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The Official Biden Foot in Mouth aka Weekend at Biden's Thread

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Dos Equis:
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Obama Chides Biden for Off-Message Interview
by FOXNews.com
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
 
Barack Obama and Joe Biden stepped out of sync again Tuesday, as the Democratic presidential nominee criticized his running mate for voicing opposition to the government bailout of American International Group early last week.

It was the second off-message moment for the Democratic team in two days. Biden had to ratchet back his own rhetoric Monday after an interview aired in which he called one of his own campaign ads “terrible.”

The lack of harmony suggests the Obama team, for months a rancor-free institution, is running into the kind of message discipline problems that John McCain’s campaign faced before he started to cut back his interaction with reporters.

The latest friction happened when Obama was asked on NBC’s “Today Show” about why he criticized McCain for initially opposing a federal bailout of AIG when Biden was also speaking out against it.

“I think … that in that situation, I think Joe should have waited, as well,” Obama said.

He was referring to Biden’s interview with NBC last Tuesday in which he said, “I don’t think (AIG) should be bailed out by the federal government.”

That echoed McCain’s comment the same day. But all the while Obama had stayed relatively mum on the crisis at AIG. He released a statement last Wednesday expressing his hopes for the rescue plans, but did not give a clear verdict on whether he supported the plan.

Having censured Biden for his remarks, Obama continued to criticize McCain Tuesday for initially opposing federal action on AIG.

“(McCain) said the government should stand aside and allow one of the nation’s largest insurers, AIG, to collapse,” Obama said. ” I think what has been clear during this entire past 10 days is John McCain has not had clarity and a grasp on the situation.”

The internal static, however, was not quite as pronounced as when Biden denounced his own campaign’s ad the day before.

In an interview with CBS News, the Delaware senator took issue with an attack ad from his own side that criticized McCain for his lack of savvy when it comes to computers and e-mail.

“I thought that was terrible by the way,” Biden said. “I didn’t know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it.”

The McCain campaign pounced on the statement, and Biden later issued a clarification.

“Having now reviewed the ad, it is even more clear to me that given the disgraceful tenor of Senator McCain’s ads and their persistent falsehoods, his campaign is in no position to criticize,” Biden later said, criticizing McCain for an ad accusing Obama of voting to teach kindergartners about sex. The Obama campaign has said the bill would help children avoid predators.

Biden also raised eyebrows two weeks ago when he said Hillary Clinton “might have been a better pick than me” to be Obama’s running mate.

While Obama has worked intently to patch up the rifts between his campaign and supporters loyal to Clinton, he hasn’t gone so far as to say Clinton would be a better running mate.

Biden, however, told the audience at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire that Clinton “is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America.”

He was responding to an audience member who criticized Clinton.

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/23/obama-chides-biden-for-off-message-interview/

240 is Back:
It's pretty funny.  I heard that today on Rush.  THAT is biggest possible fucccup from Camp Lib thus far?   Slight miscommunications?  minor differences between Senatorial opinions?

6 weeks from election day.  That's it?  I hope you're not assigning the same weight to his praising Clinton as you will when a whitey tape emerges, or when obama admits he's a muslim, etc.

Dos Equis:
Unlike Clinton, Biden Gets Pass for Saying He Was 'Shot At' in Iraq
When Hillary Clinton told a tall tale about "landing under sniper fire" in Bosnia, she was accused of "inflating her war experience" by Barack Obama's campaign -- but the campaign has been silent about Joe Biden telling his own questionable story about being "shot at" in Iraq. 
By Bill Sammon

FOXNews.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When Hillary Clinton told a tall tale about "landing under sniper fire" in Bosnia, she was accused of "inflating her war experience" by rival Democrat Barack Obama's campaign.

But the campaign has been silent about Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, telling his own questionable story about being "shot at" in Iraq.

"Let's start telling the truth," Biden said during a presidential primary debate sponsored by YouTube last year. "Number one, you take all the troops out - you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at. You better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die."

