 1, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Jackie

    When there was that conflict in Georgia--–for whom did they ask and who went as US emissary---–Joe Biden........yes sometimes he talks too much and sometimes puts his foot in it - but which of us hasn't- it just makes him real...this year I was determined to vote FOR someone not against ..........while I still have questions about the top of both tickets---–voting FOR Joe Biden is easy–

    November 1, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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