Biden Appears on ‘The Daily Show,’ Defends Remarks About Obama

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By: E&P Staff

Sen. Joseph Biden, in hot water today — on his first day in the race for president — over remarks about Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats, appeared, wisely or not, on The Daily Show tonight. There he said that he was simply trying to be “complimentary” toward Sen. Barack Obama, but wasn’t “artful” in doing so. He said the “word that really got me in trouble” was calling Obama “clean….I should have said fresh. What I meant was he?s got new ideas.”

He said he had called Obama today, to which host Jon Stewart said, “I bet you did.” Biden then said he also called former candidates Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to which Stewart added: “And Michael Jordan?”

When Biden first appeared stage, Stewart teased, “How’s your day been?” Biden said, “It’s a tough game,” and crossed himself.

Stewart asked if wanted to talk about his comments today and Biden replied, “No, I don’t want to talk about it,” but it was hard to tell if he was joking. In any case, he had no choice.

Biden had called Obama “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

He stood by his comments that were harshly critical of Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards on their Iraq politics. He called Clinton’s plan a “bad idea” and “counter productive.”

Stewart reminded him that just yesterday he had told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he had learned from previous campaigns to be careful, since “words matter.” Stewart said, “And then you came out with this one,” quoting the lines about Obama.

Biden said the whole day was a “reminder — ‘welcome back to presidential politics.'”

Stewart advised in a whisper, “When you are about to say one of those things, take a deep breath and count to 10.”

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