State News

Biden pushes theme of reclaiming America

Posted October 27, 2008 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated October 27, 2008 6:34 p.m. EDT

— Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was rolling through North Carolina again Monday after a three-city bus tour last week in an effort to secure the state for the Democrats in next week's election.

Barack Obama's running mate led a rally Monday morning at East Carolina University and an afternoon rally in Greensboro.

Biden continued to push the themes of economic recovery, ending the war in Iraq, expanding health-care coverage and building an industry around domestic production of renewable energy.

"We do not have to accept things the way they are," he said to a crowd at ECU. "It's our time. It's America's time. It's time to get up and take back the country we love."

Biden told supporters he and Obama would work to restore the middle class and fight for change in Washington. Republican presidential candidate John McCain won't do that, he said.

"I know Halloween is coming up, but John McCain dressed as an agent of change – that costume doesn't fit, folks," Biden said.

He also compared Republican attacks on Obama to those leveled against Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

"New ideas and new leaders are often met with negative attacks built on lies," he told a crowd in Greensboro. "That's how (Republicans have) won in the past – divide us, scare us, tell us we're different.

"Our problems are too big, and for too long, our politics have been too small."

Supporters eagerly lapped up the message.

"I've already voted, and I think that he explained all the reasons why he needs to be vice president and why Obama needs to be president," Carol Irons said.

"He got a lot of people motivated, got a lot of people excited about Barack," said Carl Stupka, a senior at ECU.

The Democratic ticket is pushing to win North Carolina for the first time in more than three decades. Recent polls have shown Obama and McCain locked in a tight race, with McCain edging into the lead in the past week.

Obama plans a stop in Raleigh on Wednesday – gates open at 10 a.m. on Halifax Mall in the state government complex on North Salisbury Street – and his wife, Michelle Obama, will be in Fayetteville and Rocky Mount the same day.

Not to be outdone, the Republicans are also hammering their message in the surprise swing state.

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was in Asheville on Sunday, and McCain will be in Fayetteville on Tuesday.