Obama Calls Biden’s ‘Test’ Comment a ‘Rhetorical Flourish,’ McCain Calls it ‘Accidental Straight Talk’


Yesterday Barack Obama addressed a highly publicized remark by running mate Joe Biden at a Seattle fund-raiser on Sunday, calling it a "rhetorical flourish." (Biden, if you don't recall, said that "it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.") Responding to criticism from McCain that said these comments invited such a "test," Obama said yesterday:

"I think Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes … A period of transition in a new administration is always one where we have to be vigilant, we have to be careful … We have to be mindful that as we pass the baton in this democracy that others don’t take advantage of it — that’s true whether it’s myself or Senator McCain.”

McCain, for his part, fired back in Florida this morning. "Rhetorical flourishes? Really?" he said, doing his best Amy Poehler imitation. "That's another way of saying that he accidentally delivered some straight talk to America." Today's polls haven't reflected a stronger position for McCain since Biden's perceived gaffe, so maybe this whole "accidental straight talk" thing isn't too damaging. Accidental gay talk — now that would be a different story.

Obama Chides Biden Over Remark About a World Crisis Testing His Presidency [NYT]
McCain: Biden's Comment Accidental Straight Talk [Time]