Obama, in slip-up, refers to Biden as “next president”
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Of all the gaffes Democratic White house hopeful Barack Obama probably hoped to avoid, he accidentally introduced Joe Biden as the presidential candidate rather than the No. 2 man on the ticket.
He quickly corrected himself but the McCain campaign quickly pounced on the mistake to suggest that Biden, a veteran Delaware senator, might wield the real power in an Obama administration.
As Biden stepped to the podium at his first joint rally with Obama, the Democratic White House candidate said, “Let me introduce to you, the next president — the next vice president of the United States of America: Joe Biden.”
Known as a leading expert on foreign affairs, Biden, 65, has served in the Senate for 35 years and is expected to bring considerable heft to the Democratic ticket in a key area.
Polls show Obama lags well behind his Republican rival John McCain in polls on voter confidence on his readiness to handle international affairs. Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, could help close that gap for Obama.
But Republicans hope Biden’s foreign policy gravitas, rather than boosting Obama, will highlight his thinner resume and they used the verbal gaffe to press that point.
“Barack Obama sounded as though he turned over the top spot on the ticket today to his new mentor, when he introduced Joe Biden as the next president,” said McCain spokesman Ben Porritt, adding that Obama was “not ready to lead.”
– Photo credit: Reuters/Kamil Krzaczynski (Obama and Biden at their first rally together as the Democratic ticket.)