Biden on Negative Tone: 'You Don't Want to Encourage Fringe People'

When asked if his vice presidential opponent, Gov. Sarah Palin, is qualified to be president, Biden said "that's really for the public to decide." Biden said that he finds her to be "engaging."

"She's obviously captured the imagination of millions of Americans. And what I make of her is she seems to agree with John McCain on his notion of governance, the role of government, everything from taxes to foreign policy. … And I have fundamental disagreement with she and John on -- as Barack does -- on the major [issues.]"

"It seems to me a pretty open and shut case," Biden continued. "You may not like our ideas, but it's clear, the ideas they continue to cling to have been of no value, no value in us avoiding getting dug into this very deep hole economically and internationally."

Joe Biden's Scranton Roots

Biden often cites his childhood years in Scranton as a formative influence on his life and political career. He told Moran that he can recall when his father came home to Scranton from World War II.

"After the war we came home, he came home, my mom's home. And they planned on settling [in Scranton], but there was no work," he said.

After the family moved to Wilmigton, Biden said they returned to Scranton "all the time."

"All these folks are like the folks I grew up with," Biden said, and he isn't the only politician to use Scranton to exemplify hard-working, middle-class America. At an Obama rally in Scranton on Sunday, Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke of her family's roots in northeastern Pennsylvania, where "people are tough."

"It starts right here in Scranton where my father was raised and where he's buried," she said. "The people in Scranton and northeastern Pennsylvania are like people I've met across America. The kind of people who get up every single day and work hard. You don't ask for much. You never give up. You soldier on for your families and your communities. "

The Catholic Bishop in Scranton, Joseph F. Martino, has said that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should be denied access to the sacrament of Holy Communion.

"No Catholic politician who supports the culture of death should approach Holy Communion," Bishop Martino told The Scranton Times. "I will be truly vigilant on this point."

"Look, that's the bishop's right under our Church, to make that judgment," Biden told Moran, adding that the central issue is making abortions "less desirable."

Biden said he supports health coverage for the "costs and concerns of poor women about to deliver," health coverage for children, as well increasing aid to adoption. "We should be doing a lot of things that make -- give greater choice to women -- and to be able to carry to term."

"I'm a practicing Catholic," he said. "My religion matters a lot to me. I agree and accept the Church's position that there is a human life at the moment of conception. But I -- there's a lot of other equally religious, equally devout Christians who have a theologically different view. And I don't think it is my role as a government official to impose my faith-based judgment on the rest of the population. And I think that's for them to decide, not for me."

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