"A middle class voter voting for John McCain is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders," Rich Trumka, Secretary/Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, said today in Ohio as he introduced Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., "and if the Republicans get in, you’re gonna get plucked!"
Trumka also referred to Biden as “the next president,” before correcting himself to introduce “the next vice-president.”
Biden broke down the choice for Buckeye State voters in a different manner, illustrating the distinction between the campaigns of Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., who is currently bunkered down for debate prep across the state in Toledo.
"I think this is the best way to look at this, folks, and the honest way,” Biden said. “The distinction could not be clearer: one guy’s fighting for you and the other guy’s fighting mad."
Biden continued: "At the end of the day, there’s a fundamental difference between Barack Obama and John McCain, and Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. And it’s literally this basic in my opinion –"
Biden was suddenly interrupted when an audience member yelled “brains!”
As the crowd laughed in approval, Biden paused.
“Maybe I should stop here,” he said.
Biden also thanked two prominent Buckeye State lawmakers who also appeared at the outdoor amphitheater event with him Tuesday morning.
“Thank you all for sending Sherrod Brown to the United States Senate,” Biden said. “You know, you often wonder when you meet a new guy or a new woman that you’re working with, you know, what made them what they are? Where’d he get all this spunk? Where’d he get all this grit? Where’d he get such a well-educated guy who’s ready to get down in the trenches and absolutely battle it out tooth and nail with you?
“And then I went to Mansfield, Ohio, I stopped at a diner and guess who I met? I met mom. I met his mom.”
“Meet Mrs. Brown and you’ll get it,” the Delaware lawmaker continued. “The first thing I said is, ‘You must be proud of your son’ and she said, ‘Which one?’"
With Sen. Brown sitting to Biden’s side on the stage, Biden called him out on his blushes.
“I’m embarrassing him but that’s what senior senators are allowed to do – embarrass junior senators,” said the six-term senator, pulling rank on freshman Brown.
Biden also thanked another Buckeye State legislator, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, in his inimitable Biden style.
“The problem with Tim is he’s too young and good-looking,” said the 65-year old Biden, who was recently accused in the Washington Post of using Botox (falsely, his spokesman said). “I don’t like young, good-looking guys anymore. I don’t like ‘em anymore. You know, I used to be young, I don’t know about the other part, but I used to be young, you know.”
A woman in the audience then shouted a compliment about Biden’s looks, prompting him to ask her to pass it along to his wife, Jill, who is back home in Delaware.
“Would you write a note to my wife and tell her that, alright?”
Biden emphasized to Buckeye State voters the importance of their presidential pick, noting that “Ohio is likely to determine who the next president of the United States is."
He appealed to organized labor and auto workers, recalling that it was labor “that brung me to the dance” when he was first elected to Capitol Hill in 1972 at the age of 29.
And the colorful veep nominee also recounted fond memories of one of his first cars, a 1956 Packard.
“We used to call it ‘The Battleship’,” Biden said, preaching to the crowd that the region needs fewer auto museums and more auto plants.
– Jake Tapper and Matthew Jaffe