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Joe Biden at Seattle fund raiser transcript says Obama will be tested


WASHINGTON--John McCain is going after Joe Biden on Tuesday for remarks Biden made Sunday at a Seattle fund-raiser about how Barack Obama, 47, will be tested by "the world" to see if he is tough enough. This off message message from Biden came during a long discussion about Obama. Click for the pool report with the entire transcript.

Lynn: here's that pool report -- notice that this comment is setting up his description of why Obama is the guy to deal with tough times:

Subject: Biden Seattle fundraiser pool report (#2 of 2)
Pool report
Seattle, WA fundraiser (#2 of 2)
Sunday, October 19, 2008

*** I have audio if anyone needs it.

For his second Seattle fundraiser of the evening, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., spoke in a smaller ballroom at the downtown Sheraton Hotel, following the introduction of Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash..

The estimated total haul for Biden's fundraisers in the Emerald City this evening: a cool million bucks.

"I'm losing my voice, which would make everybody in the Senate very happy," said Biden at the outset of money-pitch part deux.

But despite his cold, the senator pressed on, speaking for about 15 minutes.

"You should have told me about your prowess," he told the Obama supporters about their fundraising skills.

"I just wasted a whole year hanging out waiting for something to happen," he joked about his own failed presidential bid.

Biden then implored the audience of organizers to help re-elect Gov. Chris Gregoire.

"It is almost as important that you re-elect the governor as it is that you elect the next president," he said.

But back to the Obama/Biden campaign...

"One of the things we're trying to do in this race is not just change the agenda, but we're trying to change the chessboard here. We're trying to change the way politicians have played, the divisive politics."

"Clinton was such an incredibly talented, incredibly talented president and politician, he was able to run upstream," Biden noted. "The truth of the matter was that if you noticed, even in those days, it was not a direct confrontation of the agenda. What we had to do was a little jujitsu."

"That was what drove the Republicans crazy - he took their playbook and he turned it on them."

As he has in the past, Biden described how the nation is at "an inflection point", one of "maybe five times in American history since the founding".

"The next four years are going to determine what it looks like 25 years from now because we either get this right internationally or we're in trouble," he said, citing the Korean peninsula and Pakistan as potential hot-spots.

He then talked about the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

"It's where al Qaeda lives. It's there. It's real. We focus so much on the bad policy on Iraq, we sometimes seem to think that somehow there isn't a real problem. Our CIA has pointed out that bin Laden is alive and well, Iraq, excuse me, in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He's getting (inaudible) and support from those tribal areas. You have, folks, the Taliban is coming back. We're on the verge of finding ourselves in a position to see the regression occurring in Pakistan.

Biden emphasized the importance of injecting economic assistance to build hospitals, roads, and schools.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee warned that unless people there have "a reason to look to Islamabad instead of looking to the tribally-controlled areas, then in fact we got no hope, folks."

"Bin Laden is alive and well," he cautioned. "Our own agencies have pointed out that we have created more terrorists than we have dissuaded and destroyed as a consequence of shredding the constitution, keeping Guantanamo open."

"We talk about Iran getting a nuclear weapon and threatening Israel and us. Let me tell ya something, Pakistan already is bristling with nuclear weapons, all of which can hit Israel right now, all of which can strike the Mediterranean and well into the Indian Ocean."

Biden recalled when his helicopter came down in a snowstorm at 10,500 feet in the middle of the mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

"You literally can see what these kids are up against, our kids in that region. The place is crawling with al Qaeda. And it's real."

"My generic point is you can't win it militarily," he said. "You gotta go beyond that."

He showered praise on Cantwell for her work in foreign affairs before referencing an article by the "most enlightened conservative columnist in America", David Brooks.

"David Brooks wrote a piece basically endorsing Barack Obama last week in the New York Times. You should get it. And I think it best summarizes why Barack is the right guy at the right moment for this job, that he understands, like Maria does, he looks at this from a very different perspective. This is the 21st century. We do not have the military capacity, nor have we ever, quite frankly, in the last 20 years, to dictate outcomes. It's so much more important than that. It's so much more complicated than that. And Barack gets it."

