Biden Contrasts Clinton and Palin, Saying Clinton Never "Abused Power"

(CBS)

From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

(SCRANTON, PENN.) -- Joe Biden was about as subtle as a sledgehammer when he stood alongside and praised Hillary Clinton today for her "fight against the abuse of power," which seemed to be an indirect reference a report that says Sarah Palin "unlawfully abused her power" in firing an official in the so-called "Troopergate" scandal.

"The one thing I find about this city is what we learn about in faith and our family – there's the one most serious abuse a man or a woman or a government can engage in is to abuse power," said Biden, as Clinton watched from the stage before 6,000 Pennsylvanians.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he continued, "the reason I love this woman, if you think about it now, you think about it. Everything – she probably doesn't even think in these terms – everything she's devoted her life to has been on the side of people who have been on the other side of power, on the other side of power. Either watching the wealthy or watching a government or watching some mother or father physically abuse, abuse power."

"And ladies and gentlemen, it is the only reason, the only reason I ever got involved in government without even knowing…it just fit. And the reason why Hillary Clinton, I feel such a kinship with her, is that she's more than just a fighter. 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."

Biden spokesperson David Wade denied that Biden was referencing Palin in his comments, and said the Obama-Biden campaign had "zero strategic reason to do anything" on the findings of the investigative committee looking into Palin's actions as governor.

Biden is trying to win over voters for his ticket in the northeast part of Pennsylvania, where he was born and lived for a short time, many of which voted overwhelmingly for Clinton over Obama in last April's primary.