Democrats Rally 'Round Biden In Denver

Governor Ed Rendell, D-Pa., on "Face The Nation."
Governor Ed Rendell, D-Pa., on Face The Nation.
CBS

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, and Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said on Face The Nation Sunday that Republican efforts to exploit divisions between former Hillary Clinton supporters and the rest of the Democratic party will fail.

Responding to a new ad from the campaign of John McCain suggesting that Clinton was "passed over" for the vice presidential slot on the Democratic ticket for "speaking the truth" about Barack Obama, Rendell said the spot "will have a three-day life span.

"When Hillary Clinton speaks [at the Democratic National Convention] on Wednesday night, she will blow this ad out of the water," he said.

Clinton has expressed support for the Democratic ticket of Obama and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and has pushed for unity within the party, even as some of her most ardent supporters have grumbled about her being left off the ticket.

"Losing an election is always tough," said Sebelius. "This was a hard-fought and very long race. And as you've already said, 21 debates. I mean, you say a lot of things, you try and get an edge over your opponent. But right now I don't think there's any question at all that the Clintons are wholeheartedly behind Barack Obama. They want to see a Democrat elected president of the United States."

Rendell, who supported Clinton in the Democratic primary, said both an Obama-Biden ticket and an Obama-Clinton ticket would have been good for the Democratic Party.

"Hillary Clinton obviously has a longer relationship with a broader spectrum of voters, women voters who've been following her for a long time, but Joe Biden's going to grow on the American people very fast because he's a tremendously engaging guy, a tremendously bright guy, and a guy who's sort of Harry Truman-like: He tells it like it is," he said.

In an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric on Saturday, shown on Face The Nation, McCain addressed his inability to say last week how many houses he owns, something Democrats have been hammering as evidence he is out of touch with average Americans' own housing crises.

"Well, first of all, let me say that I am grateful for the fact that I have a wonderful life. I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair, and I know what it's like to be blessed by the opportunities of this great nation," McCain said.

"Cindy's father barely finished high school, went off and distinguished himself in World War II in a B-17, and he came back with practically nothing and realized the American dream. And I am proud and grateful for that. And I think he is a role model to many young Americans who serve in the military and come back and succeed."

"So the fact is that we have homes and I'm grateful for it," continued McCain. "We spend our time primarily in Washington, D.C., where I have a condominium in Crystal City; here in this beautiful Sedona that I'm blessed every moment I can spend here; our condominium in Phoenix, Arizona; and a place over in San Diego. The others are also for investment purposes, so all I can say is I am blessed to have the opportunity to continue to be part of a country where you can succeed and do well."

"He says he has seven kitchen tables, we don't want him to have an eighth kitchen table," Jackson said in response to McCain's comments. "And we understand that he has a wonderful life. This is a great country. But millions of Americans at this hour are suffering through a housing market that is collapsed, housing foreclosures.

"And so when John McCain gets up in the morning and he leaves his house to lock his door, he has to shuffle through a number of keys to figure out which key works in which door in which home he's at at any given time. That suggests, Bob, a significant disconnect [from] the average American who is experiencing quite a different economy than the one John McCain has been advocating."

Asked if Obama needs to "go negative" during the rest of the campaign, Rendell said Obama and Biden would have to take the tone Biden took yesterday, where he criticized McCain for taking similar positions to President Bush.

"They're going to say, `Look, John McCain - good man, American hero - but he wants to extend the Bush administration,'" Rendell said.

"Of course we're going to fire back, and we should fire back," Jackson added. "But it can be done in a way that's poetic and substantive."



Read the full "Face the Nation" transcript here.