So why was Biden saying this to the crowd of supporters? He'll tell ya why...

"We're gonna find ourselves in real trouble when we get elected. This is gonna be really hard. This is gonna be really, really, really hard. We're gonna have the largest systemic deficit in modern - not modern - in the history of the world. Literally. Literally. We're gonna find ourselves inheriting a debt, yearly debt this year, that may approach three-quarters of a trillion dollars. You hear me? We left this guy with a $232 billion surplus. At a minimum when we take office - God willing - we're gonna have a $450 billion deficit. And the way the economy is tanking the way it is now it may be as high as $750 billion."

"28 states are in serious trouble and they're about to contribute to the economic downward spiral because what are they doing? Cutting services, laying people off as they lose their tax base. So there are going to be a lot of tough decisions Barack's gonna have to make, a lot of tough decisions, including on foreign policy."

"And here's the point I want to make. Mark my words. 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. 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. And he's gonna have to make some really tough - I don't know what the decision's gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it's gonna happen. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate. And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you, not financially to help him, we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right. Because all these decisions, all these decisions, once they're made if they work, then they weren't viewed as a crisis. If they don't work, it's viewed as you didn't make the right decision, a little bit like how we hesitated so long dealing with Bosnia and dealing with Kosovo, and consequently 200,000 people lost their lives that maybe didn't have to lose lives. It's how we made a mistake in Iraq. We made a mistake in Somalia. So there's gonna be some tough decisions. They may emanate from the Middle East. They may emanate from the sub-continent. They may emanate from Russia's newly-emboldened position because they're floating in a sea of oil."

After again touting Cantwell's judgment, Biden told the crowd to "gird your loins."

"Only thing I'm asking you is, you know, gird your loins. We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It's like cleaning the Aegean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than - think about it, literally, think about it - this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets, this is a systemic problem we have with this economy."

As he did last week in Missouri, Biden then touted Obama's team of economic advisers.

"I have great respect and have had great respect for a long time for Barack Obama, but I've never, I never thought that I'd have the kind of respect I have after watching him assemble probably the finest economic team that's been put together in the history of this country, Democrats and Republicans. You should see him orchestrate these meetings we have with 18 of the best minds in the world, from both parties. There's no doubt about who's charge, Gov. There's no doubt. There's no doubt about how incisive his questions are. What he asks of this group is stunning in terms of there responses. They kind of go, 'whoa, whoa!' This guy has an ability to move to the quick of things like anybody I've ever served with, at least this up close. So I think we're gonna put our hands, take this ship (inaudible) in the right hands. I think we got this ticket right. I think we got it in the right balance here."

After a round of applause, Biden continued.

"I've forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know, so I'm not being falsely humble with you. I think I can be value added, but this guy has it. This guy has it. But he's gonna need your help. Because I promise you, you all are gonna 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."

Noting that he's a practicing Irish-Catholic, the Delaware lawmaker said, "Let's not be, for those of a different faith remember St. Peter denied Christ thrice, you know? We don't need anybody denying us, this is gonna be tough. There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go 'whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don't know about that decision.' Because if you think the decision is sound when they're made, which I believe you will when they're made, they're not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they're popular, they're probably not sound."

While the crowd laughed, Biden noticed your pooler in the back of the room pounding away at his keyboard.

"I probably shouldn't have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here," the senator said.

"All kidding aside, these guys have left us in a God-awful place. We have the ability to straighten it out. It's gonna take a little bit of time, so I ask you to stay with us. Stay with us."

And with that, he handed the mic back to Cantwell.

Matthew Jaffe
ABC News
Washington, DC


People think Sarah Palin is not ready to be the President of the United States but Joe Biden is ready? He's not even ready to make another speech that he won't have to lip sinc in the future.

Uh, you might want to correct "Aegean" to read "Augean," since Senator Biden went to the trouble to use a classical reference as a metaphor for the enormity of the job the next president faces.

Just sayin'...

He is already peparing people for them to break all the promises they are making. I don't like the sound of any of it.

