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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.

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 20, 2008; 2:17 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Joe Biden , John McCain  
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Talk about Sarah Palin as the most stupid veepee candidate in ages as you wish.

Truth is Joe Biden is not trailing far away from her...

God, please, let that campaign now come to an end.

Posted by: danielmugerin | October 24, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"... and they're going to find out this guy has steel in his spine." As far as I can tell, Biden stated a historical fact that holds true in general: a new president WILL be tested. ... and ended with clearly stating his opinion how Obama will be able to handle it. Pretty sad that the last part quoted above gets lost in the discussion in the media.
As for McCain's comments that he will be the safer choice for president since he has been tested already. Sorry, but that's BS. He's been in the military, not a commander in chief. And it's been 30 years ago. Is he aware of how much the world has changed since then?
As far as I'm concerned, I rather have a supposedly inexperienced person (Obama) for president who is irrefutably calm, thoughtful, and shows common sense and is willing to talk to adversaries without preconditions (often the only way talks can even happen, not to mention have any chance of success). I prefer him any day over a person like McCain who has a temper, apparently believes in war as the resolution to all, and seems to be stuck in times long gone by.

Posted by: mscharisma | October 23, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The current defecit is mainly because of the war not Washington spending. I don't want another stimulas check, I son't want the governments money. I just want them to stop taking what I already have.
This election will be decided by low income people that are on the ban wagon for a hand out and not a hand up. I would rather be poor and be free then to be rich and a slave to government, control by Obama who wants to be friends with our enemies while they bomb us in our own streets. This will be nothing like Vietnam. The next war will be on our own soil, and Obama will take a way all our guns and we will have to fight back with a nice "cool" smile and a inexperienced president who will vote present and then ask Ayers, what do you think, or worse, Wright.

Posted by: musiclady76 | October 21, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It's a little fun to watch Biden make a fool of himself. But, it is also kind of embarrassing. What a buffoon! He reminds me of a behind-the-times businessman who knows too much about the dirty work to fire, so he gets away with calling women, honey or baby and expects them to like the attention.
While there is a lot of talk about how Palin is not qualified to be President if need be, no one is saying much about what the US would look like with "say it ain't so Joe" in the White House. Let me give you three letters, YUCK!

Posted by: ruth929 | October 21, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse


Biden has sounded the ALARM!!!

America will be tested and I think that Biden really feels deep inside that its a test that an Obama Presidency WON"T PASS.

Posted by: TyroneJonessr | October 21, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

America really needs to put away the foolishness during this election year and realize that the WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING AND WAITING! The good guys and most of all...THE BAD GUYS! They are watching the obession with Obama realizing that America has become a nation consumed by celebrity and a "anything goes mentality". The bad guys know that Ayers was a bad guy. They Rezko, Wright and the others. They know Obama siad he snorted coke as a young man. They know Obama has a socialist ideology stuck inside his brain. While we are BSing the rest of the world is getting ready militarily, economically and collectively to take us down. Biden has sounded the first warning. America better take heed.

Posted by: TyroneJonessr | October 21, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Chicago for Hillary.

Powell proves that Obama is supposed to continue the Brzezinski/HW Bush New World Order Agenda, warmongering for corporate interests.
Obama voted for FISA and to extend the Patriot Act, he also supports extension of the death penalty in accordance with "community outrage", but he wants to get rid of the second amendment. Obama's an authoritarian personality and way too ambitious, he owes too many shady people now.

Posted by: auralmarge | October 20, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Joe Biden, for giving us another reason not to vote for the rookie. We haven't had an attack here in the U.S. since 9/11. Now Biden is telling us that there are actually people out there who aren't enamored with the messiah.
The terrorists tested Clinton several times, and he flunked them all. Included were the first attack on the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers Bomb, the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the USS Cole. Terrorists know a weakling when they see one. Biden is probably just giving us what he got in a transition intelligence briefing last week, but jazzing it up to make himself out to be smarter than he really is. What a nitwit.

Posted by: LarryG62 | October 20, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

We've had stupid, useless, figurehead-type Presidents as long as we've had Presidents.

And we are about to see something very rare happen: a very smart person is going to be elected POTUS. Obama.

Good luck to the stupid country or group that tries to screw with us. In '93 dems had a very green and unsuspecting team in place. In '01, the Bush people were practicing cowboy diplomacy in Pipelineistan.

'09 is a whole 'nother ballgame. Bring it on.

Posted by: jrob822 | October 20, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I think you are all mising the point. This is Biden's way of telling you that we will have to reinstate the draft and let Israel down.

Posted by: ChicagoforHillary | October 20, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

wes1155, Tina Fey WAS on, without Sarah Palin, each of the weekends prior to the Governor's appearance. Not as good of ratings as this weekend's show. Who knows, maybe it was Josh Brolin groupies who made the difference.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 20, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

McCain and the "VICTORY" shame game

McCain and the Republicans bring dishonor to our troops by applying the "Victory/Defeat" label to Iraq.

Our troops have followed their orders and have served with honor and dignity in Iraq. To add this polarizing label is to add the burden of shame to the backs of troops that already have suffered enough. As a Vietnam vet, McCain should know what the vets of that era went through when they came home and were labeled losers.

