Vice President Joe Biden in Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS - Vice President Joe Biden pulled no punches in his criticism of the budget plan offered by Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan.
"They call their budget plan bold and gutsy," Biden told the crowd of 1,600 that gathered in the Milwaukee Road Depot in downtown Minneapolis.
"I have a rhetorical question. What's gutsy about giving millionaires another tax cut? What's bold about gutting Medicare, education, research and development in order to pay for that tax cut?"
It was the opening salvo in what will be an active week for presidential politics in Minnesota. Romney will travel to the Twin Cities on Thursday for two private fundraisers in the Lake Minnetonka area.
There's also speculation the man at the top of the GOP ticket will make a surprise visit to the Minnesota State Fair, which opens the same day.
But on Tuesday it was Biden who drew the cameras. He used the opportunity to portray the Romney-Ryan plan as a revised version of trickle-down economics.
"We've already seen that movie," Biden quipped. "We all know how it ends. It ends with the kind of financial disaster and deep recession we saw in 2007."
Biden's pitch for another four years of Obama-Biden team keyed on the four million plus private sector jobs that have been added to the economy during 28 consecutive months of job growth.
He said he often hears that Democrats lack the kinds of straight-forward, simple slogans that fit on Republican billboards and bumper stickers.
"Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive! There's a bumper sticker for you. That about sums it up!" the Vice President asserted.
US Senator Amy Klobuchar and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak took the stage before Biden, but the role of introducing the Vice President fell to Justin Ihle of Brooklyn Park. His son William was born with a rare genetic condition causing tumors to grow on all of his vital organs.
"This ObamaCare, this health reform, is a big deal!" Ihle told the crowd, moments before yielding the microphone to Biden.
Ihle said the cost of his son's life-saving surgeries have been covered in large part by the private insurance he receives through his employer. And, due to the Affordable Care Act, he no longer has to worry about will being denied coverage in the future because of his pre-existing condition.
On his way out of town Biden made an unannounced stop at South High School in Minneapolis, where he paid a visit to the Tiger football team during one of their summer practice sessions.
He told to boys of his time playing football in high school, and talked to them about the importance of going to college after graduating.
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