White House: “Yes,” Biden is still on the ticket

Posted at 9:39 PM, Aug 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-16 21:39:42-04

(CBS News) In the wake of controversy surrounding recent comments by Vice President Joe Biden, a couple of prominent Republicans have offered the Obama campaign some unsolicited advice:

“The strategists there in the Obama campaign have got to look at a diplomatic way of replacing Joe Biden on the ticket with Hillary [Clinton],” said Sarah Palin, the 2008 vice presidential candidate, in a Wednesday interview with Fox News. “Joe Biden really drags down that ticket.”

John McCain, who was at the top of the ticket with Palin, agreed that Clinton would be a good addition to the ticket – though he acknowledged there was little chance the Obama team would go for the idea.

“I think it might be wise to” replace Biden with Clinton on the ticket, he said on Fox, before adding that “it’s not going to happen obviously, for a whole variety of reasons.”

Asked in the daily press briefing if Biden is still President Obama’s running mate, White House press secretary Jay Carney on Thursday confirmed McCain’s suspicions, telling reporters that Biden remains on the presidential ticket – and taking a swipe at the Arizona senator in the process.

“Yes. And that was settled a long, long time ago,” said Carney, when asked if the 2012 ticket was still Obama-Biden. “And while I appreciate, I have great admiration for and respect for and a long relationship with Senator John McCain, but one place I would not go for advice on vice presidential running mates is to Senator McCain.”

Palin, who served as a McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008, has since become one of the nation’s most controversial political figures, and many have since questioned McCain’s decision to name her to the ticket. Even former Vice President Dick Cheney, who served under George W. Bush, has expressed criticism for the decision-making process that led to her selection.

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her,” Cheney said in an interview on ABC in July. “But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test … of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.” Cheney later clarified his remarks, saying he meant the process used to select Palin was a mistake.

The Obama team, meanwhile, continues to fight off criticism over comments Biden made Tuesday at a campaign stop, in which he suggested Republicans want to put voters “in chains” with their economic and regulatory policies. The comments sparked particular controversy because a number of the audience members at the event were African-American.

At Thursday’s press briefing, Carney continued to insist that the controversy was a “confected” distraction from policy issues the Romney campaign is attempting to avoid.