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Biden raps Romney over auto bailout comment

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Staffilino Chevrolet, Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Martins Ferry, Ohio.
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Staffilino Chevrolet, May 17, 2012 in Martins Ferry, Ohio.
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Updated 4:30 p.m. ET

(CBS News) MARTINS FERRY, Ohio -- In what is likely to become a recurring theme for the Obama campaign, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday ridiculed Mitt Romney's assertion that he deserves some credit for the auto industry's recovery.

"He said quote, 'I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that the industry has come back,'" Biden said jokingly, referring to an interview Romney gave to a local TV station earlier this month. "And by the way, I'll take a lot of credit for a man having land on the moon, because all the while in school, I rooted for it."

Romney has said that he pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy for the car companies. But GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy on the strength of a massive bailout that Romney opposed, and that neither Republican President George W. Bush nor President Obama believes the automakers would have survived without.

Biden spoke to a crowd of more than 400 at a Chevrolet dealership, marking his last speech of his two-day campaign tour in a region of eastern Ohio centered on mining and manufacturing. Biden grew up in a similar area in Scranton, Pa., and is using his upbringing as a tool to relate to blue-collar middle-class families.

Biden continues attack on Romney's time at Bain

During his speech, Biden referred to the American-made cars parked behind him that were manufactured locally. "There is a lot more than a great car in there; those three cars behind me represent pride." Biden said pointing to the vehicles.

Biden told the crowd that the he and Mr. Obama "are completely confident letting you judge who brought the auto industry back. How the president views restoring the economy and the example of the automobile industry and how Romney views restoring the economy and the example how he worked as an investor are two cautionary tales."

Republicans have responded to Biden's attacks by seizing on a remark by the vice president on Wednesday that some workers "got hurt" by the bailout, but that the Obama administration could not help them.

The Republican National Committee issued a news release on Thursday headlined: "The Vice President admits that the bailout hurt some auto workers, but shrugs it off as not the Obama administration's problem."

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    Rodney Hawkins covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.