Biden Labels McCain Attacks As "Republican Garbage"

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

(MEDIA, PA.) - Ladies and gentlemen, Joe Biden says he is "sick and tired of this Republican garbage."

Biden lashed out angrily at John McCain on several points this evening in Pennsylvania, including accusations that Obama and Democrats do not support the military.

Biden, in an attempt to show McCain as contradictory in his support of veterans, pointed to McCain's refusal to vote for a new military G.I. Bill, proposed by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., and passed in the spring.

"George Bush initially opposed it, John McCain stood with him and he called Jim Webb's effort, quote, too generous. Ladies and gentlemen, if John McCain had his way on that G.I. Bill, those military personnel who served two tours in Iraq or Afghanistan would not qualify for the same benefits that anyone in the 'regular Army or Marine corps' did."

"Ask yourself the question, who supports our troops? Who supports those National Guard personnel? Who supports those reservists who make up 40 percent of the people?" asked Biden, and turned to Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., in the crowd.

"I don't have to tell you that, Governor. You see them dispatched every day from your state, and you're there like I am when that flag-draped coffin comes home for some."

As he speech went on, Biden's tone turned from critical to one of disgust.

"I am sick and tired of this Republican garbage," Biden said to applause from the crowd of 3,000 supporters. "I am sick and tired of being told that we don't care."

While the McCain campaign called Biden's comments "absurd", a McCain campaign aide speaking on background, when asked if Biden was accurate in saying that McCain had called the G.I. Bill 'too generous', said "I don't know."

McCain, who is a veteran, said last spring that he feared the bill would deter soldiers from re-enlisting.

In addition, Biden accused McCain and President Bush of sharing economic views that were based on a "bankrupt philosophy".

Pointing to statements McCain had made the day before that the fundamentals of the economy being strong as the Dow Jones began a day of record losses, Biden accused McCain of re-assessing his views shortly after.

"At 10 o'clock, as we Catholics say, John had an epiphany," said Biden. "John said the economy is in economic crisis. Now what happened in one hour between the economy being sound and an economic crisis looming?

Biden called McCain's response was a "political realization, not a policy conversion."

"Today he's talking about the greed of Wall Street. Yesterday, the day before, a week before, two years before, he was on Wall Street, heralding the fact that he was proudly shredding whatever regulation and oversight that in fact worked to manage these markets that now he calls greedy," said Biden.

While he had cheerfully introduced his young granddaughter Natalie when he took the stage on a beautiful September evening, Biden's mood became stormy as he described the tone and honesty of attacks on Obama by the McCain campaign.

"They misrepresented Barack's vote to protect young children against sexual predators. They knew it was a misrepresentation. All the press has said it, yet they're running ads saying Barack Obama wanted to teach kindergartners about sex education and sex."

Biden, who volunteered to speak publicly in defense of John McCain when rumors spread during the 2000 election about McCain's adopted child, said he was disheartened that McCain had hired the same people to run his campaign.

"You know, it genuinely disappoints me to think that John McCain really does approve this message. It really is genuinely -- I mean this sincerely -- it is genuinely disappointing," said Biden somberly before the evening sky began to turn purple.

"I did not think we would get here."

Biden promised that both he and Barack Obama would provide a difference that was more than political sloganeering.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we need, not change as a slogan, we need a fundamental alteration of how we operate this country. Yeah, this campaign's about change, but it's even about something more than that. It's about what we value as a people."