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Opponents Highlight Obama, Biden "Gaffes"

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

(SPRINGFIELD, IL.)- Barack Obama and Joe Biden's first appearance together as running mates did not go off without a hitch as both made noticeable gaffes, which turned into fodder for Republican jabs. It was an obscenely hot day and they could have been nervous, but there wasn't much room for error at the debut of the Obama-Biden ticket.

For most of his speech, Obama played it safe – sticking to his prepared remarks so much so that he often sounded a bit scripted.

"Today, I have come back to Springfield to tell you that I've found that leader, a man with a distinguished record and a fundamental decency," he said rigidly.

But at the end of his speech, Obama made the very blunder that his opponents were seeking.

"So let me introduce you to the next President," he said, quickly catching and correcting the mistake, "Vice President of the United States of America..."

Just moments later McCain spokesman Ben Porritt, responded: "Barack Obama sounded as though he turned over the top spot on the ticket today to his new mentor....the reality is that nothing has changed since Joe Biden first made his assessment that Barack Obama is not ready to lead."

Biden, who made up for some of Obama's stiffness, made his own quirky comments and gaffes.

"My wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous," Biden said and then joked, "My wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, she also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem."

The crowd appeared a bit confused, some laughing but most just watched with some confusion.

Biden's ultimate gaffe came near the end of his speech, when he called Obama, "Barack Amer.." It wasn't clear whether he intentionally wanted to call his running mate, Barack America, or if he forgot his last name. Had he called him "Barack America", Biden could have had a new campaign slogan on his hands. The crowd seemed to pick up on the mistake, quickly chanting "Obama, Obama."

The RNC, who already a running list of Obama's gaffes, has now cheekily started a Biden "gaffe" clock on its website, counting the time before Biden's next "gaffe."