LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden mounted the Democratic counterpoint to the Republican presidential ticket Friday, drawing attention to the Obama administration's rescue of the auto industry and portraying GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney as a foe of government efforts to save jobs.
Laying out President Barack Obama's indictment of Republican polices, Biden said that Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, has voted in Congress for measures that caused massive federal debts, including two wars, a prescription drug benefit and tax cuts for the wealthy that were not paid for.
"They call their plan new, bold and gutsy," Biden told about 200 supporters in a union hall. "There is nothing gutsy about giving another trillion dollars in tax cuts to millionaires; there is nothing bold about turning Medicare into a voucher system. There is nothing bold about kicking 19 million kids and elderly off of Medicaid with no place else to go."
Biden spoke about two miles from the sprawling GM plant in Lordstown in an event meant to emphasize the importance of the auto bailout to Ohio. The recoveries of GM and Chrysler have been recurrent themes in Obama's re-election campaign, particularly in states such as Michigan and the battleground of Ohio.
Biden criticized Romney for opposing a taxpayer rescue of GM and Chrysler.
"What they didn't acknowledge is Governor Romney's position was 'let Detroit go bankrupt,'" he said, quoting the headline on a 2008 Romney opinion piece in the New York Times.
Ryan campaign spokesman Brendan Buck responded that Obama inherited a troubled economy but has made it worse.
"Like many towns across America, Janesville, Wis., is still waiting for the recovery the president promised," Buck said, referring to Ryan's hometown, where a GM auto plant was idled in 2008.
Biden's remarks came as Romney and Ryan left their Republican National Convention in Tampa seeking the votes of former Obama supporters who have grown disenchanted with his presidency.
Obama traveled to Texas on Friday, where he was speaking to military families on the second anniversary of the end of combat operations in Iraq.
Kuhnhenn reported from Washington.