Obama supporters in Colorado have had fourteen opportunities this year to see the president in the flesh, but very few chances to catch Vice President Joe Biden, who is famous for sometimes saying strange and impolitic things. But this weekend, Biden appeared before hundreds in Arvada, delivering a lengthy, zinger-filled speech in which he told supporters that Mitt Romney is a liar who lacks confidence in average American people.
"Look, folks, I want to remind you -- this is the end of daylight-saving time tonight," Biden told an estimated 900 supporters inside Arvada West High School on Saturday early on in his nearly forty-minute speech. "It's Mitt Romney's favorite time of the year, because he gets to turn the clock back."
The comment spurred loud applause from the crowd and set the tone for a rally filled with digs at Romney, who Biden painted as a lying, flip-flopping candidate who, at the end of the day, lacks character and can't be trusted.
"He wants to turn that clock back so desperately. This time, he can really do it tonight," Biden said with a laugh, adding, "I am so ready to win this election, man."
His speech lined up with the message of president's large rally in Boulder two days prior, in which Obama told thousands of supporters that the country knows who he is and that they have to vote for the person they can trust.
The Romney insults were arguably more direct and frequent in the rally speech Biden delivered over the weekend, in what was only the vice president's second trip to Colorado this year.
After a prolonged and, according to Biden, off-script riff on how much he values veterans -- following an introduction from a Vietnam veteran -- the vice president, like Obama, praised the bipartisanship of officials' response to Hurricane Sandy's devastation on the East Coast.
"The president and I have spoken every day with the governors of the states affected by Hurricane Sandy, and the mayors and with all our teams.... And the reason I bother to tell you that, folks, is a lot of people are still hurting, but you guys have been through difficulties of your own in the past, and you all know that the immediate response says a lot about the American public," Biden said, "And what I felt so good about, and I mean this sincerely, being on those calls.... It was so reassuring.... I heard a genuine, genuine bipartisan commitment."
He added, "That's how it's supposed to work, folks. That's how it worked when I started. That's how it has to work again. That's how it was most of my career.... We used to cross the aisle all the time.... When this election is over, we need to get back to working together."
His talk of cross-party collaboration transitioned into a list of his administration's achievements and the problems that the country would face under a Romney presidency -- as much as people can know given that at this stage in the game, Biden said, the Republican candidate is so prone to changing his position.
"They're both decent fathers, they're both good family men," Biden said of Romney and Obama, "But they have a fundamentally different view of America and a fundamentally different value set."
Referencing the debates, the first of which took place in Denver and dealt a major blow to the Obama campaign, Biden said, "You began to wonder, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan seemed to be running as fast away from their positions as they can. It's like watching a little...kid trying to outrun his shadow!"
To loud applause, he added, "The shadow couldn't go away until the sun goes down.... It's going down Tuesday night."
Referncing the final foreign policy debate, Biden continued, "I didn't know whether Governor Romney was gonna go around and endorse Barack or debate him."
A Romney reply that deserves close scrutiny, Biden told the crowd, refers to the Republican's response to questions on the war in Afghanistan: "It depends."
"It depends on the day! It depends on the hour! It depends on the weather! It depends on whether the sun is shining!" Biden said, to laughs. "It depends on who's looking! It depends on who's asking!"
Continue for more from Vice President Joe Biden's speech in Arvada and for more photos. Biden also painted Romney and the Republican Party as ultra-conservative and the totally wrong choice for women, even if Romney and Ryan are trying to present themselves as more moderate in the final days of the race.
"They're now running from the basic building blocks of this new Republican Party," said Biden, adding of the GOP, "This is a different breed of cat, as my dad would say."
Biden repeatedly stamped his now-recognizable "malarkey" term on some of the latest attack ads from the Romney camp, arguing that Romney and Ryan are trying to "scare the living devil out of people" with their dishonest, misleading, inaccurate advertising.
He later pivoted back to Romney's infamous comments on the 47 percent, caught on a hidden camera, as a way to emphasize that Obama is someone people can trust.
"The measure of your character is not what you do when people are looking. It's what you do when you think no one is looking," Biden said, later adding, "Presidential elections are first and foremost about character. Character is the single most important ingredient a president must possess, and it's clear who has it and who does not have it. My God, Obama -- he has character!"
Voters, Biden said, are asking themselves, "Who can we trust?"
The answer, he said, is clear.
"Why would they do this stuff? I really mean it, because they're not bad men. Why would they do this?" Biden said, speaking of Republican policies that he says are very hostile to the middle class and much of America. "It's because, I truly believe, if you look at all their policies, the fundamental dividing line between the president...and [Mitt Romney]...is I don't think they have confidence in average Americans. I really mean it. I think they really do believe, unless the enlightened, the wealthy, the powerful are absolutely able to have their hands on the wheel and direct everything, that we're in trouble.
"We are determined to level the playing field.... That's the history of the journey of this country.... It has never, ever, ever been a good bet to bet against the American people."
He shouted, over loud cheers, "Never, never, never, never!"
Supporter Joy Pisciotta, 57, said she wished every undecided voter or Romney supporter had watched Biden's speech.
"It was one of the best I've heard," she said. "He really put Romney and Ryan into perspective -- that they are telling lies. And he did it with class."
Pisciotta, who is retired and lives in Arvada, added, "With a rally like this, he really is preaching to the choir. But if the American public could hear what he was saying...I really think they'd change their minds."
Photo by Brandon Marshall
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