Biden at Wisconsin rally: ‘We had a little bit of a debate’

La Crosse, Wis. -- Joe Biden brought the brash style that he displayed during Thursday night's vice-presidential debate to a campaign rally here Friday afternoon.

Running onto the stage, the energetic V.P. was met with a hero's welcome from a crowd of 2,000 crammed into a room at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse's Cartwright Center.

"I'm sure you observed last night we had a little bit of a debate with a gentleman from Wisconsin," Biden said, soaking in applause. "The differences we have are profound."

Though his speech at the rally was devoid of the Bidenisms that created buzz after the  debate -- there was no mention of "malarkey" or “This is a bunch of stuff” -- the vice president rallied the crowd and tracked over many of the points he made in Kentucky Thursday night.

He summed up what he called his message to his opponents on the debate stage this way: "Gentleman it has never been a good idea to bet against the American people. ... All you hear from them is a culture of dependency, an America in decline. I don't see Americans who think they are dependent. ... I got news for Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan. America is not dependent nor or is in decline!"

Biden also emphasized abortion rights, describing what he saw as major difference between his ticket and his opponent's. It is not an issue he usually tackles so directly in his regular campaign speech.

"Congressman Ryan made it very clear that he and Governor Romney are prepared to impose their private views on everyone else," Biden said. "It was made clear last night that they do not believe in protecting a woman's access to health care. It was made very clear that they do not believe a woman has a right to control her own body—that’s between she and her doctor. And now they say they are willing to make an exception in the case of rape and incest. Ladies and gentlemen, Congressman Ryan was a leader in the House and even blocked those exceptions."

The vice president also dove into foreign policy, trying to differentiate the Obama administration's stance from that of Romney and Ryan on the war in Afghanistan.

"I made it absolutely clear on behalf of the president and I that we are leaving Afghanistan in 2014," Biden said, referring to his remarks at the debate. "Now it's time for [the Afghans] to stand up as we draw down. What [Romney and Ryan] say depends on what day you ask."

Biden also hit hard again on Romney's comments at a Florida fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans are unwilling to take responsibility. Romney has since said he misspoke.
"I don't know who these guys are talking about," Biden said, repeating part a line he used during the debate. "These people are like my mom and dad were. The 47 percent have taken plenty of responsibility. It's about time Gov. Romney take some responsibility ... and help the middle class."

Biden saved some of his toughest words for Ryan's budget proposal, which Biden has said would deny 200,000 children early education. "Paul Ryan saying his budget is not really a budget cut is like Governor Romney standing in the unemployment line and saying to a guy , 'I didn't offshore your job, I outsourced it.'"

President Obama leads Mitt Romney by three points in this swing state according to a  CBS News-New York Times poll conducted earlier this month. The poll showed Romney closing the gap in Wisconsin, which Obama won handily in the 2008 election.

This is Biden's third campaign trip to Wisconsin this year. Absentee ballots in the state are now available, and in-person early voting begins on Oct. 22.
Biden is scheduled to return home to Delaware for the weekend.

Krissah Thompson began writing for The Washington Post in 2001. She has been a business reporter, covered presidential campaigns and written about civil rights and race. More recently, she has covered the first lady's office, politics and culture.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read Politics



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Bill Turque · October 12, 2012

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.