Biden Warns World Will 'Test' Obama, Prompting McCain Response
Updated 10:02 p.m.
By Michael Abramowitz
BELTON, Mo. -- John McCain has not been talking too much about international affairs in recent days, but the suggestion by Democratic running mate Joe Biden that the world may try to test a President Obama early in his administration prompted him to dive back in.
"Mark my words. It will not be 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," Biden was quoted telling a fundraiser in Seattle on Sunday. "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 urged the crowd to stand by Obama when he is elected president, a comment which prompted a sharp rejoinder from McCain this afternoon in Missouri.
"The next President won't have time to get used to the office," McCain said. "We face many challenges here at home, and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world. If Senator Obama is elected, Senator Biden said, we will have an international crisis to test America's new president. 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."
"What is more troubling is that Senator Biden told their campaign donors that when that crisis hits, they would have to stand with them because it wouldn't be apparent that Senator Obama would have the right response," McCain added.
"Forget apparent," he said. "Senator Obama won't have the right response, and we know that because we've seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign. He opposed the surge strategy that is bringing us victory in Iraq and will bring us victory in Afghanistan. He said he would sit down unconditionally with the world's worst dictators. When Russia invaded Georgia, Senator Obama said the invaded country should show restraint."
In Seattle, Biden also warned the new president would have his work cut out for himself on the domestic front, according to ABC News: "Gird your loins," Biden said. "We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're going to win, but this is not going to be an easy ride. The next president, the next president is gonna be left with the most significant task. It's like cleaning the Augean stables, man."
Obama-Biden spokesman David Wade sought to unpack Biden's comments. "With our nation facing two wars and 21st-century threats abroad, Senator Biden referenced the simple fact that history shows Presidents face challenges from day one. After eight years of a failed foreign policy, we need Barack Obama's good judgment and steady leadership, not the erratic and ideological Bush-McCain approach that has set back our security and standing in the world," he said.
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