Vice President Joe Biden assumed the role of attack dog at a campaign stop in Virginia this morning, accusing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of pursuing an economic agenda that would hammer the middle class in order to protect tax breaks for the wealthy.
“Instead of attacking folks who work for a living and pay their way, Romney should be respecting their hard work,” Biden said during a rally at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds south of Richmond. “That’s the job of a president — to lift people up, not to tear them down.”
Biden took at aim at Romney for the Republican’s secretly recorded remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes. Romney characterized them as self-perceived “victims” who are dependent on government and certain to vote for President Barack Obama. The video has become fodder for two Obama campaign ads airing in Virginia and other swing states.
“It’s pretty clear that Governor Romney sees it a totally different way,” Biden told the crowd in an exhibition barn on the fairgrounds. “When he says, ‘It’s not my job to worry about these people,’ well whose job is it? Ladies and gentlemen, we are our brother’s keeper. We are one nation under God. We are all in this together. And if the 47 percent doesn’t make it, the country doesn’t make it.”
Biden’s visit to heavily Republican Chesterfield County came six weeks before the election and was the latest effort by the two major-party tickets to put a stake in the key battleground of Virginia. Obama will campaign in Virginia Beach on Thursday and Romney will stump in Springfield. Romney and his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, have made multiple visits to the state, as have Obama and Biden.
This was Biden’s first trip to Virginia since last month, when he made headlines with a controversial comment during a stump speech in Danville. Biden was mocking Romney for wanting to “unchain Wall Street” and told a racially diverse audience: “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” Republicans and former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat and the nation’s first elected black governor, condemned Biden’s comments.
Today, an animated Biden asserted that Republican ticket would slash funding for education and Medicaid and turn Medicare into a voucher system in order to pay for “massive tax cuts for the wealthy.”
“They have rejected every effort to reduce the national debt if that effort required even one dollar, one dime in additional revenue from people making more than $1 million,” Biden said.
Romney’s Virginia campaign spokesman Curt Cashour said Biden “is recycling false and debunked attacks because he can’t tell the people of Virginia about the Obama-Biden record of fewer jobs, more debt, and lower incomes. “
“The reckless policies coming out of the Obama-Biden White House are jeopardizing economic growth, blocking job creation and putting our national security at risk,” Cashour said. “Middle-class families can’t afford four more years like the last four years.”
Cashour said Romney will “reverse President Obama’s job-killing defense cuts, stop the war on coal and end the president’s ban on offshore drilling in Virginia, creating 340,000 Virginia jobs and a better future for all Americans.”
Biden said Romney and Ryan are pushing a divisive and inflexible brand of politics and would recycle policies that led to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
“These guys think compromise is somehow a dirty word,” the vice president said. “Ladies and gentleman, they’re insistent, and Romney’s insistent, in putting back in place the exact same polices that produced the problem in the first place.”
– Michael Sluss