Biden is right. There will be many, many crises, both domestic and international, naturally occuring and generated, confronting the next president of the United States. McCain is completely out of touch if he thinks he would not be tested if elected. McCain would probably be tested even more because of his alignment with the Bush Administration. To McCain’s other quality of poor judgment (per Senate Ethics Committee), let’s add lack of foresight.

Obama (like Bill Clinton) has the brains to deal with any crisis. He also has presidential temperament, ability to communicate, steadiness. And, unlike McCain, Obama can multi-task. In a crisis, we are in trouble with McCain:

Per lifelong conservative Republican Ken Adelman,

“When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.”

Biden is the imcessant gaffe master. What was this man thinking? Has he never heard the expression, "Loose lips sink ships?" If there were some plans afoot, then the element of surprise is right down the toilet. If Biden isn't on a teleprompter, he puts out a continuous stream of hot air, much of which defies credibility. God help us if anything happens to Obama and this jerk becomes POTUS.

Will any of the media follow-up on Biden's following comment, "Mark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, we’re gonna face a major international challenge because they’re gonna wanna test us.

I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate and he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you - not financially to help him - we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right."

Is Biden offering some privileged info from last week's security meeting the 4 candidates had with the administration? Seems unwise to send a signal out to the enemy that we know something that you know.

The media has chosen the wunderkindt and refuse to hold him (Obama) accountable for statements made. They persist in attacking the Republican.

Hey Joe, loose lips DO sink ships!

I'd love to believe in McCain or Obama but look at their early decision-making ie. their running mates. Is it our choices given to us or that our choice making is impaired? It's a moot point.

The elites do have a code of conduct. They tell us how we're going to get screwed well in advance. (Their code of conduct requires it... its just that few pay attention). Biden delivered a message: the banker/oil men who rule the world will test Obama the same way they did Kennedy. If he fails their test (does what is right) he will be ... well... as McCain puts it... INTERVEINED. Wake up people... this is war and you are the enemy.

"make no mistake" this is no gaffe. Biden has said this twice, the first time at a fundraiser in Seattle, and a day later in San Fran. This is no slip of the tongue, just a few days before this, both presidential candidates and their staff were brought to the White House for debriefing and staff vetting (for a smooth transition of power). Both parties know something and Biden can't keep a lid on it. He reminds me of that cartoon character running around saying "I know something you don't know...." He's clearly telling us we are not going to like what we see if NoBama becomes president.... mark his words. Those who have ears listen to what's being said, and what's not being reported!!!! do your own investigating, PLEASE!!!

This sounds like a movie of the week! Maybe Biden jockeyed himself into the VP position and has put a hit out on Obama so he can take over!!

Well, "Thank you Joe Biden." I was undecided until you 'spilled the beans'. If electing you and Obama means that "were gonna be in real trouble" I'll pass. If the world is going to have to try you to find out what your made of or not made of, again, I have to pass. If electing you is going to guarantee a "generated international crisis" sorry, I have children to think of, and I can't baby sit government.
I believe after reading this article, that military action is inevitable, the troops are not coming home, they will just be relocated. Afghanistan, Pakistan sound familiar anyone? Wouldn't that make the American people unhappy? Don't we want our troops home? A war on another front with more nations?? At least with McCain we know the troops are going to be there, and we know what to expect, and you sir, scare me!

Obama did not have the brains to reform fannie/freddie when given the chance. Mac did.
Obama did not have the brains to vote for the surge when given the chance. Mac did.
Obama does not have the brains to understand that raising capital gains tax will result in less revenue to the government. Mac does.
So, I've come to the conclusion that Obama has no brains and Mac does.

