‘Impressive, But…’ Says Biden of Palin’s Speech

By Susan Jones | September 4, 2008 | 8:36 AM EDT

Sen. Joe Biden also back-pedaled on reports that an Obama-Biden administration would pursue criminal charges against members of the Bush administration.

(CNSNews.com) - “I think she was impressive,” Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden said of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. He also back-pedaled on reports that an Obama-Biden administration would pursue criminal charges against members of the Bush administration.
Speaking to Fox & Friends Thursday morning, the Delaware Democrat said he caught only the second half of Palin’s speech to the Republican National Convention because his plane was in the air.
“She was strong, she was tough, and she delivered that speech extremely well,” he said. “The thing that impressed me equally as well is what she didn’t talk about. She never mentioned the word health care, she never mentioned college tuition, she never mentioned anything about how they’re going to create jobs, she never mentioned Afghanistan or Pakistan where al Qaeda lives, but it was extremely well-delivered and she was impressive.”
Biden said he expects his debate with Palin to be “tough,” because Palin will be an “incredibly skilled debater.” He said he won’t attack Palin personally, but he will “make the case” about where he and Obama want to take the country.
Biden agreed that the attacks on Sarah Palin’s family have been out of line. He said she has a “beautiful family.” “I think the way she handled it has been absolutely exemplary.”
Biden also agreed that some of the attacks on Palin have been sexist. He blamed the media -- and “some of the right-wing guys” who have implied that women are incapable of being a mother and a great leader.
Asked if Biden and Obama plan to pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration -- as ABC News and the Guardian newspaper reported -- Biden said the report was not true.
(ABC News on Wednesday quoted Biden as saying that he and Obama, if elected, would look into possible criminal misdeeds by the Bush administration. "If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden was quoted as saying at a campaign stop in Florida. "[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution," he added, but "out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law.")
“That’s not true. I don’t know where that report’s coming from,” Biden told Fox & Friends on Wednesday.
He said the truth is that the United States Congress right now is “trying to preserve records on questions that relate to whether or not the law has been violated by anyone.”
Biden said he and Obama would do what any administration should do it:
“And if it turns out after the fact that there is substantial evidence that somebody violated the law, the fact that they’re no longer in office” won’t matter, he said. “And the mere fact that it occurred in a previous administration doesn’t mean the Justice Department…shouldn’t pursue it.”
Biden insisted that no one’s talking about investigating President Bush. “I’ve never heard anybody mention President Bush in that context. But, you know, there’s been an awful lot of unsavory stuff that’s gone on,” he said.
Biden mentioned the firing of U.S. attorneys -- “whether anybody perjured themselves or lied about it.”
“The Obama-Biden administration is not going to start off saying, ‘God, let’s go take at what this [is].’ The American people want to know what we’re going to do, not what happened.”