Biden making first major foray into 2012 campaign

March 15, 2012 - 2:25 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is making his first major foray into the 2012 presidential campaign in politically crucial Ohio.

Biden will vigorously defend President Barack Obama's bailout of the auto industry in a speech Thursday to an auto workers union. He is also expected to offer a robust critique of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's opposition to the policy, which the White House says saved 1.4 million U.S. jobs.

Biden's trip to Ohio marks the first of four campaign events he will hold in the coming weeks as the Obama campaign ramps up the vice president's role in the re-election bid.

The campaign has crafted a 2012 strategy for Biden that focuses on Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, states where Biden's strengths with working-class and Jewish voters can counteract Obama's weaknesses.