Vice President Joe Biden today will begin to lay out a defining argument for President Obama's re-election with an Ohio speech outlining a simple, populist message aimed at independent voters in swing states.
In excerpts of his remarks released by the Obama campaign, Biden frames the coming general election as choice between two contrasting visions, rather than a referendum on Obama's record.
"Stated simply, we're about promoting the private sector. They're about protecting the privileged sector," Biden will say in what will be his first public speech on the campaign trail.
The event, scheduled to take place at a United Auto Workers union hall in Toledo, Ohio, is the first of four planned for the next few weeks at which Biden will lay out the stakes of the November election as the president's campaign sees them.
"We're a fair shot, and a fair shake. They're about no rules, no risk and no accountability," he will say, according to the campaign.
Biden also portrays Obama as a principled and decisive leader, in contrast to the Republican most likely to challenge Obama - Mitt Romney - whom Democrats have portrayed as a flip-flopper "without a core."
"This man has a spine of steel," Biden will say of the president, referring to the 2009 auto industry bailout that many Republicans, including Romney, opposed.
"He made the tough call. And the verdict is in: President Obama was right and his critics were dead wrong," he will add.
Biden will also argue that electing a Republican to the White House would mean dangerously rolling back consumer protections Obama fought to put in place and reverting to an economic system "that's rigged."
"That's a stark choice," Biden will say. "To my mind, it isn't a choice at all."
The Toledo visit marks Biden's third trip to Ohio this year. Both previous visits were to Columbus, Ohio.