On election eve, Biden rallies voters in Sterling
With Bruce Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own” echoing through the scenic grounds of Claude Moore Park, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill stepped out among 800 fired-up supporters to boast the Obama-Biden record one last time in Loudoun County before Election Day.
“We love Joe, we love Joe,” the crowd chanted as Biden began a speech touting what he sees as the successes of the Obama-Biden term, including the American auto industry bailout, drawing down troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the economy back from the Great Recession and supporting legislation aimed at promising equal opportunities for women.
“We are so much better positioned than any nation in the world to be the leading economy in the world, the greatest military in the world, the greatest political system in the world,” Biden said. “We’ve united our allies for the first time in the last five years. We’ve made real progress.”
The vice president quickly noted he’d seldom taken the stage with such a star-studded Democratic backdrop. Joining Biden on the trail Monday were U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb, and Gov. Tim Kaine – now a candidate for the retiring Webb’s Senate seat.
“This Warner guy, he’s so popular, we’re just hanging onto his coat … ,” Biden said. “And Kaine, I tell you what, Kaine worries me so much – everybody likes him.”
Biden then praised Webb, who’s retiring after one term, for being a “stand-up man.”
“I’ve served a long time, I’ve never met anybody who has the combination of being smarter and tougher and just straight, flat honorable as this man right here,” Biden said of Webb.
The choice before the nation’s voters, Biden said, couldn’t be more stark.
The vice president noted the Obama administration has created five million new jobs, increased exports and worked to ensure more young adults can afford college education through Pell grants.
Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, meanwhile, are “like kids trying to outrun their shadow,” Biden quipped, claiming the GOP ticket has shifted its policy stances and abandoned many of the positions they’ve long advocated for.
“Did you see that foreign policy debate with the president? I didn’t now whether or not Romney was going to endorse Barack or debate him,” Biden said. “[Romney] went from harshly criticizing us and our 49 allies in Afghanistan for setting an end date to turn over responsibility to the Afghans … to, well, he ‘kind of agrees with the time line.’”
Biden claimed Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s favorite phase is, “It depends.”
“It depends on the weather, it depends on the polls, it depends on how I feel, it depends on how many times I want to change my position,” Biden said of Romney’s policy positions. “With everything this guy, it always depends.”
From Sterling, the Bidens and other high-profile Democrats motored south to the state capital for a rally featuring musician John Mellencamp, a vocal Obama-Biden supporter.
In 2008, Loudoun County, like Virginia, voted Democrat for the first time in more than four decades, with 54 percent of voters casting their ballots for President Barack Obama.
The race in Virginia remains dead-locked. The lastest polling average from Real Clear Politics shows Romney ahead by half a percentage point. Nationally, the polls show an equally tight race—though Obama has the slight edge overall, according to the Real Clear Politics average.
Just hours after the vice president’s speech at Claude Moore Park, Romney gave a speech to a crowd of 8,000 just 20 miles away in Fairfax. Before that, Romney focused remarks in Lynchburg on the national economy. The U.S. unemployment rate is hovering just below 8 percent and the federal debt has topped $16 trillion, approximately $5 trillion of which was brought on during Obama’s term.
“The same path means $20 trillion of debt at the end of a second term. It means crippling unemployment continuing for another four years,” Romney said. “It means stagnant take-home pay. It means depressed home values. And of course, it means a devastated military. Unless we change course, by the way, we may be looking at another recession.”
Following the rally in Sterling, Biden surprised lunch-goers at Mimi’s Cafe near Dulles Town Center. Read the Times-Mirror’s coverage of the Mimi’s Cafe visit here: http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/news/article/biden_grabs_lunch_chats_with_voters_at_mimis_cafe645/