ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe Reports: As Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama prepares to unveil his economic rescue plan for the middle class later Monday, his running mate Joe Biden said that Obama wants to attack the nation’s faltering economy, but their Republican opponent John McCain only wants to attack Obama personally.
“Barack is going to make a major speech on economic policy, gonna further outline what he’s going to do and how he’s going to deal with it,” Biden said at American Legion Post No. 7 in Rochester, NH. “And, but as you look at the, at least the excerpts released so far, it looks like John McCain’s entire speech is gonna be attack, attack, attack, attack. Now look, by contrast, it seems it couldn’t be clearer to me. It couldn’t be clearer to me what’s going on here. John McCain wants to attack Barack Obama and Barack Obama wants to attack the problems that face America today.”
Biden added he’s not worried that McCain’s attacks will influence the Granite State, but cautioned that the GOP ticket’s use of “false charges” and “baseless accusations” is an attempt to distract voters nationwide.
“If there’s any political audience in America that’s not likely to be distracted by this tactic, it’s the people here in the state of New Hampshire,” the Delaware lawmaker said. “Probably the most sophisticated group – I mean this sincerely – on both sides of the aisle. The most sophisticated group of political observers in the country. And so I doubt whether the attacks they’re going to distract you very much, but around the country they’re hoping to be able to do it.”
“But here’s the bottom line: these attacks don’t hurt Barack Obama, these attacks don’t hurt me," he continued. "Every single false charge, every single baseless accusation that comes forward is an attempt to get you to focus on something other than what’s going on in your family, other than something’s going what’s in your neighborhood, in your state. Beyond the attacks, and I mean this literally, beyond the attacks, what is John McCain really offering?”
Noting that he was in a state that McCain called his "second home", the site of the Republican’s resurgent run to the presidential nomination, Biden told voters that only Obama is capable of instilling the necessary confidence among international leaders to steer the country past this economic crisis.
“There’s a need for the international community in this global economy to come up with a common approach how to deal with this economic crisis. It’s not just talk, it’s a reality. You see the markets are moving again today, they’re doing better, they’re bouncing back a little bit. Why? Because of international cooperation with the banks in England are doing and what we’re doing. So folks, look, you need international leadership and it can only come from one place. The president of the United States of America. And it can only come quite frankly, in my view, obviously from Barack Obama.”
Re-hashing a line he first debuted back on his introduction as Obama’s running mate August 23 in Springfield, Ill., Biden warned that McCain might be "a great soldier", but that does not equip him to deal with the economic downturn.
“People assume because he had been a great soldier that he had certain hands, that John, in a moment of crisis, would know what to do,” Biden said. “Well, ladies and gentlemen, John’s hands have been anything but certain in the last year. They’ve been uncertain. And the McCain administration would be uncertain, clinging to the past, lurching from one bad idea to another.”
However, what the alternative would be to a McCain administration is another matter…
“In an Obiden – in an Obama-Biden administration,” said Biden, stumbling over his words.
“We know, we know…,” he tried to continue, before acknowledging his mis-step as the crowd laughed.
“It’s hard to get used to,” he then said with a chuckle. “I got it. We’re used to it, I got it. We got this thing the right way.”