From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA -- Biden praised Palin today for a speech he said was well delivered last night. But, like other Democrats, he said the speech was more noteworthy because it ignored some of the most pressing issues of the day.
"I thought the vice presidential nominee did an incredible job," he said here. "I tell you, she is good... But the thing that I was most impressed by, beyond her standing and how confident she was, was what he didn't say. She didn't mention the word 'health care.' She didn't mention the word 'education.' She didn't mention college education... Not one time did I hear the phrase "middle class" part [Republicans'] lips."
With a heightened focus on the role of gender since Palin's announcement, Biden tried to stick to the issues both here and this morning, when he conducted a series of television interviews. But one woman in the audience at the Virginia Beach Convention Center asked Biden if he would promise to "go at her the same way" he would a male candidate in debates.
"I think she's going to be an incredibly competent debater," he answered. "The way I was raised is, I never, never, never attack the other person. I will take issue with her ideas as strongly as I possibly can... I will be unrelenting in my debate with governor, the governor of Alaska in terms of the positions she has taken. But I will not do what she is able to do so well... I am not good at the one-line zingers."
The comments came during an event otherwise advertised as a conversation on military issues. And Biden did criticize McCain, and Palin by association, for what he said was failed judgment on Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Ladies and gentlemen, a guy who supposedly doesn't know anything, he got it right," Biden said of Obama. "He got it right. John got it wrong... There's only one odd man out, two actually, a man and a woman -- McCain and Palin."
Biden said he was happy to be in the air for most of last night's convention speeches -- his plane landed just moments before Palin's speech began. But he had fun with a line from Mike Huckabee, who said in his convention speech that Palin had received more votes for mayor than Biden did in his presidential bid.
"The unfortunate part about that is he's correct," Biden joked. Thank God Barack Obama … picked me up from oblivion, you know?"