Vice President Biden took on the traditional role that has been reserved to those who have previously served in his position as the political wing man for a president seeking re-election: he went on the attack.
At a UAW hall in Toledo, Ohio, Biden reminded his audience that the Republican presidential candidates had opposed the auto bailout that the Obama administration orchestrated.
With Ohio being second only to Michigan in the number of its auto-manufacturing related jobs, Biden's organized labor audience didn't need much prodding about which candidates supported and which opposed federal aid to the industry:
BIDEN: "Folks, a million jobs at stake — a million good jobs were at stake on the assembly line, at the parts factories, at the automobile dealerships, right down to the diners outside each of those facilities. Our friends on the other side, our Republican friends, had started a mantra. They started the mantra that said, we would make auto companies "wards of the state" was their phrase. Governor Romney was more direct — let Detroit go bankrupt."
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Booo!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: He said that. He said that what we proposed, and I quote, "is even worse than bankruptcy." He said it would make GM "the living dead." Newt Gingrich said, "a mistake."
But the guy I work with every day, the President, he didn't flinch. This is a man with steel in his spine. He knew that resurrecting the industry wasn't going to be popular. It was absolutely clear in every bit of polling data. And he knew he was taking a chance, but he believed. He wasn't going to give up on a million jobs and on the iconic industry America invented. At least, he wasn't going to give it up without a real fight.
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: That's right.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That's the kind of President, in my view, we all want, a President with the courage of his convictions — (applause) — a President willing to take risks on behalf of American workers and the American people. And, folks, that's exactly what we have, a President with the courage of his convictions. He made the tough call and the verdict is in. President Obama was right and they were dead wrong. (Applause.)