But when questioned about the episode afterward by the Hill newspaper, Biden backpedaled from his claim of being "shot at" and instead allowed: "I was near where a shot landed."

The senior senator from Delaware went on to say that some sort of projectile "landed" outside a building in the Green Zone where he and another senator had spent the night during a visit in December 2005. The lawmakers were shaving in the morning when they felt the building shake, Biden said.

"No one got up and ran from the room-it wasn't that kind of thing," he told the Hill. "It's not like I had someone holding a gun to my head."

The rest of the press ignored the flap at the time because Biden was viewed as having little chance of ending up on the Democratic presidential ticket. But even after Biden was selected to be Obama's running mate last month, his claim to have been "shot at" drew no scrutiny from the same reporters who had savaged Clinton for making a similar claim that turned out to be false.

FOX News has been asking the Obama campaign for details of the alleged shooting in Iraq ever since Biden was tapped to be vice president. Biden campaign spokesman David Wade promised an answer last week, but failed to provide one.

Meanwhile, the gaffe-prone Biden has again raised eyebrows with another story about his exploits in war zones - this time in Afghanistan. Biden said he will grill Republican rival Sarah Palin in Thursday's vice presidential debate about "the superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down."

"If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me," Biden bragged to the National Guard Association. "Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are."

But it turns out that inclement weather, not terrorists, prompted the chopper to land in an open field during Biden's visit to Afghanistan in February. Fighter jets kept watch overhead while a convoy of security vehicles was dispatched to retrieve Biden and fellow Senators Chuck Hagel and John Kerry.

"We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs, but we didn't have to," joked Kerry, a Democrat, to the AP. "Other than getting a little cold, it was fine."

Biden never explicitly claimed his chopper had been forced down by terrorists. Nonetheless,

John McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said Obama-Biden officials have been less than forthcoming about Biden's dramatic war stories.

"They never explained Biden's helicopter story from last week - which is very similar to the story about getting 'shot at' in Baghdad," Rogers said.

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/30/unlike-clinton-biden-gets-pass-saying-shot-iraq/

mightymouse72:
 :D

Dos Equis:
Did Biden Get It Wrong? You Betcha
Monday, October 06, 2008

By John R. Lott, Jr.

E-Mail Print Share:

When you interview for a job, here is a hint: make sure you know what the job is. Joe Biden failed that test last Thursday. He couldn’t even get right what a vice president does, but the media didn’t notice.

The media is all over itself about how smart and experienced Biden is. Political analyst Charlie Cook is quoted in the Washington Post on Saturday as saying “Biden is clearly so much more knowledgeable, by a factor of about a million.” Saturday Night Live does a skit about Biden being smart, if slimy. Meanwhile, Governor Sarah Palin is treated as being nothing more than a simpleton.

Yet, take Biden’s statement from the debate on the role of the vice president:

Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive, and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.

One should be careful when throwing around terms such as “most dangerous” and “bizarre.” But Biden is confusing which part of the Constitution covers the Executive Branch (it is Article II, not Article I). More importantly, the notion that the vice president can preside over the Senate only when there is a tie vote is simply wrong. Nor is it true that the only legislative involvement the vice president has is to break tie votes. The vice president is the president of the Senate, where he interprets the rules and can only be overridden by a vote of 60 senators.

Early vice presidents spent a lot of time in the Senate. Thomas Jefferson even spent his time writing “A Manual of Parliamentary Practice: for the Use of the Senate of the United States.” Modern vice presidents may show up only when they think tie votes will occur, but that is their choice.

This isn’t rocket science. The Constitution on this point is very straightforward: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”

Instead, it was Palin who got it right. Besides correctly stating that the vice president holds positions in both the executive and legislative branches, she also noted that:

Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chooses to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.

But just as the vice president’s job includes more than simply being ready to assume the presidency if the president dies, the Constitution merely states what the vice president’s minimum responsibilities are.

