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He tells panelist and program co-founder Lawrence Spivak "anything that makes any race feel inferior Jackie Robinson, the first man to break the racial barrier in Major League Baseball, also becomes the first athlete to appear on "Meet the Press. Here she talks about her trip to the Soviet Union. Indeed, it can be said that he is the poet of all mankind. Castro was annoyed that permanent panelist and producer Lawrence Spivak would not allow him to smoke cigars in the studio. Civil Rights leader Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy October 16, After this interview, then-Senator John F. I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities. And how will she fare against her Democratic counterpart this fall?
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- 'Meet the Press' transcript for Sept. 7, 2008
We'll ask him in his first Sunday morning interview as the Democratic vice presidential nominee; Senator Joe Biden of Delaware. Plus, two big issues facing the candidates this fall: What does the next administration need to do for our planet?
Joining us, the author of the new book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded: But first, here this morning for an exclusive interview, the man Obama picked two weeks ago to be his running mate, Senator Joe Biden of Wilmington, Delaware.
It's, by our account, your 42nd appearance here. First one, first one in Delaware. Thanks for coming up, Tom. Well, you were, you were here earlier this summer saying you would accept, but you didn't necessarily want the vice presidential nomination at that time.
Well, I told you exactly what I thought, and it was true. I, I was very satisfied in the job I had as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and I thought I could help the ticket that way. And--but Barack asked me to do it and I had committed to him, and if he wanted me--whatever he wanted me to do, I'd do, because I think this election is so critical. Let's talk about this past week.
You and I were just watching Sarah Palin And when she used that line, being a mayor is like being a community organizer except you have actual responsibilities, you said, "Pretty good line.
Yeah, it was a great line. She had a number of good lines. She had a number of good ones. Look, she's a smart, tough politician, and so I, I think she's going to be very formidable. But you know, eventually she's going to have to sit in front of you like I'm doing and have done. Eventually she's going to have to answer questions and not be sequestered.
Eventually she's going to have to answer questions about her record. Who was the first person you called after the speech? I didn't call anybody. I didn't--I happened to be--I didn't get her--I didn't see her speech, I saw part of it. I--we were, we were flying to--from Florida to Virginia, and I caught the tail end of it. And--oh, I guess I--actually, I called my wife. I called my wife.
And what did she say? She said she thought she was tough. She thought she was tough and she was a good politician. And so, you know, but who knows where this is going to go.
You know, it's early in the process and the voters are going to make judgments about Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, and--but the truth is they're mostly going to make judgments about Barack Obama and John McCain. Vice presidents are useful, but we're not, we're not determinative.
Already people are saying no one has a tougher job in the base than Joe Biden. He has to go up against this woman and she has been teed up, in many ways, by the Republican Party as someone that you just can't go after And--but you know, I, I've debated an awful lot of tough, smart women. A woman who's a judge here in our superior court was one of my toughest opponents ever for the Senate. And there's a lot of very tough, smart women in the United States Senate I debate every day. So in that sense it's not new.
But what is new is I have no idea what her policies are. I assume they're the same as John's. I just don't know. She did get off to a very fast start the day after they left St. They were out in Wisconsin, at Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Here were just some of the signs. Huge lineup of women, some of them with their daughters.
What brought you out here today? She's already so familiar to women that they're using her first name, Sarah. Does that give your ticket a problem, because there was a dust-up obviously between the Hillary Clinton supporters and the Obama campaign?
Well look, I, I live with a lot of smart women. My wife is a professor and hard-working person. You know, I think it's kind of demeaning to suggest that all women are going to vote for a woman just because she's a woman even when she's diametrically opposed to everything Hillary stands for.
I mean, I hear this talk about, you know, is she going to pick up Hillary voters? Well, I--so far I haven't heard one single policy position, one single position that she has in common with Hillary.
So I, I just think, you know, all folks are a little more discriminating than just merely whether or not it's the same sex or the same ethnicity or whatever. But we'll see, we'll see. The truth is, I don't know. I want to move on in a moment, but there's another headline that appeared in the New York Post.
Oprah Winfrey decided not to have Sarah Palin on the show before the election.
