GREEN BAY, Wis. — Vice President Joe Biden launched a new attack on Rep. Paul Ryan in his home state of Wisconsin today, criticizing the Republican vice presidential candidate for not admitting in his convention speech that he was a member of the bipartisan deficit commission he railed against Wednesday evening.
“What he didn’t tell you is he sat on that commission,” Biden said at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay. “He sat on that commission, and were he and his house Republican friends that he leads, had they voted with the commission, it would have been voted on, but he voted no. He would not let it go to the floor. He walked away.”
During his convention speech Wednesday, Ryan criticized the way President Obama initiated and handled the commission, but the Wisconsin congressman failed to mention his own role on it.
“[Obama] created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing,” Ryan said in Tampa.
Ryan was one of eight Republicans on the 18-member commission and was among three Republicans on the panel who voted against the commission’s recommendations, which failed to be adopted.
Biden also highlighted how the commission recommended $3 in spending cuts for every dollar raised in tax revenue, a proposal Romney and Ryan oppose.
“Congressman Ryan failed to mention any of that — a convenient omission I’d say,” Biden said.
“I love these guys how they claim to care about the deficit,” Biden said. “Ladies and gentlemen, the thing I most love at them is about how they discovered the middle class at their convention. Isn’t that amazing? All of a sudden their heart was bleeding for the middle class.”
Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck called the vice president’s criticism “hypocritical.”
“It’s difficult to fathom a more hypocritical charge from the vice president,” Buck said. “While Paul Ryan worked tirelessly to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington, the president remained on the sidelines, ignored his own fiscal commission, and oversaw an unprecedented downgrade of America’s credit. Paul Ryan has led on this issue while Barack Obama has failed to muster up the courage required to keep his promise to cut the deficit in half.”
Biden repeated his attack on Romney’s foreign policy positions, including Romney’s stances on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and touched on the number of lives lost in each of those wars.
“In Iraq, where my son served for a year, we lost 4,488 fallen angels, 32,227 wounded, over 16,000 requiring care for the rest of their lives. Romney said it was a mistake to end that war by bringing all our warriors home. In Afghanistan, we have lost 1,980 fallen angels as of yesterday, and I’m precise because every single one of those lives deserves to be recognized,” Biden said.
The vice president offered a critique of Ryan’s Medicare plan, saying he and Romney supported “Vouchercare” not Medicare.
Biden, who some have nicknamed “Amtrak Joe,” spoke to the Green Bay crowd at the National Railroad Museum and recounted his frequent trips on the rails between Wilmington, Del., and Washington, D.C., declaring, “I am a railroad guy.”
“Whoever set this up hit a soft spot in my heart. I’m the biggest railroad guy you’ve ever known,” Biden said. “I have traveled round trip from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, D.C., a 250-mile round trip, over 7,900 times, man. I am a railroad guy.”
And Biden shared with his crowd his love for the Green Bay Packers, which started when he attended a Catholic school that was led by a group of Norbertine priests, whose abbey was based in Wisconsin.
“We always started homeroom with a prayer in Catholic school, and in our school it was the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost and Vince Lombardi and it would go from there,” Biden said. “We loved the Packers, man. If it wasn’t your favorite team, it was your number two team.”