After Jolt From Joe Biden, Obama Plans to Discuss National Security
October 22, 2008 - 5:45 AMBarack Obama and his gaffe-prone running mate Joe Biden planned to discuss national security on the campaign trail in Virginia on Wednesday.
Sen. Biden’s comments put the Obama campaign on the defensive and gave the McCain campaign material to use against Obama, who is less experienced than McCain when it comes to foreign affairs and national security issues.
Biden’s warning came Sunday, out of the blue, at a fundraiser in the Seattle area.
"Mark my words," Biden was quoted as saying. “It will be not six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember, I said it standing here, if you don't remember anything else I said: Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
Biden offered “at least four or five scenarios,” including those involving the Middle East, Pakistan-Afghanistan, and Russia.
Biden also told Obama supporters that as president, Obama would need help and support in dealing with whatever happens – “because it’s not going to be apparent initially, it’s not going to be apparent that we’re right.”
Sen. Obama “gets it,” Biden said, adding that second-guessing is to be expected as Obama’s presidential term progresses:
“But he’s going to need your help. Because I promise you, you all are going to be sitting here a year from now going, 'Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?' We're gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I'm asking you now, I'm asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you're going to have to reinforce us."
According to an Associated Press report, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama “gives the Democrat an opening to go on the offensive on foreign affairs.” McCain is generally considered stronger on national security, the A.P. noted.
For the record, the Associated Press – in reporting that Obama would take up national security issues on Wednesday – never mentioned Biden’s controversial comments, which undoubtedly have forced Obama to address the subject.
In Richmond on Wednesday, Obama and Biden planned to meet with the campaign’s national security advisers. “Obama planned to talk publicly after the discussion about his approach to world affairs, and how it differs from McCain’s,” the A.P. reported. In a related story, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has been criticized and ridiculed by liberals, asked a CNN reporter Tuesday how things would be if she had made the same kind of comments that Biden made on Sunday.
“You need to ask your colleagues, and I guess your bosses or whoever is in charge of all this – why does Joe Biden get a pass on such a thing?” Palin asked CNN’s Drew Griffin.
“Can you imagine if I would have said such a thing?” she asked. “No, I think that we would have been hounded and held accountable…Why would say that, ‘Mark my words, this nation will undergo international crisis if you elect Barack Obama.’ If I would have said that, you guys would have clobbered me.”
“You’re right,” Griffin replied.
Both Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin raised Biden’s “crisis-is-coming” comments on the campaign trail Tuesday.
"We don't want a president who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars," McCain said at a stop in Harrisburg, Pa.
"Thanks for the warning, Joe," Palin said to cheers from a crowd in Reno, Nevada.