Compare the uproar over Palin’s answer to Charlie Gibson about the “Bush Doctrine,” a doctrine that Gibson clearly didn’t understand and for which there apparently exist at least four different versions. Where is the outrage over Biden not understanding what vice presidents do? For Biden, his inability to correctly say what vice presidents do was surely his “gotcha” moment.

Yet, this mistake during the debate was hardly unique. Biden got a lot of things wrong in the debate that are going unnoticed by the fact-check media. Take just a few:

-- Will McCain's health care proposals raise taxes? Biden says that McCain’s proposal will cost people money. The Tax Foundation finds that could easily be "roughly deficit-neutral over ten years."

-- Under an Obama Administration the middle class will "pay no more than they did under Ronald Reagan"? No, the tax rates will be similar to the higher rates under Clinton.

-- Did "we spend more money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan building that country"? No, one year’s worth of spending in Iraq equaled five in Afghanistan.

-- France and the U.S. "kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon"? No, and it wouldn't have made much more sense if he had said "Syria" instead.

-- Is it really “simply not true” that Obama said that he would meet with the leader of countries such as Iran without preconditions? No, Obama said “I would.”

-- Did Obama warn against letting Hamas participate in Palestinian legislative elections in 2005? No.

-- Do “Iraqis have an $80 billion surplus”? No. If oil prices had remained high, it might have reached $50 billion by the end of this year.

-- Finally, an amusing point as evidence that Biden is just one of the people he pointed to, inviting anyone to have a beer with him at "Katie's Restaurant" in Wilmington, Del. Unfortunately, people will have a hard time taking him up on his offer, since the restaurant hasn't had that name for probably 15 years.

Unfortunately, voters who are trying to get an accurate count on whether the candidates are telling the truth can’t rely on the media. FactCheck.org mentions only one of these points, the size of the Iraqi surplus. The Washington Post mentioned Biden’s misstatement on Hamas and Katie’s restaurant. AOL’s coverage of the errors in the vice presidential debate was by far the worst, though that might not be too surprising given that Tommy Christopher, who wrote their news analysis, also blogs on the Obama Web site. None of these checkers mentioned Biden's statements about the role of the vice president.

Compare this to the attacks on Sarah Palin:

-- FactCheck.org criticizes Palin for claiming that McCain’s health care tax credits will be "budget neutral" – they argue that the tax credit will be larger than the new taxes that the program will impose. Fine, but if the people at FactCheck.org believe that is true and that the Tax Foundation is wrong, Biden’s claim about increased taxes is even more inaccurate. But FactCheck.org doesn't even mention Biden’s statement from the debate.

-- From AOL's news analysis piece. “Palin: Said that it is untrue that the U.S. is killing civilians in Afghanistan. According to an analysis by the AP, however, the U.S. is killing more civilians than insurgents are.”

What Palin actually said was: “Now, Barack Obama had said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians.” Whether one believes the AP estimate or not, the question is whether she was accurately characterizing Obama’s statement of the job that our forces were doing. And Obama said, “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians” (emphasis added).

-- FactCheck.org’s first critique claims that Palin was wrong to claim that troop levels in Iraq are down to their pre-surge levels. They are correct that after the recently announced drawdown, 6,000 more troops will be in Iraq than immediately before the surge. But why not mention that 84 percent of the 38,000 troops in the surge are home or are in the process of coming home?

The media seems to have been covering for Biden for some time. While news stories still talk about Dan Quayle’s spelling mistake 18 years later, there has been almost no news coverage of Biden’s numerous wacky statements. What if Quayle had said something similar to Biden’s recent statement that, "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'" A neat trick given that Herbert Hoover was president in 1929 and television was not yet invented.

It might not fit the simple template for a 36-year veteran of the Senate to not understand what vice presidents do (after all, eight vice presidents have served with him), but Biden knew less about this than the political outsider, Sarah Palin. Given that they are running to be vice president, why didn’t that story dominate the news coverage after the debate?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,433314,00.html

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