For those who dont comprehend what Biden is trying to tell you gezz maybe you were dropped as a infant, Are next President who ever it is
has a plate full of problems that wont be solved the way everyone wants them to be solved, Im angry as h--- that we blew eight hundred billion
just to by us about six months of the same, then
will need about sixteen hundred billion, Ron Paul
tried to explain it to congress and senate and even schooled them on economics, they did change the way they were going to spend the money but its not gonna work, HAVE A NICE DAY

Along with all of the other reasons not to vote Obama/Biden , add the apparent fact that Americas enemies will attack us if Obama wins ! As far as I'm concered that means that just having McCain as President means we're already safer ! Biden might not know how Obama will act, but you can bet it won't be swift and decisive - gathering together the world community to work out a response that they all will allow the U.S. to carry out takes time after all . Dont let future historians write that Obama fiddled while the U.S. burned !

Senator Biden is stating that Senator Obama will need the help of the country in the form of moral support.

He is not saying that Obama will need any foreign policy help, per se. He clearly stated that anyone who tests the mettle of the man will find that Senator Obama has a spine of steel.

What seems to be sorely missing from all these reports and comments is that Biden wasn't saying that Obama (and therefore, America) will be tested "if" he's elected. He was actually making the case that whoever is elected, that person *will* be tested and, if it's Obama who's elected, those attempting to test him will see what he's made of! We're not going to be in (more) trouble just because we elect Obama - we're already in hot water and it's the fault of the Bush administration. There's nothing we can do about it - we all know that we're screwed no matter what we do. But Obama, when tested (as has already been demonstrated), will show that he has the backbone to not let his emotions or ego be the impetus for getting us involved in more wars! And that's the point.

How two-faced can this Obama/Biden pair be? This is the first time in my life that I will vote Republican, which pains me, but these guys scare the s#%@ out of me! Why wouldn't their supporters like the decisions they make??? What are they planning???!!!

Hey Nichole R, Read it again ! Joey Champ refered specificly to Obama apx. 5 times , not just "whoever" is elected.

scroll down to biden in his own words to hear the comment for youself

Yo IAC - "normal" VP nominees ALWAYS refer to the top of the ticket as the inevitable president, not to a generic future president. Just because you have a decidedly abnormal VP nominee who hasn't got a clue, don't start pretending that Biden doesn't understand the importance of supporting your own presidential candidate.

Palin has abandoned Papa McCain and started her 2012 campaign so of course SHE doesn't try to get HER audiences envisioning a McCain presidency!

For all those Peaceniks for Obama, who didn't quite get what Biden was spewing;
"He (Joe Biden) then talked about the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
"It's where al Qaeda lives. It's there. It's real. We focus so much on the bad policy on Iraq, we sometimes seem to think that somehow there isn't a real problem. Our CIA has pointed out that bin Laden is alive and well, Iraq, excuse me, in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He's getting (inaudible) and support from those tribal areas. You have, folks, the Taliban is coming back. We're on the verge of finding ourselves in a position to see the regression occurring in Pakistan."

Listen, Obama wants to get us out of Iraq, but ONLY because he calls that the WRONG BATTLEGROUND, and he will take the U.S. military into Afghanistan and Pakistan, because he says those are the RIGHT BATTLEGROUNDS!
Read it on his own DNC website in his own words, before it disappears;

And, here;

Oh, and, he wants his own mandatory draft army (males and females,18-25) and mandatory 2 yr government service for everyone up to age 42,
He and Hillary supported House Bill 393 in 2007, to restart the draft and this mandatory service, but it failed before it reached them in the Senate. Voted down, 2-402.
Obama will need a huge army to carry out his plans, and, as he says, a citizen component, no doubt to enforce your "support" of him when he makes those nasty "unpopular decisions" during his time of trying.
If you thought Bush was bad,,,just think of this;

Supermajority of Democrats
+ Obama
+ Patriot Act
+ Obama Nation Troops

It's easy to tell when Obama is lying, his lips are moving!

"ACORN & Obama How Allied? To What End?"

Michelle Obama quotes hardcore NeoMarxist,Saul Alinsky, "Rules for Radicals"

ACORN trained their members using Alinsky's NeoMarxism

I know that alot of people don't like Joe because he is a blunder when it comes to his speeches. Personally, he is a bit refreshing because he has the audacity to not perform or rehearse as if this is an audition. I need to know what is going on and I need to get his feedback on it. He's just not political even after all those years in Washington. He knows what's up the shute. If Bush was coherent enough to listen if told about 9/11, would he? Or would his ego about no one attacking on American soil allow them to do just what they did.

