Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, has told Americans to expect a “major international crisis” that will present an early test of a Barack Obama administration.
His comments were seized upon by the Republican campaign yesterday to raise fresh doubts about the prepared-ness of Mr Obama to be commander-in-chief.
Speaking at a fundraiser in Seattle on Sunday night, Mr Biden said: “Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here . . . we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
He cited Russia and the Middle East as possible places that may cause problems, as well as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan – “crawling with al-Qaeda” – as being of particular concern.
Mr Obama would need help and support, Mr Biden suggested, “because it’s not gonna be apparent, initially, that we’re right.” He then spotted the media in the room, “I probably shouldn’t have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here.”