NH GOP Chairman Comments on the Selection of Joe Biden as Barack Obama's VP Choice

CONCORD, NH – State GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen issued the following statement today on Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden as his running mate: "That Barack Obama selected Joe Biden as his running mate is wholly consistent with his lack of experience and judgment. Joe Biden is hardly an agent of change – he has been a lifelong politician in Washington. Because of our first in the nation primary, New Hampshire voters know Biden very well from his multiple runs for the presidency – and because of his abundance of high profile gaffes and misstatements. Granite Staters have resoundingly rejected Joe Biden before and will do so once again."

BACKGROUND

VIEW THE MCCAIN TV AD “BIDEN” HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDVUPqoowf8

Script For "Biden" (TV :30)

ANNCR: What does Barack Obama's running mate say about Barack Obama?

ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You were asked, "Is he ready?" You said, "I think he can be ready but right now, I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."

JOE BIDEN: I think that I stand by the statement.

ANNCR: And what does he say about John McCain?

BIDEN: I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

AD FACTS: Script For "Biden" (TV :30)

ANNCR: What does Barack Obama's running mate say about Barack Obama? ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You were asked, "Is he ready?" You said, "I think he can be ready but right now, I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training." JOE BIDEN: I think that I stand by the statement.

· Joe Biden Said Obama Is Not Ready To Serve As President. ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "You were asked is he ready. You said 'I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.'" Sen. Biden: "I think that I stand by the statement." (ABC's, "This Week," 8/19/07)

ANNCR: And what does he say about John McCain? BIDEN: I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off. JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

· Joe Biden Said He'd Be Honored To Run With McCain. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart: "You may end up going against a Senate colleague, perhaps McCain, perhaps Frist?" Sen. Biden: "John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off -- be well off no matter who..." Stewart: "Did I hear, Did I hear with?" Sen. Biden: "You know, John McCain and I think" Stewart: "Don't become cottage cheese my friend. Say it." Sen. Biden: "The answer is yes." (Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" 8/2/05)

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The Case Against Joe Biden*

By Chris Cillizza

August 14, 2008; 12:47 PM ET

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/08/the_case_against_joe_biden.html

[…]

Over the course of his presidential bid, Biden cemented his reputation as -- how to put this nicely? -- less than disciplined on the campaign trail.

In the summer of 2006, as he was publicly mulling the race, Biden set off a controversy over comments he made about Indian Americans.

"I've had a great relationship [with Indian Americans]," Biden said. "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

On the day he formally announced his candidacy, a New York Observer story that quoted Biden as calling Obama "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" came out, and the resultant uproar effectively undercut any momentum Biden was hoping to build.

[…]

For a campaign that prides itself on its message discipline, choosing Biden would be introducing a wildcard into the mix. The Obama campaign exudes quiet confidence that if they do the basic political work between now and Nov. 4 the Illinois senator will be president. Do they really want to risk it with Biden?

Plagiarizer In Chief

Way back in 1987, Biden was riding high in the presidential race -- widely regarded as a serious contenders for the Democratic party's nod.

Then Neil Kinnock happened. Biden borrowed passages of a speech given by Kinnock, a leader in Britain's Labour Party, without attribution -- a mistake that led to a detailed examination of Biden's public statements that turned up several more examples of potential plagiarism and resume inflation. The feeding frenzy eventually chased the Delaware senator from the race.

[…]

Washington Insider

The central tenet of Obama's campaign message is that if Americans want to change their government, then they have to change the people they send to Washington.

Picking Biden, who has served in the Senate for the better part of the last four decades, seems to run counter to that core message. Biden was elected to the Senate at age 29 and spent only four years after graduating from Syracuse Law School in 1968 working in the private sector before entering public life.

Biden has long been a regular on the Sunday talk show circuit and is one of the pillars of the Democratic party establishment. His accomplishments -- of which there are many -- all were achieved as a senator operating inside the deepest heart of political Washington.