I know that alot of people don't like Joe because he is a blunder when it comes to his speeches. Personally, he is a bit refreshing because he has the audacity to not perform or rehearse as if this is an audition. I need to know what is going on and I need to get his feedback on it. He's just not political even after all those years in Washington. He knows what's up the shute. If Bush was coherent enough to listen if told about 9/11, would he? Or would his ego about no one attacking on American soil allow them to do just what they did. Nothing.

It just seems like a gaffe because he is speaking homestly. We're in two wars, we're completely bankrupt, the world hates us - of course it's gonna suck. It makes NO difference who gets elected - except in how they deal with how sucky it is. Given that, I'll go with Obama over McSame anyday.


It sure seems that Biden is just honest. Anyone that thinks the next president won't be tested is living under a rock. McCain and even more importantly Palin couldn't handle a major crisis. McCain already proved he couldn't run a campaign and handle a economic bailout at the same time. What next will he not be able to handle?

The Democratic reply in these comments is what scares me even more. Wake up people and see this for WHAT IT IS! It's some scary stuff! STOP THE SPIN! It INFURIATES me that this is not covered by the local media outlets. Sad to say most people vote by what they see on these "news" shows and it's just plain WRONG to not fully and fairly inform the public of "blunders" (if that is what we are nicely calling it now) from BOTH sides.

I don't like the sound of this. Sounds like preparation for a combination of martial law and more involvement in international financial and military conflicts.

Having read this article, it is quite clear to me that Biden was painting a scenario of what will happen in the first six months of a new presidency given the current political and economic climate. He was inserting Obama's name in there because... heck, if Biden doesn't assume Obama will be the next president, who will?

I have been listening to McCain Palin tell us all why Obama Biden is the wrong choice and telling us what Obama Biden are planning to do for so long that, if I was a complete moron with absolutely no critical-thinking ability, I might not notice that McCain Palin has completely forgotten to tell us THEIR plan.

Please, listen to what the candidates are saying THEY will do, not what they say their opponants will do. It is much more elucidating.

After 7 years of no attacks on American soil, Biden is foretelling a major attack to "test the mettle" of Obama. What exactly is a "generated crisis"? Is it a crisis created with an agenda and a "generated solution"?

Obama's approach to the "worst economic disaster since the Great Depression" was "Call me if you need me". Will that be his answer in this imminent crisis as president, too? The test will come because terrorists are not afraid of Obama and his watch will be the perfect time to attack.

Biden warns that Obama needs help (ready to lead on day one?) and that it won't be apparent that they will make the right decisions. He then foretells about Obama's low marks in future polls. Nothing like setting the bar of expectation low. Perhaps Biden is once again reminding us that Obama is NOT ready lead.

Biden compares denying him and Senator Obama to the Apostle Peter's denial of Christ? I have heard people call Obama 'the chosen one' but isn't this going a little far?

Biden realized he shouldn't have said all this the press was there. Well, Senator, the dawn and change really are coming, though perhaps not what you were expecting. We may cling to our guns and religion, but we DO listen to what you say. It speaks much louder than you think.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Personally, I've distanced myself from this entire campaign. I wasn't even going to vote until Palin came on the ticket. Now I'm forced to vote for Obama.

Biden is a talker; that's his style, like it or not. But he was giving an honest warning that I feel is linked to this economic mess. For a long time the "New World Order" has wanted a single global currency controlled by a single central bank.

I don't see how it can be avoided now. We can see, even as the election draws near, the process of concentrating the banking system of this country into a few banks controlled by a private corporation -- the Federal Reserve. So, however we go from Obama's first day in office, we will probably hate it.

How to avoid it? I have no clue, and neither does anyone else who doesn't want a single entity that rules this global mess. We'll just have to play it as it comes.

The "Strategy of tension" by western intelligence we be unleashed in full force. Read, learn & expose!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 21, 2008 2:59 PM.

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