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. Erik

    McCain will be a great president, after reading this Biden just endorse McCain.

    November 1, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Walter, Long Beach

    Biden shouldn't have anything to do with the Cowardly Liar until the country gets an apology from him for having run the filthiest Presidential campaign in modern American history.

    November 1, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Joan

    Joe Biden helped put laws in place that protect battered women.

    Palin makes rape victims pay for their own rape kits, and wants to take away their right to end a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.

    I'm not sure why Joe Biden cares about remaining friends with McCain, but I guess he has his reasons. McCain only cares about himself and becoming president. His military record can't compete with his father's or grandfather's, so he has to become president to outdo them...Now, doesn't that sound eerily familiar?

    Obama-Biden 2008, 2012

    November 1, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Art Brown

    Obama/Biden wins by landslide and when virginia and florida results come in tuesday the western states will crater to the east coast results.

    November 1, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Juan Grain

    McCain has others Joes to Kiss his crusty old...
    like Joe the No Show wanna-be anything but a plumber And Joe Liarman the flip flopping putz, he does not need you. America needs you!

    November 1, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Maggie from Virginia

    McCain was an honorable man once. I always had issues with his judgment but he always seemed to mean well. I never thought he would sink to the level of Rove politics. In many ways, he has sunk lower. Goes to show you what some will do for power.

    November 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Tracey

    Hey, why doesn't "Mr. Country First, Maverick" wears his flagpin? Notice how he has not worn a flagpin. I was just curious because he claims to be sooooo maverickeee . . . but doesn't show it by wearning the same pin that he had a problem with obama not wearing. What's up with that?

    November 1, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Paul , Canada

    I would be carefull of that friendship seems to me if you are not what john McCain stannds for your not worth his time.
    I was watching the opening of John McCains rally last evening on Cnn with the Governor of California. I am absolutly disgusted at the way he made remarks about Senator OBama's arms,legs and such. The people in America deserve better than this type of terrible trash talk. And i see John McCain was just going along with it hoping the smear machine worked up the crowd. Not all in that audience liked what they were hearing from what we could see.
    My Question is if John McCain is elected President will he consider laughing at all the different people under his care just because they are thin , a little over weight or maybe people with disabilities. I guess if you are not just like him you are considered a joke.
    Shame on Arnold and even more shame on McCain.

    November 1, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. SP

    Carlos – your personal attacks on Tainopower are uncalled for. Quite frankly you should probably educate yourself on Obama's history. This is a man who has consistently voted for tax increases. The fact that he has not stated where he is going to get the money to pay for all the programs that he wants to dump billions into should have every taxpayer worried. Now that there are comments surfacing that his tax breaks are going to start to apply to fewer and fewer people, the American people should be focused on that. We have a candidate who has a history and an ideology of tax and spend, tax and spend. Maybe you want that in your next President, but you should not criticize people who suggest voters take another look.

    November 1, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. True American

    I thought that OBAMABI was in favor of CHANGE.
    Why did he pick an old FA_T like Biden to be his VP in charge of nothing?

    November 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. georgia for Obama

    With friends like McShame who needs enemies ??
    Take a poll in Arizona & Alaska on that !

    November 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Margo

    Muzzle...That would be Palin and her scripted speeches with a few flourishes on her own that haven't worked out so well.

    November 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. georgia for Obama

    With friends like McShame And Palin who needs enemies ??
    Take a poll in Arizona & Alaska on that !

    November 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Truth To Power

    AGAIN – THIS IS NOTHING BUT PETTY AND RIDICULOUS GOSSIP!!! No wonder your ratings are in the dumps! When are you guys going to actually get serious about your jobs??????

    November 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. BJ in NC

    Doesn't look like he is muzzled to me. But I know they are looking to twist anything he says to McCains favor. Not buying it CNN.

    November 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. BJ in NC


    November 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Robert

    Is is true that McCain's military records were sealed? Can CNN check this out? If so, why and at who's request?

    November 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. Bruce

    I think the Obama campaign needs to keep focused on the goal. Stay on the issues and the election. Get the vote out. A false since of the security is the worse place you want to be at point in the election. Let's push through the finish line. Let's finish the race because the race is definitely not over!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    November 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. NC Mom

    Vote...bring patient!!!!!!

    Go Obama/Biden!

    November 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. J in AZ

    All I hear about the vice president nominees are they are saying things and going against the Presidential nominee. I think this bodes well for Obama because Biden hasn't spoken out as much as Palin. Sure when they do talk they are going to say things that don't always go along with the Presidential Nominee because if they were running it would be their views. Doesn't mean they don't agree in the majority with who they are running with.

    For all those people who are voting McCain/Palin just because you think they have the same views as Hillary I think you need to just admit you are voting because there is a woman on the ticket. I'm all for women rights and all that stuff but just because someone is a certain race, gender, party line doesn't mean they will run the country in the correct manner. Know the views before you cast the vote.

    November 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. merry grant

    Obama will not renew the reductions in taxes.. Capital gains taxes will go to 20% in the beginning.. and maybe higher,
    There will be more unemployment because of taxes on businesses, the oil drilling off the coastlines will not happen as fast, therefore protecting the middle east and the oil barons there.
    What scares me about Obama is what he first started out as saying and what he is promising now. Who is going to pay for everything?
    He is smart and speaks well.
    Before you castr your vote, you need to look at records of both canidates.. the 'present' vote is one where a decision is not made.. Can he make decisions?

    November 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. When shall you stop this deception!

    Friends or not, USA future is more important! It is difficult to be friend with a person who has constantly during this election cycle try to introduce fruadulents people to American!

    – Why are Sen. McCain and his team using Joe the Plumber (a Fraud) to insinuate that "Obama's Presidency will mean the death of Israel"? That "real Americans vote for McCain" ??? Phonies
    – Why has Sen. McCain not allowed Sarah Palin as promised alone to do interview with LKL, if she is qualified to be a VP of USA?
    – Why is Sarah Palin’s windfall tax distribution to Alaskans not wealth distribution and “socialism”?
    – Why are those checks from Bush Administration last May not wealth distribution and “socialism”?
    Sarah Palin is a Fraud and must bet stopped before she messes up USA and the world

    November 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Mindy Mpls Mn

    The only places I have heard the muzzling comments were from John McCain campiagn staffers and the Druge Report., but I am sure Politico has some comment about it by now, as a way to generate some fake news. CNN the best fact free news on television.

    November 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. eskimo jo

    There will be alot of muzzeling and retaliations under the Communist Obama regime, Biden and most of the other Democrats just aren't smart enough to see it yet. God save the United States.

    November 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Dave

    Geesh Senator Biden, why are you so worried about John McCain's feelings?.....seeing how your own church won't even let you take communion now and knowing that you, too, are also only one heart beat away from eternity, I think I'd be more worried about someone else I made mad first! John McCain is the least of your problems buddy!

    November 1, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12