- Posted October 13, 2012 by
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Vice President Debate-The Day After: Biden Energizes Wisconsin
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Joe Biden, joined by his wife, Jill, spoke at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. Nearly 2500 people crammed into Cartwright Center to hear the Vice President’s follow up to the nationally televised debate held less than 24 hours earlier.
Long lines of people began forming hours before the Vice President’s appearance. Inside Cartwright Center, approximately 2,000 filled the hall, with hundreds filling an overflow area with large screen projection. The crowd was made up of university students, community members, and the press. Security was tight throughout the area.
Biden focused on many of the key issues covered in the previous evening’s debate, which was moderated by Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent of ABC News.
The Vice President talked about the U.S. economy and referred to Governor Romney’s “47 percent” statement which was brought up in the debate. Biden pointed out, “As the consequence of the Great Recession, middle class families lost $16 trillion in wealth, mostly in the equity in their homes, they saw them evaporate, and their pensions plans and their 401Ks. It’s time…it’s time for everyone to chip in, including the wealthy.”
Biden took aim at Romney by saying, “It’s about time Governor Romney takes some responsibility. Take some responsibly to help the American people, the middle class…instead of lining up to sign a pledge to a guy named Grover Norquist.” In some of his toughest criticism of the Republican Congress, Biden said they, “signed a pledge that we will not raise taxes one dollar on the wealthy.” Biden continue, “It’s time Romney and Ryan and the Republican Congress take a pledge to the middle class people saying we’re going to level the playing field, we’re going to get you back in the game, we’re going to give you a fair shot again. It’s time they acknowledge what got us in this trouble in the first place.”
Biden also reaffirmed the administration’s stance on Afghanistan by saying, “I made it absolutely clear on behalf of the President and I, that we are leaving Afghanistan in 2014, period. There are no ifs, ands, or buts.”
On the issues of abortion and equal pay rights, the Vice President was particularly forceful saying, “Barack Obama and Joe Biden are absolutely, positively firmly committed to ensuring that our daughters and my granddaughters have the exact same rights and opportunities to control their lives as my sons and my grandsons. Exact same rights!”
Although the GOP did not visit La Crosse during Biden’s visit, the Romney-Ryan campaign left their mark with a full page ad in the La Crosse Tribune. In bold letters the ad said, "In the Obama economy, over 20 million young Americans are living back home with their parents. It's your choice, move home with mom and dad or 12 million new jobs for American workers."
In the same edition of the paper’s Business section, the headline read, “New jobless claims plunge to 4 1/2- year low.” The article pointed out that some analysts have said the “report probably overstates what appears to be a moderately improving economy.” However according to Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, New York, “Today’s 339,000 likely exaggerates the (job) improvements, but its story and the direction of the labor market is real.”
For voters, understanding and being informed about a dizzying array of numbers, statistics, and percentages in the political news can be daunting. It appears the Presidential election will be close and the outcome may be decided by just a few states. In analyzing Wisconsin’s swing-state status, UW-La Crosse Political Science Professor, Joe Heim said, “If this is a close election, Western Wisconsin could very well decide the election.”
The Vice President concluded his enthusiastic speech by saying, “We need you to help us win Wisconsin, because if we win Wisconsin, we win this election.”
Biden stayed for nearly a half hour after his speech, shaking hands and talking to attendees. Arriving late to his speech appearance in La Crosse, it was later learned that his motorcade had made an unannounced stop at a local elementary school to visit with students.
For the Ryan campaign, according to the Milwaukee Journal, “Ryan was in Ohio on Friday, but then will head to his home state. He's scheduled to appear Sunday at a fundraiser with U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Monday morning, Ryan will appear at a town hall meeting at Carroll University's Van Male Field House in Waukesha.
Next up, Presidential debate #2. Stay tuned.