At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Jeff Glor reported on the upcoming vice presidential debate by declaring: "35-year Senate veteran Joe Biden versus the upstart from Alaska, Sarah Palin, the surprise VP pick, whose credentials have been questioned after a series of attention-grabbing interviews." Despite referring to Palin as an "upstart," Glor also pointed out Biden’s failings: "If Palin has been accused of saying too little since joining the ticket, Biden, in his past, has said too much...Notable foot-in-mouth comments and old plagiarism accusations put pressure on him, too." Glor also played a clip of one of Biden’s well-known gaffes: "You cannot go to a Seven Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."
In a later segment, co-host Harry Smith interviewed Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and asked about some of her recent comments regarding Biden’s verbal missteps: "Speaking of Joe Biden putting his foot in his mouth, you said sometime in the last 24 hours or so, I'm getting this off the Kansas City Star website: ‘My friend, Joe Biden, has a tendency to talk forever and sometimes say stuff that's kind of stupid’...how worried are you about him tonight?" McCaskill admited: "Yeah. That was my Joe Biden --that was my Joe Biden moment yesterday." Mentioning Biden’s gaffes helped to balance out co-host Maggie Rodriguez’s hostile interview with Fred Thompson, in which she asked: "The McCain campaign has been spending a lot of time lately having to defend her and a growing number of Republicans are criticizing her for her perceived lack of knowledge, or at least inability to discuss important issues."
Here is the full transcript of Glor’s report:
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: And Biden versus Palin. I'm Maggie Rodriguez in St. Louis. It could be the most watched vice presidential debate ever, as questions over Sarah Palin's readiness persist.
KATIE COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?
SARAH PALIN: Hhmm. Well, let's see. There's, of course, in the great history of America, there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American.
RODRIGUEZ: Good morning, from the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, the site, tonight, of the first and only vice presidential debate. I'm Maggie Rodriguez with WASH U students who, as you heard, are very excited and proud that their campus is, once again, hosting a debate. This is the fifth consecutive time they have been asked. All of them have been presidential debates until tonight, when Sarah Palin and Joe Biden will face off in the vice presidential debate that is so highly anticipated, I can't remember one, in recent memory, that people are looking forward to this much. Harry and Julie are back in New York and guys, the anticipation here is so palpable. It's almost like being in Las Vegas for a big fight, except that everyone knows the jabs will be verbal, at least they hope.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: No doubt the question of the bailout will come up tonight, here at Washington University in St. Louis, where Sarah Palin and Joe Biden will face off. In just a matter of hours now, the country will tune in to see who turns out the better performance. The woman who's been criticized as less than stellar in recent TV interviews, or the man who's often criticized for putting his foot in his mouth. 'Early Show' national correspondent Jeff Glor is here on campus with me, he kicks off our coverage this morning. Good morning, Jeff.
JEFF GLOR: Hey Maggie, good morning to you. That debate will take place in the building right behind me. Both Joe Biden and Sarah Palin will arrive in St. Louis today. Both will be on the stage for 90 minutes tonight and the political world will be watching.
GERALDINE FERRARO: I almost resent Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me.
GLOR: Vice presidents may never get top billing, but this debate certainly is. A new CBS News poll shows 65% of registered voters will watch tonight. 35-year Senate veteran Joe Biden versus the upstart from Alaska, Sarah Palin, the surprise VP pick, whose credentials have been questioned after a series of attention-grabbing interviews.
KATIE COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?
PALIN: Hhmm. Well, let's see. There's, of course, in the great history of America, there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American.
GLOR: Citing 'gotcha journalism,' the McCain campaign has now been pushing Palin to more friendly talk radio appearances.
[PALIN ON SEAN HANNITY RADIO SHOW]
PALIN: Without that filter of mainstream media trying to, I think maybe, censor some of my comments.
GLOR: Though the CBS poll shows only 38% of voters feel Palin is prepared for the nation's number two job, compared to Biden's 70, it might be a mistake to underestimate the Alaskan governor, who bested two tested opponents in debates two years ago.
PALIN: I don't think that government should be sanctioning or assisting ending life.
ALEXANDER BURNS: She's a very comfortable debater and she's very good at using opponent's weaknesses against them.
GLOR: If Palin has been accused of saying too little since joining the ticket, Biden, in his past, has said too much.
JOE BIDEN: You cannot go to a Seven Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.
GLOR: Notable foot-in-mouth comments and old plagiarism accusations put pressure on him, too.
DAN QUAYLE: I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency.
GLOR: Will there be a make or break moment? Like when Lloyd Bentsen damaged Dan Quayle.
LLOYD BENTSEN: Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.
GLOR: Or, for example, when Rick Lazio was accused of invading Hillary Clinton's personal space in that New York Senate race debate there a few years ago. Both campaigns still jockeying for position this morning and, Maggie, I look forward to watching with you later tonight.
RODRIGUEZ: And millions and millions of other people. CBS's Jeff Glor, thank you very much.
Here is the full transcript of Smith’s interview with McCaskill:
HARRY SMITH: Joining us from Washington is Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who is also national co-chair for Barack Obama's campaign. Good morning, Senator.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL: Good morning.
SMITH: Speaking of Joe Biden putting his foot in his mouth, you said sometime in the last 24 hours or so, I'm getting this off the Kansas City Star website: 'My friend, Joe Biden, has a tendency to talk forever and sometimes say stuff that's kind of stupid.' How worried-
MCCASKILL: Yeah. That was my Joe Biden --that was my Joe Biden moment yesterday.
SMITH: Yeah, how worried are you about him tonight? I'm sorry, go ahead.
MCCASKILL: You know, I think Joe obviously has a challenge tonight. The expectations are so low for Sarah Palin and it's difficult for him, I think, for him, no matter what he does, he's going to be criticized. I think it's interesting that the McCain campaign is now running a campaign against the media. It kind of shows they're out of ideas to talk about to the American people. If all they can do is rail about the media. But Sarah Palin will be tough tonight. She is a good debater, she's an effective communicator, and she knows how to throw a punch with a velvet glove and a smile on her face. So Joe's got his work cut out for him.
SMITH: So every -- so both campaigns are lowering the expectations for both candidates, so if nothing happens tonight, we'll be able to walk away and know what?
MCCASKILL: Well, I think what the American people want, they -- you know, let's like get to the bottom line here. They want to know if these two people are ready to be president. That's the threshold for a vice presidential candidate. Ultimately, the policies of the nominees are what they're probably make up their mind with, but it's going to say something about the judgment of those two nominees, who they picked to be their vice presidential running mate. So, that threshold they've got to cross that they know enough to step into the big shoes if the occasion arose, and the other thing they're going to have to show is why their policies that they represent, their ticket, is best for the middle class in America.
SMITH: Alright. Let's jump to the bailout vote last night. You voted in the affirmative and I take it you voted for it, but are not happy about it?
MCCASKILL: You know, I had to hold my nose. There are many things about this vote that make me sick to my stomach, but at the end of the day, what this means is that the credit will flow again in this country and I know how many businessmen I heard from over the last week and I'm talking about that little small businessmen that can no longer afford their working capital loan, that can no longer afford to make their payroll. We must, in fact, grease our economic engine and make sure that credit flows again, so it was a, I think, a must vote for the Congress and I hope the House follows suit quickly so we can, once again, get back on some kind of stable economic footing in this country.
SMITH: Senator Claire McCaskill, thanks so much. Do appreciate it.
MCCASKILL: Thank you.
SMITH: You bet.