General Patraeus himself said he'd "Never Declare Victory" in this interview on 9/11/08 of all days!

McCain is wrong and just doesn't get it-- he should be ashamed.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 20, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, then, in that case; clearly, McCain is the better choice.


Great foreign policy. That's how we "won" the war in Iraq and Afghanistan...wait a minute...

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 20, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse


Come on now, it was Tina Fey who got the ratings, if Palin was on without Tina Fey it would be a completely different story. Fey's spoof of Palin is the draw, not Palin.

Posted by: wes1155 | October 20, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

David Wade:

I voted for JFK. Obama is no JFK.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse


Gov. Palin got higher ratings on SNL than Obama did.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Yup, the world may test a 72 year old grump who can't put a coherent policy sentence together and who's campaign staff's incompetence is only exceeded by former "spokeswoman" Carly Fiorina's stewadship at H-P when the value of the firm was cut in half and thousands lost their jobs.

Keep history in mind! JFK handled the Cuban Missle Crisis just fine!

Posted by: NotBubba | October 20, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse


I guess that depends what the hypothetical crisis is. Is it another Pearl Harbor?

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

***Breaking News****

Donald Rumsfeld repsonds to Biden comments by declaring his endorsement for McCain/Palin

Rumsfed also reccomends an immediate strike force be deployed to Wassilla to defend against current airspace violations

Posted by: McShameFalin | October 20, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I get a kick out of the idiot corporate media "pundits" who still insist that McCain is a "foreign policy expert".

Someone who still doesn't know the difference between the Sunni's and the Shiites in Iraq, blabs about staying in Iraq for 100 years and talks (sings) about bombing Iran off the face of the earth like McCain has, IS NOT A FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT!

Posted by: DrainYou | October 20, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh Ya... Obama will most likely work with his team and our allies to respond in a thoughtful, firm manner.

Diva McSurge will order up a half-dozen B-52s.

Posted by: Jaxxon | October 20, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Considering the tests McCain failed as head of the Senate Commerce Committee, failures of insight and judgment that fostered the current economic crisis and allowed it to grow for years, electing McCain would give him a do-over on causing the worst economic crisis of McCain's long life. Can we afford to elect a man with a record of proven failure?

Posted by: lonquest | October 20, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Consider the options: Hypothetical crisis in first 180 days of a new presidency...Obama will have a thoughtful verbal response to engage the other government in a discussion - diplomacy, while McCain will get out the guns, (remember: We are all Georgians!) I do not think we can afford yet another poorly planned war, just ask Colin Powell.

Posted by: axf56730 | October 20, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt either candidate will be tested. Obama has the intelligence and temperament to handle the kind of crisis we may hit. Mccain's temper and his neocon handlers are much likelier to get us into another war. No thank you.

Posted by: Ormsfang | October 20, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

You cannot restrain Joe Biden. He is the largest source of untapped natural gas in America. He is leaking all the time. If you can hook him up properly, he could light up the entire eastern seaboard.

Posted by: newyorkerphil | October 20, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh that poor Biden. He must feel left out of the media hoopla over Obama, Palin and McCain, in that order.

Posted by: AJ2008 | October 20, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse


Hypothetically, though, which President would "tested" more likely? I would submit not John "Bomb, bomb Iran" McCain.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing that this still happens. These guys don't yet seem to understand that there is no privacy in the 21st century.

Joe needs to stick to the talking points and say nothing else. Just like Palin.

Posted by: nahnopenotquite | October 20, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I won't either JakeD, because I will do my part to not let him have the opportunity to be tested as president.

Posted by: wes1155 | October 20, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I am not interested in empty rhetoric by a lifetime politician that has supported George W. Bush's policies 90% of the time. And what I do know, is that George W. Bush is not interested in the needs of the greater body of American citizens. He is interested in what he self-describes as his base, the "haves and have mores".

As Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski stated earlier today, agreeing with General Colin Powell, Barrack is transformational, he has what it takes to move the nation to the next level. On experience, he made said it best, George W. Bush had over 60 years of government experience around him advising him on the war in Iraq in the persons of Dick Chaney & Donald Rumsfeld, the engineers of the war. Look where that has gotten him.

My realistic expectation is the basic philosophy of the next president and the type of leadership that they will surround themselves with and seek advice from.

Our national security rest on security in the nation (social security), as well as on the world stage. McCain has no plan to strengthen the middle class.

McCain supports tax breaks for only the richest of the rich in America and NOTHING for the middle and lower class Americans.

I own a small business, and well, I haven't made $250,000 in a year yet. And unlike Joe the Plumber, I PAY my share of taxes. I need the tax break that Barrack promises. It is more of the same with McCain.

If I am not Haliburten, he is not interested in hearing from me.

That's not leadership, that is more of the same.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | October 20, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Check out the next Republican smear against Obama:

Tell your friends so that when someone brings this up you can say, "Boring...I heard about that hours ago"

Posted by: Snakeheader | October 20, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I will take my chances with the world NOT testing McCain.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

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