Biden mocks Romney in second debate

Romney son defends Dad at Greeley campaign stopover
The Colorado Statesman

GREELEY — A peppy Vice President Joe Biden hammered Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan at a rally in Greeley on Wednesday, charging more than once that the Republican ticket was stuck in “a 1950s time warp.”

On the morning after a charged presidential debate, Biden told the estimated 1,100 people gathered inside an exhibit hall in Island Grove Regional Park that he was proud of President Barack Obama, calling him a “man of principle, a man of gumption, a man with a steady hand and a clear vision. That’s what America got to see last night.”

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Beaprez and Craig Romney, youngest of Mitt and Ann Romney’s five sons, address a crowd while standing in front of a back-hoe on Oct. 17 at Lincoln Park in Greeley. The heavy equipment was meant to symbolize Republican intentions to “unbury” the middle class.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

Biden alternately criticized his Republican opponents for vague policy proposals and derided them as out of touch for the ones they’ve spelled out.

“You heard the debate last night,” Biden said, drawing cheers of assent from an unusually vocal crowd. “When Gov. Romney was asked a direct question about pay equity, he started talking about binders,” Biden said, mocking a Romney remark about the “binders full of women” he compiled in order to find women to serve in his cabinet. “Whoa!” Biden said, throwing his arms in dismay. “The idea that he had to go and ask where a qualified woman was, he just should have come to my house. He didn’t need a binder.”

Vice President Joe Biden addresses a crowd of 1,100 at a rally on Oct. 17, the day after the second presidential debate, at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley. “When Gov. Romney was asked a direct question about pay equity, he started talking about binders,” Biden said, “Whoa!”
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

But when it comes to the budget, Biden said, the Romney-Ryan ticket leaves too much unsaid.

“Gov. Romney was a little — how can I say it? — sketchy. No details, no specifics. But folks, that’s not new. We’ve now had three debates and the answers have been the same: ‘maybe,’ ‘it depends,’ ‘we’ll let you know after the election.’ Folks, these are the only guys I’ve ever heard — out of any guys I’ve ever met — who thought that not telling you now, but telling you after the election, constituted leadership.”

Greeley City Councilman Charlie Archibeque, a Korean War veteran and a Republican, says that he plans to vote for Barack Obama this year at a rally headlined by Vice President Joe Biden at Island Grove Regional Park on Oct 17. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don’t speak for me or my values,” he said.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

Biden ridiculed Romney’s infamous 47-percent comments, calling them “the most astounding thing I’ve heard in my career, because they believe it.” When Romney says that “his job is not to worry about those people,” Biden said, “That 47 percent should worry about Romney, because he doesn’t have any idea who they are.”

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar introduces Vice President Joe Biden at a rally on Oct. 17 at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley. Biden later said that Salazar was instrumental persuading his son Beau to run for Delaware attorney general.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

Then, bemoaning the pessimistic tone taken by Republicans, who blame the Democratic administration for a moribund economy, Biden flashed a smile.

“I don’t recognize the country they’re talking about,” he said, adding, “America is neither dependent nor is it in decline.” He closed with what has become a staple of his stump speeches this year: “It’s never, never, never been a good idea to bet against the American people.”

Marie Doyle, who recently moved to Greeley from Denver, said that it had been worth the long wait “standing outside, in the wind” to see the fiery orator.

“He’s real — he just shakes his head like, ‘I don’t get it,’” she said with a grin. “He’s passionate, he cares, he gets America.”

Doyle said she’s as enthused about voting for Obama this year as she was four years ago.

“Obama made a lot of changes in his first two years that we’re just now seeing be implemented. I would hate to go back to the Republican economic view — that’s how we got here in the first place,” she said.

Biden was introduced by his former Senate colleague Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The former Colorado attorney general played a pivotal role convincing his son Beau to run for the same office in Delaware, Biden said. Before Salazar spoke, his successor in the Senate also took jabs at Romney’s debate performance.

“He may have binders of women, whatever that means, but I live in a house full of women, and I can tell you they’re not fooled,” said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. Urging voters not to be taken in by whichever version of Romney shows up between now and the election, Bennet contended, “Time and time again, he’ll say whatever he has to in order to get elected,” adding that the candidate was “unshackled from the facts.”

Massachusetts state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez told the crowd that Romney’s boasts of a bipartisan record as governor were make-believe.

“I fell out of my seat when I heard Mitt Romney talk about the fantasy Massachusetts last night. I was there, folks,” he said, adding that Romney “acted like a CEO and treated legislators as his employees,” down to installing a velvet rope that restricted access to the elevator to his office.

“Why should anyone think he would be any different as president of this great United States?” Sanchez contin-ued. “We’ve seen the real Mitt Romney. We’ve seen him in Massachusetts.”

About a mile away in a windswept park, two Republicans who’ve seen the real Mitt Romney attested to his qualifications to lead the country out of the doldrums.

Charging that jobs haven’t kept pace with population growth, former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, who rode countless miles across Iowa with Romney during the 2008 presidential primaries, told a small crowd gathered in a park, “We’re not even treading water in the Obama-Biden economy, the Obama-Biden recovery.”

But it was Romney’s youngest son, Craig, who offered the most up-close-and-personal take on the presidential candidate.

Before embarking on the 2012 campaign, Romney said, his biggest concern was that people wouldn’t get to see his father’s “true character.”

When the family gathered to decide whether Mitt would run for president again, the younger Romney said, each family member told him, “Not only should you do this, but for the country’s sake, you have to do this.”

Ernest@coloradostatesman.com