Biden, Clintons Fight For Pennsylvania Democratic Ticket

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

(SCRANTON, PA.) - Joe Biden and his wife Jill took the stage with Bill and Hillary Clinton to help rally those supporters who put Hillary Clinton over the top in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary in April.

"I have fought for the people of this country who have felt invisible to their own president, like he just doesn't even see them," Hillary Clinton said.

"That's who I'm fighting for today. And that's why there is only one choice in this election."

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden are for you and that's why I'm for Barack Obama and Joe Biden," she declared.

Northeast Pennsylvania is an area that Clinton won overwhelmingly in April, and a place where Biden hopes to pick up white union household members and women that voted for Clinton over Obama.

While Obama currently has shored up a lead in the battleground state, Hillary Clinton pushed back against voters being overconfident with three weeks left until election day.

"You know, sure, the polls show Barack and Joe ahead now, and that's good news, but I don't pay much attention to polls," she said. "Nobody should be lulled into any false sense of security."

As she spoke, there were a few "Hillary for President" T-shirts visible in the audience, one of which was worn by a man who said he would support Obama.

"He still should have picked her for vice president. It would have been a landslide," said the man.

But Bill Clinton assured the crowd that he believed Biden, who grew up in Scranton, was the right person to be Obama's running mate.

"Sometimes you hear some people talk about people from places like Scranton and Arkansas. They act like we're by definition 'rubes,' and we're not, and he's not, and Barack Obama could not have made a better choice. So we're proud of you," the former president said.

Biden put his arm around Hillary Clinton as she introduced him, saying "Isn't she great?" and telling the audience that the two had been true friends.

"The reason why Hillary Clinton, I feel such a kinship with her, is that she's more than just a fighter," said Biden.

"I know fighters who fight for the wrong things. I know fighters who don't give up but have been consistently wrong. I don't know many fighters whose fight starts not from their head but from their gut, their just simple sense of balance and fairness. This is a woman who understands what's right and what's wrong, what's fair and what's unfair, and it's always fighting against the abuse of power by the powerful."

While Biden's comments seemed like a veiled reference to Sarah Palin, who according to a report released Friday "abused her power" in the firing of an official in what is called the "Troopergate scandal," the campaign denied Biden had any such intention.

Recalling his family's roots in the Scranton area, which his father left when Biden was 10 to look for work in Delaware, Biden said he and Obama would fight for middle class voters who he said had been overlooked in the past eight years.

He assured Hillary Clinton that she would 'hand the president the pen' to sign new into law new health care legislation if Obama is elected president.

Unafraid to raise his voice on the campaign trail, Biden bellowed about the tax breaks he says McCain would give to big corporations, including those who set-up offshore headquarters.

"You know, I was criticized by Sarah Palin for talking about patriotism," said Biden to booing from the crowd.

"It's okay, for talking about patriotism and taxes. Well let me tell you what the people I grew up [with] in Green Ridge and Claymont and Wilmington think is unpatriotic: they think it's unpatriotic when you earn your money in the United States of America and you hide it offshore to avoid taxes making sure you have to make up the difference. It is unpatriotic to take a hundred billion dollars offshore and not pay your taxes."

"That is unpatriotic!" shouted Biden. "So I don't need a lecture on patriotism. I've had it up to here!"

It was an example of the inflamed and passionate Biden seen often at events – a sharp contrast to the calm, pointed directness of Obama, who rarely shows the same heightened outbursts as his running-mate.

It's also a side of Biden the McCain camp jumped on today in an email to reporters.

"Angry Joe Biden today riled up his crowd with fictitious claims about John McCain. For an Obama-Biden campaign spending more money on negative advertising than any campaign in history, red-faced Joe Biden shouted and cursed but couldn't shake Obama's job-killing prescription of higher taxes and bigger government," said McCain spokesman Ben Porritt.

Biden, who has said many times "If you think I sound angry, it's because I am" at rallies, sent the crowd off today with a loud call to not be knocked down by the "failed economic policies of George W. Bush and John McCain."

"I'm ready," shouted Biden. "You're ready. Barack Obama is ready. It's our time! It's America's time. So get up, Pennsylvania! Get up Scranton! Get up! Deliver this election to Barack Obama! Change this country!"
  • Ryan Corsaro

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