'08 Meet the Press transcripts, resources, video
Oprah did come out for Barack Obama, did have him on the show. Do you think that some people will see that as an elitist position, that in some ways Democrats may be afraid of her, Sarah Palin? Oh, no, I don't think so. I mean, I think it's--well, I don't--look, that's for voters to decide. You're not going to see anything elitist--look, what you hear immediately from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, families off-limits and we mean it, that the personal stuff relating to some of the stuff that was popping out on, on the talk shows is just inappropriate.
She's going to be judged, I assume, the same way I'm going to be judged. What does she know, what does she think, what's her record, what's she going to do? And as I look down the road, that's how I've always debated whoever I've debated, including the really tough women I work with, smart women, in the Senate. So I, I, I really don't view this any differently.
I may be surprised here down the road. But, but, you know, I'm just looking forward to debating her. I mean, why--look, she had a great speech. But what was--her silence on the issues was deafening.
She didn't mention a word about healthcare, a word about the environment, a word about the middle class. They never parted her lips. I mean, so I don't know where she is on those things. Let's talk about the polls, if we can for a moment. I think we're at the end of stage three of a long campaign for president. You have candidates who announced, then you had the primaries, then you have the convention, then you have the debates and then you have the runoff which leads to the election. Here's what happened last week according to the Gallup Poll.
We're going to show you the tracking that went on. On Monday, you had about a six-point lead over John McCain. It went to an eight-point lead by Tuesday. But then it began to tighten up and by the time you got to Saturday, it was just two points separating the two of them. So it's fair to say, I think, that the Republicans got the bounce out of this convention that they wanted to get. Oh, I, I think we got the bounce and they got the bounce and then it ended up right where it was before.
Look, Barack and I have never thought this was going to be anything other than a close election down to the wire. This is going to get down to, you know, I think we're going to be--you're going to be sitting up very late at night deciding I've done it before. I know you have. I hope--hopefully, you're not going to be in a position where we're going to be recounting anything.
But look, I--we've assumed from the beginning this is going to be a close, tough race. This is a historic race. You have not only in terms of the candidates, but the time. You said before the--if you don't mind me saying, we were sitting here, you said, "Look, John McCain had this gigantic number of people watching. Barack had 38 and he had 39 million or whatever it was," but more than ever watched a convention. People are focused, man. Their lives, as they view it, their standing in the middle class, their standing in the world, depends on it.
So I think this is going to be a very focused election. Will you send Hillary Clinton into those working class states that she won and where there are a lot of independents or the so-called Reagan Democrats who have not made up their minds, states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana, will she be a big player for this campaign for your candidacy in those states? Well, I think she is a big player, and you know, as a matter of fact, I hope I'll be campaigning with her in some of those states, particularly in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
She's indicated she's prepared to do it. Bill Clinton's indicated to me he's prepared to go anywhere and campaign with us. That's a process being worked out now, how to mechanically do that. But no, no, I think, I think Hillary's going to play a major role here. She's a major force in not only a Democratic Party, she's a major force in American politics. Side by side with Barack Obama and you, or will they go independently? My guess is all three. My guess is we'll occasionally be side by side with me, with Barack, and I imagine independently as well.
As you know, earlier in the campaign, Barack Obama said that he would be willing to appear in town halls, a proposition put forth by John McCain, go around the country, appear two, three times a week in different venues, and then he decided not to.
He wanted to confine it to just three debates. Those numbers that we just referred to, 38 million people watching Senator Obama, 39 million watching McCain, 38 million watching Governor Palin the other night, that is an indication this country is really tuned in in a way that I can't remember maybe since Why not have town halls?
Well, that's a little above my pay grade, to use the phrase. I mean, it's a decision the campaign made before I got on the campaign, before I was picked, but Do you think it's a good idea? But--no, I think, I think you're going to learn more from having--look, you just got finished pointing out how many people watched this. I think those debates that are going to take place, the three critical debates between the two nominees, are going to be the most watched debates in the history of American politics, and I think people are going to get everything they need out of those debates, plus they're going to have an opportunity to--look, another reason why, in my view--I can't speak for the campaign, because I haven't gotten into--I mean, I just got on the ticket--is that, you know, we have a different focus.
