Local Politics

Biden attacks Romney, Ryan positions in Durham visit

Posted August 13, 2012
Updated August 14, 2012

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Vice President Joe Biden told hundreds of cheering supporters in Durham on Monday that the selection of the choice of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential nominee demonstrates a clear choice for voters this November.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday named Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who heads the House Budget Committee, as his running mate, and Biden wasted no time going after his GOP counterpart in a speech at the Durham Armory.

Biden said Ryan is a key member of the Republican Congress that has stonewalled efforts to improve the economy in recent years and that wants the U.S. to revert to the failed policies that brought on the recession.

"Ryan gives definition to the vague commitments (Republican presidential candidate Mitt) Romney has been making," Biden said. "They've already passed in the House what Romney's promising to give the nation."

Romney's platform of cutting taxes for the wealthy, slashed education spending and repealing health care reform would put an undue burden on America's middle class, wouldn't balance the budget and wouldn't boost the economy, the vice president said.

"We don't think you grow the economy from millionaires down," he said. "We think you grow the economy the old-fashioned way – from the middle-class out."

Joe Biden surprises Hillsborough firefighters Joe Biden surprises Hillsborough firefighters

William Peace University political science professor David McLennan said it's not surprising that Biden wanted to "go after (Ryan) with both guns."

"(Biden's) a veteran. He knows what he's doing," McLennan said. "He's going to advance the president's cause and make the president the champion of the middle class."

The Obama campaign will likely try to use Ryan's proposed Medicare changes against Romney, McLennan said, noting that the issue could play a role in battleground states with many retirees, such as Florida and North Carolina.

"What you’ve done is drawn some distinctions. You’ve got now Ryan and Romney, with Ryan’s economic message now further sharpened," he said. "You’ve got the Obama-Biden team. They’re going to try to define Paul Ryan as being against the seniors. So you’ve really got some interesting battle lines drawn."

Biden said voters have "one of the starkest choices" in the November election, noting that the Democratic and Republican tickets have "fundamentally different values."

Biden campaigns in Durham Biden campaigns in Durham

"The differences couldn't be more clearly laid out," he said. "Maybe once that choice is made, we can stop all this gridlock and all this obstructionism, and we can start to move on."

Supporters said Biden's rhetoric was on target Monday.

"The opposition is talking about restoring different parts of America, but this is the team that's going to accomplish that," Steven Prince said.

"He connected with people, and I think everybody was fired up," Alfreda Price-Wicker said.

After his speech, Biden stopped at Blue Coffee Café in Durham to meet the winners of the campaign's "Cup of Joe with Joe" contest. They flew in from Texas and Indiana for the event.

At the coffeehouse and at another stop at the Hillsborough Fire Department, Biden praised firefighters, recounting how Delaware firefighters saved his son's lives in an accident 40 years ago that killed his first wife and daughter.

Joe Biden in Durham Biden's campaign rhetoric resonates with Durham crowd

The trip was Biden's third to North Carolina this year, and both the Obama and Romney campaigns and their supporters are targeting the state with dozens of local offices and millions of dollars on ads.

One immediate effect of Ryan's selection could be to change the tenor of those ads, McLennan said.

"We may see the ads move from personal attacks to more substantive discussions of policy, because Ryan is an economic expert, and so he’s defined the election about economics," he said.

The latest WRAL News poll showed Obama and Romney in a virtual dead heat in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,000 votes in 2008.

"For the Romney-Ryan team, they are doing exactly what they should be doing, which is making it about the economy, making it about the president’s record," McLennan said. "The Obama team has got to try to define Ryan and by extension Romney as being out of touch but also against the middle class as well as seniors."

700 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • ladyblue Aug 15, 10:00 a.m.

    This article was voted: "Most likely to induce panic-stricken strokes" among the far-right wing of the republican party. (If ya'll sweet-talk Mitt, maybe he'll change his mind about picking Paul Ryan for his VP, since you know how Romney LOVES to flip-flop anyhow...just sayin'.) ;)

    and this statement was voted most silly of the day...since no one has flip flopped on issues more than the one in office now from definition of marrriage to NO NEW TAXES..and UI will drop, but my favorite if the country and jobs have not gotten better after my stimulus ,i don't deserve a second term-- so why is he running? As far s I'm concerned anyone taking Biden serious is just about lost it anyway. because he'll say anything and get that wrong most of the time..

