Biden: McCain Campaign Attacks "Corrosive"

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) - Joe Biden railed against what he called "corrosive" attacks by the McCain campaign on Barack Obama's character, saying automated robocalls painting Obama as an extremist are not hurting the Democratic ticket, but the country.

"This politics of division in America that became an art form at the beginning of the Bush first campaign, they became an art form. Ladies and gentlemen, it is corrosive, corrosive, to American society. It literally is corrosive. It's awfully hard to build anything with that kind of corrosion," said Biden.

Hoping to influence early voting in this state, the campaign handed out signs that were waved in front of television cameras, saying "Vote for Obama Today."

"It's been a long campaign, and now there're less than two weeks left and our goal is the biggest voter turnout in North Carolina history. That's what we're shooting for," said Biden. "And that turnout as you all know, doesn't need to be on election day."

"You have until November 1st to vote early. So even if you're not registered yet, during the one stop early vote, you can register and vote all at the same time. So ladies and gentlemen, there's no excuse, none."

Biden, appearing more tired than usual, had a little trouble getting out his message, stumbling at times over his words.

"John McClane - John McClane, excuse me. John McCain. John McCain -- I don't recognize him anymore. I used to know him well," said Biden to laughs for the crowd.

"It's a bad joke, it's a bad joke. But ladies and gentlemen, John McCain felt, literally, as you recall, he felt the need to point out to Barack Obama and to the American public that he was not George Bush. Well, ladies and gentlemen, have you ever heard that old expression, he doth protest too much."

He used an analogy to NASCAR to describe Obama's opponent, although not many racing fans appeared to be in the audience.

"Right now, right now our campaigns are trading a little paint," said Biden to silence.

"Uh, and uh, but what worries me most is the McCain campaign seems to have gotten a little loose," he added, without much of a response.

"Um, and uh, I can tell there are not a lot of Nascar fans in here. Up my way it's a big deal."

"So, and the fact of the matter, you know that term 'gettin' a little loose,' when you're out there goin' a hundred and eighty five miles an hour, getting a little loose, well John's getting a little loose. He doesn't have much of a steady hand these days and now, and now is the time, now is the time we most need a steady hand," said Biden.

Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant responded to Biden's remarks saying, "Joe Biden is being loose with his 'rhetorical flourishes' again. If the campaigns are 'trading paint' as Biden said, let's remember that Obama struck first and ran the most negative ads. To offer a more accurate NASCAR analogy than Biden did: If Obama wins, he will raise taxes and our economy will go from a yellow to red flag."

Biden travels throughout the day in North Carolina with events in Winston-Salem and Raleigh.