Biden allies note that despite his long service in Washington he is, at his core, an outsider inside the Beltway. While that may well be true, the optics for Obama aren't great; he can't change the fact that in picking Biden he would be going with someone who has spent nearly his entire adult life not only in politics but as a member of the world's greatest deliberative body.

Joe Loves Joe

One of the most overlooked episodes during the 1987 collapse of Biden's campaign was a snippet of footage captured by C-Span in which the Delaware senator, in response to a question about where he went to law school and what sort of grades he received, delivered this classic line: "I think I have a much higher IQ than you do."

While any human being -- especially a candidate for president who is constantly being poked and prodded -- can be forgiven a momentary flash of temper, Biden's detractors point to that incident as evidence that the senator thinks he is the bee's knees and doesn't care who knows it.

Biden, by his own admission, has the capacity to fall in love with his own voice and wander off on tangents about his life that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

During the 2006 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the Post's Dana Milbank wrote this of Biden's performance:

"Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his first 12 minutes of questioning the nominee, managed to get off only one question. Instead, during his 30-minute round of questioning, Biden spoke about his own Irish American roots, his "Grandfather Finnegan," his son's application to Princeton (he attended the University of Pennsylvania instead, Biden said), a speech the senator gave on the Princeton campus, the fact that Biden is "not a Princeton fan," and his views on the eyeglasses of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)."

Ouch.

[…]

Biden called Nevada more important than New Hampshire

Reno Gazette-Journal

http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080822/NEWS19/80822081/1232

August 22, 2008

U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden quit the 2008 Democratic presidential nominating contest 16 days before the Nevada caucus that was held on Jan. 19.

Biden -- now the apparent vice presidential running mate of Barack Obama -- ended his presidential bid Jan. 3 after placing poorly in the Iowa caucus.
Biden, D-Del., spent little time personally campaigning in Nevada and had one of the smaller field staffs.
But in a telephone interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal in late November 2007, Biden said he ranked Nevada as more important than New Hampshire when it came to the early primary events.
"In truth, most of our time is going to be spent in Iowa, then Nevada, then New Hampshire, sort of in that order," he told RGJ political reporter Anjeanette Damon.
"The caucus is such an unusual process that in relative terms, a relatively few number of people will determine the winner out there ... So, Nevada needs a little more hands-on involvement," Biden said.
Damon told readers on Dec. 2 not to expect Biden to be spending much time in Nevada or anywhere else, however, if he didn't place in the top three in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucus.
"If I come in first, second, if I'm one of the top three, I think I'm in good shape," he said at the time.
"Now, if I come in a distant fourth, I'm out of this. As, I would argue, anybody else is. There's only three people basically coming out of Iowa and heading to New Hampshire."
New Hampshire's primary was Jan. 8, followed 11 days later by Nevada's caucus on Jan. 19.
An August 2007 statewide poll by the RGJ found Biden with 2 percent support. It was 3 percent in November 2007.
Biden position himself as the candidate with the most foreign policy experience to steer America.
"It's so frustrating to keep hearing: 'Oh yeah, Biden would be the best candidate, and the best president but I don't think he can win the primary,'" Biden told a group of Nevada supporters over the phone last fall.
Biden failed to register any higher than single digit support in Nevada polls and was near the bottom of the Democratic field in fund-raising.
Damon reported that Biden was running a skeleton presidential campaign in Nevada, with three paid staffers and a cadre of committed volunteers.
Two of Biden's three Nevada staff members were moved to Iowa to finish out the campaign there.
Biden's performance in the Las Vegas debate began catching some Nevada voters' attention late last fall.
"He's considered to have one of the strongest plans on ending the Iraq War, which he has stressed on the stump in Iowa," Damon wrote.
"Rather than simply focusing on troop withdrawal, Biden's plan outlines a proposed political settlement that would divide Iraq into three religious or ethnic regions with a loose federal government."
Biden said: "The longer we go in the position we're in, without a political settlement, the harder it will be to get the troops out.
"The truth of the matter is, from the time I'm elected president—if the President (Bush) doesn't attempt to implement this plan at all— from the time I became president, it will take a minimum of a year to get all the American troops out."