(CASTLEWOOD, VA.) - Joe Biden attended an annual outdoor Virginia fish fry this afternoon, where he addressed union members from the United Mining Workers of America.
Calling John McCain a great soldier but not a wise leader, Biden warned rural gunowners that Republicans would use the Second Amendment to scare voters out of choosing a Democratic ticket.
"I guarantee you, Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don't buy that malarkey. Don't buy that malarkey. They're going to start peddling that to you. I got two, if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem. I like that little over and under, you know? I'm not bad with it."
Workers heard from Gov. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., and a rousing introduction of Biden by UMWA President Cecil Roberts, who said an Obama Biden presidency would support "American workers, not Chinese Communist workers."
Biden took the stage atop a sunny hilltop above Virginia coal country and told the crowd, "Hope you won't hold it against me, but I am a hard coal miner -- anthracite coal. Scranton, Pennsylvania, that's where I was born and raised."
Biden said that there weren't many differences between people where he was from and the folks from southern Virginia, insisting they shared the same values of family and faith.
"It's not much different. Different accent," he said, drawling his speech. "They all don't talk quite as funny as y'all do you down here you know what I mean, up there in Scranton." His voice dropped to a low, monosyllabic booming, "They ALL TALK LIKE THIS there in Scranton, you know what I mean?"
"Only people from coal country truly know what it means to have to get back up."
He told the mine workers that though they may forget sometimes, "You basically started the whole union movement in America. You're the ones back up in my part of the country which were the ones that went on strike and got the living hell beaten out of ya'. You were the ones out there who said that everyone's entitled to some treatment."
He used mining regulations to segue into the topic of the economy and the financial woes suffered this week in the market, saying the problems with the market were caused by the same thing that caused deaths in the Sago mine disaster.
"What happened? What happened was we cut all these regulations. These regulations were all talked about as being bad. The regulations that save our lives, protect our savings, protect our interests."
Biden quoted an article written by McCain, published this month in the magazine Contingencies, where McCain said he would open up the health care insurance market to national competition, as had been done with banking, to offer more choices by getting rid of state regulation.
"Translated?" said Biden. "Get rid of the regulations, get rid of the protection, and hang on to your health insurance. Ladies and gentlemen, this guy's not learned anything."