Biden’s Gloves Come Off … Against ‘Sexist’ Media

By Kate Barrett

Sep 4, 2008 8:41am

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: Some might have expected Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., to come out swinging after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s scathing speech last night at the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn. But Thursday morning, Biden threw more punches at the "sexist" press than at his vice presidential counterpart.

"No one has to wonder about there being a sexist bone in my body," Biden said in an appearance on "Good Morning America." "And the truth is, some of the stuff that the press has said about Sarah, and that others have said about the governor, I think, are outrageous. Look, I think kids are off-limits, flat off-limits.

"I think this stuff about how can she be a governor and vice president and raise three kids — c’mon, whoever those folks are don’t know any strong women," he continued.

"I just think some of the stuff said has been over the top, totally unfair, and has been sexist, and I think the way the governor has handled it has been admirable."

As for how Palin handled her speech at the Republican National Convention, Biden said he was impressed.

"I thought she had a great night," the senator said of Palin. "I thought she had a very skillfully written and very skillfully delivered political speech, and I was impressed with her.

"I was also impressed with what I didn’t hear," Biden added. "I didn’t hear a word mentioned about the middle class, or health care, or about how people are going to fill up their gas tanks."

The Democratic vice presidential nominee noted that the speech reeked of the influence of Karl Rove.

"That’s sort of the Rovian way of doing things," he said. "You know, I think it’s a political skill set that Republicans have used with some effectiveness over the years, and so, it’s not surprising to me.

"I don’t know if they’re effective or not," he said of such tactics. "That’s for the American people to decide. My guess is that they saw through a lot of it. So much of what was said was just simply not true."

The senator cited taxes as one example, noting the case of Palin’s sister, who owns a gas station.

"I should let her sister know she’d be better off under a Democratic plan."

But it was not what Palin said that stood out for Biden — it was what she didn’t say.

"She never once mentioned the word Afghanistan, never once mentioned the word Pakistan," he said. "The phrase ‘middle class’ was not mentioned once."

Of course, some of the things Palin did say served to attack the Democratic ticket, but Biden said he will not ratchet up his rhetoric in response to his Republican opponents.

"I’m not going to change my tone about John McCain, I think it’s just kinda sad the way they went after Barack Obama," he said.

"They’re good funny lines," Biden acknowledged. "I gotta admit, I’m glad they weren’t about me, ya know. I mean, I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Whoa, look at that zinger.’"

And Obama’s running mate has already started raising expectations for Palin ahead of the veep debate on Oct. 2 in St. Louis.

"I think she’s gonna be a pretty skillful debater. I think it’ll be a tough debate for me."

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