  • SARCASTICLES Aug 14, 6:54 p.m.

    This article was voted: "Most likely to induce panic-stricken strokes" among the far-right wing of the republican party. (If ya'll sweet-talk Mitt, maybe he'll change his mind about picking Paul Ryan for his VP, since you know how Romney LOVES to flip-flop anyhow...just sayin'.) ;)

  • christinebbd Aug 14, 5:16 p.m.

    In 2010, the President went out of his way to commend Ryan for his proposal, calling it genuine, detailed and a legitimate plan to tackle our fiscal crisis.

    See it for yourself here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZBT5wnDK7L0

    In 2010, Paul Ryan continues his push for alternative solutions, garnering praise from President Obama for putting forth a "serious," "legitmate" proposal to save our critical health and retirement security programs for current and future generations.

    Now it's 2012: Too bad it's an election year. Medicare, retirement security programs, fiscal crisis aren't what's important, getting re-elected is on the front burner, the same plan Obama liked in 2010 has to be slammed now.

  • christinebbd Aug 14, 5:06 p.m.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZBT5wnDK7L0

    C-span news report shown on youtube. The entire transcript of Obama's praise, and conversation with Ryan, is also shown below this video, including:

    Obama: "As I said before, this is an entirely legitimate proposal. There is a political vulnerability to doing anything that tinkers with Medicare. And that's probably the biggest savings that are obtained through Paul's plan."

  • christinebbd Aug 14, 5:05 p.m.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZBT5wnDK7L0

  • mustangyts Aug 14, 4:54 p.m.

    Fehanline, this is America! Find yourself a socialist country such as the failed one's of Europe, where everything is fair, and leave America. You have no understanding of what built this nation or what it will to restore it.

  • fehanline Aug 14, 4:25 p.m.

    Wow so many lies and almost all come the Romney supporters! Can anyone tell me why having the 400 richest in the US have more wealth than the bottom 150,000,000 (yes that's 15o Million) is okay?

    OBTW, if you take the assets of the top 1% you would pay off the deficit and then some. They seem to have Trillions of dollars in off shore accounts

  • mustangyts Aug 14, 4:16 p.m.

    You could take every dime the upper 5 percent has, all of their net worth, and not put a scratch in the deficient. Obama's policies will ultimately crash our economy and the government will have to step in and take control. I really do believe that is Obamas ultimate plan. We continue to inflate intitlement programs for people that live their entire lives on the backs of taxpayers. Their numbers are growing and the taxpayers are burdened with more taxes. We need to tighten our belt, stop the entitlements for the dead beats, and cut taxes to put more money in the pockets of the tax payers, not the government. The numbers of people on welfare, that commit crimes, have child after child, and do absolutely nothing are growing. Now the so called "immigrants" are jumping in on the free money! Obama is creating quite a voting base with entitlements. WAKE UP AMERICA!

  • christinebbd Aug 14, 4:15 p.m.

    Paul Ryan continues his push for alternative solutions, garnering praise from President Obama for putting forth a "serious," "legitmate" proposal to save our critical health and retirement security programs for current and future generations.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZBT5wnDK7L0

    The President went out of his way to commend Ryan for his proposal, calling it genuine, detailed and a legitimate plan to tackle our fiscal crisis.

    Too bad it's an election year. Medicare, retirement security programs, fiscal crisis aren't what's important, getting re-elected is on the front burner now.

  • christinebbd Aug 14, 4:12 p.m.

    obama in 2010 on Ryan Roadmap: ‘This is an entirely legitimate proposal’
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZBT5wnDK7L0

    C-span news report shown on youtube. The entire transcript of Obama's praise, and conversation with Ryan, is also shown below this video, including

    Obama: "As I said before, this is an entirely legitimate proposal. There is a political vulnerability to doing anything that tinkers with Medicare. And that's probably the biggest savings that are obtained through Paul's plan."

More...