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Obama: "Joe Sometimes Engages in Rhetorical Flourishes"

From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic

(RICHMOND, VA.) - Although Barack Obama's meeting with the campaign's national security experts today came on the heels of Joe Biden's comments that Obama will "tested" in the first six months of his administration, Obama denied that there is a connection between the two.

"It was prompted by the fact that, I was focused fairly single-mindedly on the financial crisis," Obama explained, adding that the meeting was planned two to three weeks ago.

However, when pressed on his running mate's comments, Obama admitted that Biden may have misspoken.

"You know I think that Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes," Obama said. "But I think that his core point was that the next administration is going to be tested regardless of who it is."

Obama argued that the next administration with inherit a "whole host of really big problems" from the Bush Administration, which will trigger tests and challenges for the new president. He noted that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff shared the sentiment and agreed with Biden.

"I think the point that Joe made is actually very similar to the one that Secretary Chertoff made today or yesterday which is that whoever is the next president, is gonna have to deal with a whole host of challenges internationally and that a period of transition in a new administration is always one in which we have to be vigilant."

Biden, who is campaigning in Colorado today, participated in the meeting by telephone. Among the fifteen advisers in attendance were former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., former Ambassador Richard Holbrook, and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission Lee Hamilton. Several others, including former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, called into the meeting.

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