Obama defends Biden’s statement on being tested

Sen. Obama defended Sen. Biden’s earlier statements that, should Obama become president, the world will test him in the first to years to determine what kind of president he will be with an international crisis of sorts.

If you’re unfamiliar with Biden’s comments, see the story posted the other day here.

Video of Obama defending Biden’s statements:

Report from Politico:

RICHMOND, Va. — Acknowledging that his running mate “sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes,” Democrat Barack Obama said Wednesday that vice presidential candidate Joe Biden meant to say this week that whoever is elected the next president — not just Obama — will be tested by foreign powers soon after taking office.

Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin have been hammering Obama and Biden since Sunday, when Biden predicted there would be an “international crisis” within the first six months of an Obama administration. Republicans seized on the remark to raise questions about Obama’s readiness to be commander in chief, suggesting that enemies would be tempted to test the one-term senator.

Obama commented on Biden’s remarks for the first time Wednesday following a private meeting here with his foreign policy working group, a circle of foreign policy and military advisers who have counseled him throughout the campaign. Biden participated by phone from Colorado.

“Look, as I said before, you know, I think that Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes,” Obama told reporters. “But I think that his core point was that the next administration is going to be tested regardless of who it is. The next administration is going to be inheriting a whole host of really big problems, and so the president is going to be tested.”

Obama said Biden was pressing the same argument that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff made this week to Bloomberg News when he said, “Any period of transition creates a greater vulnerability, meaning there’s more likelihood of distraction. You have to be concerned it will create an operational opportunity for terrorists.”

“We have to be mindful that as we pass the baton in this democracy that others don’t take advantage of it,” Obama said. “That is true whether it’s myself or Sen. McCain and it’s been throughout our history.”

Speaking at a fundraiser Saturday in Seattle, Biden predicted that Obama would be tested.

“It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy,” Biden said. “The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.”

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