Biden Blasts ‘Deafening’ Republican Silence on Key Issues

By Lee Speigel

Sep 5, 2008 7:19pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: In his most animated performance thus far on the campaign trail, Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., delighted supporters Friday at a campaign stop outside of Philadelphia, going on an extended rant against Republicans and their presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

"It’s not so much what I heard in the Republican convention, when you heard John speak last night, not so much what I heard when I heard part of what the governor had to say, the vice presidential candidate — it’s what I didn’t hear: the silence, the silence of the Republican Party was deafening," Biden said, the applause of the Langhorne crowd starting to build with each word.

"It was deafening on jobs, on health care, on environment, on all the things that matter to the people in the neighborhoods I grew up in!" roared the Scranton-born senator as the audience rose to their feet.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he continued, his voice lifting over the cheers. "Their America is not the America I live in, they see something different than I see.

"Do any of you recall either candidate on the Republican ticket utter the phrase middle class?" he asked the crowd.

"No!" they yelled back in unison, and so it continued, back and forth.

"Did any of you hear them utter the phrase health care and how we’re gonna help?"

"No!"

"Did you hear them talk about aid to get kids to college?"

"No!"

"Did you hear them talk about AIDS education?"

"No!"

"Did you hear them talk about putting more cops on the streets to make them safer?"

"No!"

"I didn’t hear a thing, a thing, about any of the things that matter to the lives of the people," Biden concluded.

Speaking in a middle school gym, the colorful Delaware senator compared Republican behavior at their St. Paul convention this week to the mean kids making snide remarks at school.

"They were like the kids, you know, when you went to school and you were very proud of the new belt you had and the shoes you had. And there was always one kid in the class who said, ‘Oh, are they your brother’s?’ Remember that kid? That’s what this reminded me of. ‘Oh, I love that dress, is that your mother’s?’ You know what I’m talking about."

Not everyone in the crowd did, but Biden soon got his fans back on track, sending them into a standing ovation moments later.

"What do you talk about when you have nothing to say?" he asked, criticizing their attacks on the man at the top of his ticket, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. "What do you talk about when you can’t explain the last eight years of failure? What do you talk about? You talk about the other guy!"

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