Biden Rips Into McCain on Record, Economy, and Tactics

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

(ST. CLAIR SHORES, MICH.) - Joe Biden delivered the most direct and scathing speech against the presidential aspirations of John McCain since becoming Obama's running mate - ripping into McCain's voting record, his views of the economy, and the tactics his campaign has employed to help gain points in the polls.

"Look John McCain's record. Ninety percent of the time, John McCain has voted with George Bush. Ninety percent of the time -- now that's a statistic." said Biden sternly, launching into a rundown of comparisons between the two leaders.

"That means when George Bush said we should privatize Social Security, John McCain campaigned with him to go ahead and do that – even after it was roundly and soundly rejected by the American people."

"When George Bush says that the government has no obligation to re-train and to provide extended unemployment benefits for people who have lost their jobs because of trade agreements, John McCain echoes that view, and goes on to say that quote, 'Bush is right on trade... absolutely.' Where does he live?"

"When George Bush said we shouldn't investigate why the government's incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina, John agreed with him."

"When George Bush opposed initially the GI Bill that would send a new generation of veterans to college, John McCain stood with him, calling Senator Webb's bill too generous to our veterans."

"When George Bush blocked our efforts to provide health care to an additional 3.8 million children... John stood with him."

"And when, in early 2007, George Bush suggested that your health care benefits you get through your employer should be taxed as income, John McCain stood with him. And now, ladies and gentlemen, now John McCain makes taxing your health care benefits an essential part of his health care plan."

"On issue after issue after issue, vote after vote, the story is the same."

Biden attacked McCain for comments he made hours after the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, when McCain said 'the fundamentals of the economy are strong' despite difficult times.

Biden quoted McCain and added, "He said we've made great progress economically in the Bush years."

"Ladies and gentlemen, I could walk from here to Lansing, and I wouldn't run into a single person who thought our economy was doing well, unless I ran into John McCain!"

McCain's camp called Biden's comments "ridiculous".

He also attacked McCain's campaign tactics, which many have acknowledged as dishonest in the last few weeks, including former Bush adviser Karl Rove.

"But what really bothers me, is that every punch thrown at us is an attempt to distract you. And they can be plenty distracting. Like the McCain advertisements that misrepresent a vote by Barack Obama to protect young children from sexual predators. Like Senator McCain's effort to obscure the fact that Barack Obama's tax cuts will benefit 95 percent of all working people. Like John McCain's attempt to cloak himself in reform by misrepresenting his running mate's record," listed Biden.

"It's disappointing to me to think that John McCain really does approve this message," he said.

McCain spokesperson Ben Porritt said "It's salesmanship not leadership for Barack Obama and his running mate to tell families in Michigan that they have plans to aid the middle class when they recently both voted in favor of higher taxes for Americans making as little as $42,000. The Obama-Biden ticket's economic plan raises taxes, kills jobs, increases spending to the tune of $860 billion, and they both persist in opposing sensible energy policy that will relieve our dependence on foreign energy."
  • Ryan Corsaro

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