For example, I'm headed to--we think we can win Montana. Now, you know, they'd like very much to not, not spend a lot of time in Montana and Virginia and another 12 states or so that were Republican states we think we can compete in and win. And so when you decide on doing, you know, a campaign, a town hall, you know, every week, what you do, you significantly constrain your ability to get to places where Democratic candidates haven't spent much time before. Let's talk about some issues.
Let's begin with Iraq if we can. There was an enlightening exchange this past week between Senator Obama at the top of the ticket and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, talking about the surge, which has been a point of contention in this debate. Bill O'Reilly said, "Why can't you acknowledge that the surge was a success. Bill, what I've said is, I've already said, it succeeded beyond our wildest dreams, which is Right, so why can't you just say, "I was right in the beginning and I was wrong about the surge"?
Because there is an underlying problem with what we've done. We have reduced the violence He is talking about political reconciliation, but he also said that it has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations. This was your take on the surge at that time, so let's listen to that, Senator.
Sept. 7: Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Tom Friedman - Meet the Press | NBC News
He may be the only one who believes that. Virtually no one else believes it's a good idea. It's not a victory, as Senator Lindsey Graham said the other night Or as John McCain said. Or John McCain said, but the conditions are in place, and Anbar province, where you have been, where there had been so much difficulty, the Iraqis now have taken over that province.
We have brigades that have Sunnis and Shia serving side by side But it's a process, and it's beginning, and the surge made that possible, did it not? The surge helped make that--what made is possible in Anbar province is they did what I'd suggested two and a half years ago: They turned over and they said to the Sunnis in Anbar province, "We promise you, don't worry, you're not going to have any Shia in here.
There's going to be no national forces in here. We're going to train your forces to help you fight al-Qaeda. The awakening was not an awakening by us, it was an awakening of the Sunnis in Anbar province willing to fight.
Cooperating with the Shia.
Interview: Donald Trump Interviewed by Chuck Todd on NBC's Meet the Press - December 20, 2015
Cooperating with--no, they weren't cooperating with Shiite. They didn't cooperate with the Shiites. Once the awakening got under way. No, they didn't cooperate with the Shiites. It's still--it's a big problem, Tom. You got--we're paying bucks a month to each of those guys. Now the problem has been and the, and the promise was made by Maliki that they would be integrated into the overall military. That's a process that is beginning in fits and starts now, but it's far from over.
Far from--look, the bottom line here is that it's--let's--the surge is over. Here's the real point. Whether or not the surge worked is almost irrelevant now. We're in a new deal. What is the administration doing? They're doing what Barack Obama has suggested over 14 months ago, turn responsibility over and draw down our troops.
We're about to get a deal from the president of the United States and Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government, that's going to land on my desk as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee saying we're going to set a timeline to draw down our forces. The only guy in America out of step is John McCain. John McCain's saying no timeline. They've signed on to Barack Obama's proposal. But the surge helped make that timeline possible, did it not? Well, it did help make it possible.
But it's not the reason. Look, they also--take a look at the analysis, Tom. They say the reason why there's such success against the, the insurgency is because of now small, very well trained counterinsurgency units. It's not the numbers, it's the type of units that are in there. What I was arguing about before was we have the wrong units in there. We have the wrong kind of force in there. We weren't focused on counterinsurgency. And so look--but, but, but the bottom line is we can argue about whether the surge was good, bad or indifferent.
Let's assume it was all good. The truth of the matter is, what do we do now? What's John McCain going to do when he's president? He says he will not sign on to a timeline, number one.
Number two, he has no, no idea, no suggestion how he's going to deal with the neighbors.
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He has no idea how he's going to deal with Iraq. He has no idea how he's going to deal with Syria. He has no idea how he's going to deal with Turkey. We have laid out a clear plan.
But two years ago you were the principal author, along with Les Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations, of an entirely different kind of plan. You were promoting heavily the idea of a confederation, or a partition. That's exact--not, not a partition. You guys keep saying that. It was never a partition. Or the--we'll make it a confederation.
That's what it was.