Vice President Joe Biden touted President Obama’s accomplishments at a Minneapolis campaign stop Tuesday and proposed a bumper sticker for his supporters to rally around:
“Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.”
Biden’s Minnesota campaign swing is meant to contrast President Obama’s vision for the next four years with that of Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his choice of a running mate — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Biden praised federal health care reform, tax cuts for the middle class and the prospect of a strong manufacturing economy as part of the president’s accomplishments.
He also used the opportunity to criticize Romney for being out of touch with average voters, and attacked Ryan’s health care plan and the GOP ticket’s proposed tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
Biden hit Romney repeatedly for supporting the outsourcing of American jobs and for supporting “top-down” economic practices.
“What’s gutsy about giving millionaires another tax break? What’s bold about cutting Medicare and education and research and development in order to pay for that tax break?” Biden asked. “What’s new about their plan? It’s not only not new, it’s not fair. It’s not right and the people who pay the price for their new plan are the middle class and the working poor.”
Biden said voters are looking for a country where “the middle class is no longer played for a sucker.”
“This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class,” Biden said. “The American people are looking for a president that will put the nation above his political interests.”
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who worked the crowd of about 1,500 before Biden made his way to the stage, urged the room to spread the president’s message beyond their usual circles.
“I’ve got one job today, and that is to ask you to reach out,” She said. “To reach out beyond people that are in this room. To reach out beyond this comfort zone to find that common ground.”
Anne Jones, a Minneapolis resident, said after the event that Biden clearly articulated the difference between the Obama campaign and the Romney-Ryan ticket.
“I was excited that he was here, and it’s so important for people to hear all the positives that this president has done,” Jones added. “I don’t think that their marketing of their accomplishments has been as good as the substance — the substance of the accomplishments of this administration against all odds is amazing if people stop to think.”
The vice president hit a midday campaign event at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis before heading to Rochester for another stop.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, who attended the Minneapolis event, said he doesn’t think that Biden’s visit means Minnesota is in play politically. Most political observers consider Minnesota a safe win for Obama.
“I just think this is a regular stop,” Thissen said. “Everything I’m seeing, the president is still running very strong here.”
Obama is currently campaigning in Ohio. Romney will be in Minnesota on Thursday for two fundraisers.