SARASOTA, Fla. -Vice President Biden launched a stinging critique of Mitt Romney for an Ohio ad suggesting the president allowed Chrysler to move Jeep operations to China, calling Romney’s ad an “outrageous lie.”
The vice president said the ad was an act of “desperation” and he accused the GOP nominee of using scare tactics to frighten thousands of autoworkers in the final days of the campaign.
“They are running the most scurrilous ad in Ohio. And I mean this sincerely… one of the most flagrantly dishonest ads I can ever remember in my political career,” Biden said at the Municipal auditorium. “It’s an outrageous lie. A lie, a lie that is so deceptive and so patently untrue that the Chrysler corporation, including the chairman of the board of Chrysler, they actually spoke up.”
Executives at GM and Chrysler have rebutted the ad Romney released last week, and the vice president said the Romney campaign is using the ad to “scare the living devil” out of Ohio autoworkers.
“Maybe it’s just me. Maybe because it makes me so…so,” Biden said holding his tongue and adding. “I’m being a good Biden today. Why would they do this? Why would they do this in the face of the overwhelming facts contradicting them? I’ll tell you why I think they’re doing it. They’re trying to scare the living devil out of a group of people who have been hurt so badly over the last, because of the previous four years before we came to office.”
“These are auto workers waking up in their communities just a couple of days ago to see this ad and guess what they were calling? Thousands of them were calling their UAW reps, is it true? Is it true? Is Jeep really going to leave?… What a cynical, cynical thing to do….To go out and try to scare these people for electoral reasons at the end, to say something that’s so untrue,” Biden said.
Biden accused Romney of spreading “confusion” with his ad, an attribute the vice president said a president shouldn’t possess.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan defended the ad today.
“American taxpayers are on track to lose $25 billion as a result of President Obama’s handling of the auto bailout, and GM and Chrysler are expanding their production overseas. These are facts that voters deserve to know as they listen to the claims President Obama and his campaign are making. President Obama has chosen not to run on the facts of his record, but he can’t run from them,” Ryan said.
The vice president resumed his first full day of campaigning today in Florida after his events in Ohio were cancelled Tuesday due to superstorm Sandy. Biden lauded the bipartisan tone governors, mayors and federal officials have adopted in their organization of storm relief efforts and hoped that attitude of cooperation would extend beyond the election.
“It’s working like it used to work when I was a young senator. We’ve got Democrats and Republicans working together,” he said.
With less than six days until Election Day, Biden is on his final trip through Florida, a state that he’s visited 10 times including this trip. As the crowd chanted “four more years,” Biden warned the supporters that “We gotta get through the next six days.”
But while he sharpened his attacks against Romney in his speech, Biden shortly after turned his attention to 2016, jokingly telling a Republican voter over the phone at a restaurant called 400 Station that he just might be on the ticket in 2016.
“Well look, I’m not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say hi to you, okay?” Biden said over the phone. “And after it’s all over when your insurance rates go down then you’ll vote for me in 2016. I’ll talk to you later.”
ABC News’ Emily Friedman contributed to this report.