MINNEAPOLIS - Vice President Joe Biden suggested a new image to associate with Republicans who opposed Democratic efforts to toughen regulations on Wall Street, characterizing them as " squealing pigs."
"Over the objections where they sound like squealing pigs, over the objections of Romney and all his allies, we passed some of the toughest Wall Street regulations in history, turning Wall Street back into the allocator of capital it always has been and no longer a casino. And they want to repeal it," Biden said at an event in Minneapolis.
Biden, who is in Minnesota for two events Tuesday followed by a stop in Detroit Wednesday, is on his first campaign swing since last week's controversial "chains" comment. In Minneapolis, Biden rallied a crowd of over 1,500, according to campaign officials, trying to draw a contrast between the future he and President Obama offer and that which the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket has put forth.
"I've never run across a presidential candidate who's a decent guy but more out of touch than Mr. Romney is right now," Biden said.
Biden, who said he's "so damn proud to be vice president with President Barack Obama," touted the efforts of the Obama administration to improve access to healthcare and education and boost the status of the middle class.
"Folks, the middle class is coming back. They have been ravaged. They have been ravaged. But they're starting to come back," Biden said. "We've helped them keep their homes and their health care, keep their child in college, protect them from predatory lending to make sure the big banks don't threaten the economy with those risky financial schemes of credit default swaps, collateral debt obligations and all this other funny stuff that brought the economy down."
Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, responded with this statement:
"Vice President Biden's claim that the middle class is 'coming back' couldn't be more out of touch with the reality. Whether it's high unemployment, falling incomes, soaring tuition costs, or rising prices, middle-class families are struggling in the worst economic recovery America has ever had. Mitt Romney's Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will deliver 12 million new jobs, grow our economy, and give the middle class hope once again."
Biden, who spent much of his career in the Senate traveling on Amtrak between Washington, D.C. and his home in Delaware, joked with the crowd about how comfortable he felt speaking to them in an old train depot.
"I'm more at home in a train depot than anywhere else," Biden said. "Being in a train depot is where I, kind of where I lived most of my life."