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. McCain puts America First

    Let's see...what will Obama's tax plan be today? $250,000...$200,000...$150,000 or $120,000? Gee, folks. Are ya really sure you can trust this guy? Do you understand that his plan basically would give a mere $500 per YEAR to people who don't even pay taxes, while his "redistribution of wealth" would impact small businesses and hurt the economy. Businesses HIRE and PAY people, Gov. doesn't.

    November 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. CNN = neo-con

    thank you for making it so obvious that YOU, CNN, are in the neo-con zionist pocket.

    people, check out who is on mcshameless-failin palin campaign.

    and who the voters are in those treacherous states like FLORIDA,

    and why they wobble and twist their political body into pretzel, LOL.

    they don't know what to make of failin palin's abject anti-semitism and

    their perception of Obama's "anti-semitism".

    November 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Stephanie

    McCain is not a lowlife; he is an honorable man who truly believes he can lead the country out of this mess. Unfortunately, he is out of touch and out of step with the shift that is beginning to take place throughout the world - and that is a shift to cooperation rather than divisiveness. As much as many Americans like to believe we are "in charge", we are not! We are a member of a global community and we are responsible for our actions in that community - and military action should be a last resort, not a kneejerk reaction. McCain was born and raised in a military family, spent years in a POW camp - his world view is too limited to handle the many, many problems that exist in today's world.

    November 1, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Republican Randy

    Am I ever glad this election is about over! A clear majority seem to want Senator Obama to win, which is pretty obvious. What troubles me is the Republican bloggers seem to have adopted the McCain/Palin attack dog style, and have little to no respect for a differing opion. Being able to have your own opinion is one of the many reasons american is so great. A truly "great" american will support whomever wins this election and work to unite this country once again. I'm not at all happy with what's happened during the George W. Bush Presidency, but I supported him as our president. I'm not really happy with either of our presidential choices this year, but I did vote for whom I thought was best for our country and I will support whomenver wins! I hope you'll all join me in supporting what's looking more & more like an Obama Presidency!

    November 1, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Connie

    Jo Biden has nothing he needs to prove.Americans already knows him.I would not say another word either tis late in the game so repugs would maybe have a chance to spin something stupid.Its almost over Joe you done your job great.Bye Bye McPalin.

    November 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Slider

    I doubt Senator McCain is gonna lose sleep over a liar like Biden.

    If Biden's team wins, though, a lot of Americans will lose sleep.

    I kinda hope Dems win this election; the next four years will be enough to insure Republicans win the next 10 elections.

    November 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. WVU Student

    I've grown up in a Republican based family until the 2004 election.. It's clear that Obama is the best choice for this country with the Karl Rove style strategies that the GOP has been using. They don't try to appeal to voters on issues.. instead they try to smear the other candidates with garbage.

    I realize politics will always be politics, and I understand that the Dems haven't kept it entirely clean either, but when you choose Palin as a VP, it's pretty obvious you aren't going to have great judgement to run this country.

    To those complaining about taxes.. why are you complaining if you're making over 200k? This country should require it's wealthier population to pay more than those who aren't as fortunate. I can say that I'm proud that my family will be voting for that.. to give back to this country that has given so much to them to help rebuild it

    Obama Biden '08

    November 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. sandra miller

    Biden was really a better pick than McCains choice for Palin. Palin has no substance. She just shouts out well learned slogans and old nasty speeches. Palin shouldn't come closer to the White House than now.

    November 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Judy jones

    How sad our America has become. We listen to all the lies of the campaign and some of us are very affected by the remarks. I for one keep it simple- I pray GOD put into office the one who will lead our country out of this terrible mess. I am a republican but will vote for Obama. In my opinion he will be the best one to lead with his calm and poised attitude. But still only GOD knows who is best. We will see next Tuesday. JUST GET OUT AND VOTE EVERYONE 1

    November 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. A NATION OF WINERS

    DON'T WORRY !!

    AFTER THE ELECTION MCSAME WILL DENI

    ALL HE SAID & ASK FOR AN HONORABLE

    POSITION FOR A DISHONORABLE MAN, HIMSELF.

    November 1, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Sean from Orlando

    Of course he does, Biden sucks! One of the worst VP picks ever! Me and my family are all voting for McCain, and we were Dems until this year.

    November 1, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Rob

    If you pay attention you will see that McCain and Palin have made their share of gaffes during this election. When McCain and Biden make mistakes verbally, it is just an unintentional slip. When Palin appears to stick her foot in her mouth, it seems like more of a Freudian slip.

    November 1, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. M. WINNERS

    Off the subject just a little...

    I live in Phoenix and the McCain/Palin are running ads now (they ARE shakin' in their boots) and you guessed it – It's Rev. Wright.

    Do the neocon repugliCONs that McCain/Palin represent know anything but "fear, smear, mock and LIE"?

    McCain, his campaign and the repugliCON party as well have proven to be nothing but toxic slime merchants who think repeating "Country First" will fool the voting public.

    Tuesday they will find out that hate and race baiting is a repugliCON tactic of the past (unless you live in TX, AL, MS or IN) and we ain't buyin' it any more...

    PS: Let's give Mexico what they want – Give'm Texas back because those folk are definately NOT American, just racists and bigots...

    November 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. wallace from ohio

    Isn't Biden the plagerizer in chief? I think he might be the dumbest vp candidate in the modern era.How can Biden say McCain is wrong on all foreign policy issues and have voted with him and against Obama's positions. What a robot. Go Palin and McCain!

    November 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Mack

    There's something we can all take from this election that tends to please me. That the skeletons which we've hidden behind in the country has been exposed for all the world to see. Under the blanket of what we call the United States of America we're divided. Friends they may be, as McCain has stated, "politics is a nasty business". If you don't want your skeletons exposed don't get involved. But we have more than an economy to fix, we have a Nation to mend and heal as well.

    November 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. marco

    Obama is really what this country needs. think long and hard, we're in time of war, terrible economy and in urgent need of an actual energy policy. Obama is perfect for the times we face. McCain showed lack of judgement, and let politics run his campaign, when he picked Palin. Romney would've been the better choice for VP. Go back and listen to Romney speak, and play it side has by side Palin.
    Obama hasn't switched views to try and satisfy his base. McCain, I'm sorry, It's not your time this year either.

    November 1, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. republicans hate ameirca

    knowing McCain hes a your with me or against me fool so probably the friendship is over.

    November 1, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. A Canuck

    Obama is a clear thinking intelligent man......McCain has proved that he has a muddled old mind.........who do you want as President and leader of the free world ???????

    November 1, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. pennyson

    it seems like anyone interested in voting would listen to what a campain has to say. all that the McCain-Palin campain has to say falls under the heading of either trash or lies and thats all we would ever get out of them if they were to obtain office (some things never change) they truly are just like what we already have in office

    November 1, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Frank

    I liked McCain the man, dislike his policies. But the man lost his face and his soul using tactics and a huge amount of populism to beat his opponent. His strength was integrity. He lost that substance, turning out to be as shameless as many of his colleagues. He lost, even if he wins the elections (can't bear the thought).

    November 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Cantor

    Everyone is talking about white people not voting for Obama but what about the fact that 95% blacks are backing Obama. Why cant people point fingers at them . Isn't this racism and being biased towards Obama.

    McCain/Palin 08

    November 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Sean from Orlando

    November 1st, 2008 10:38 am ET

    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.

    The difference between Biden and Palin is that Biden lacks good judgment of character and attentiveness to his campaigns and voters money. Biden (unlike Palin) was set to run against Bush in 2004, but he used poor judgment in trusting someone to manage his campaign funds, and this someone (Roger Blevins III) knew of Biden lack of attention to the voters money enough to be able to slowly steal ALL of the money voters trusted him over the span of a year and half and smile in Biden’s face about it day after day. This is not the same as someone just suddenly taking your campaign money and running with it. It takes someone with lack of judgment as well as inattentiveness to their own campaign to miss all of the money voters trusted them with being stolen over an extended period of time. To this day Biden remain the Senator who has had the most embezzled from him in history, and the only one to have it slowly embezzled over time. I bet you Obama or Clinton or McCain would have caught all their money being stolen from their campaign and you want to know why, because they are attentive enough to hold the job they do and Biden is not....this is why Biden is not president right now, and Bush is. The reason this form of embezzlement never happens to senators is because most of them do pay attention to the money voters trust them with, unlike Biden. Biden is not the kind of man we need in the white house, he is obviously as old and bald as McCain, but with worse judgment and a far higher lack of attentiveness.

    November 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. adg

    Bidan does not need to be muzzled!! Mccain and palin need to be muzzeld!! including his hero ... Joe the nonpumber!!! how scarey is that !! Mccain plans to take him to washinton!! actully he may be a better vp than Palin!!!!!

    November 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Harry in LA

    So what else is new with the OBAMA campaign. If they are not muzzling the Press that don't agree with them then they are muzzling their own guy. Wake Up America this CLOWN is BAD NEWS. CNN won't post this but they are just like OBAMA and that they can not handle those that oppose them and their thoughts.

    November 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Forever Liberal

    TK, Dallas, TX: That was a very interesting story. Well said. We cannot trust a person who agreed with Bush on most economic policies to preside over the US.

    November 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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