Don't boo Joe Biden! That's what Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday when he categorized Vice President Joe Biden as one of the GOP's greatest assets as Republicans try to capitalize on the vice president's statement that the middle class has been "buried" over the last four years.
"What's happened to the American middle class? Well, over the last four years the American middle class has been buried," Rubio said at a rally at the National Western Complex in Denver. The crowd started to boo at the mention of Biden's name, but Rubio told them, "No, don't' boo. He's the best thing we got going, guys. Don't boo. Because in a moment of clarity, in a brief moment of clarity, he just told us what we already knew. The American middle class is hurting."
"You know why the American middle class is hurting? Because the policies that Barack Obama is imposing on the United States haven't worked anywhere in the world they've ever been tried. Never," Rubio continued. "They are the policies of governments and of countries that people come here to get away from."
Tune in to ABCNews.com on Wednesday for livestreaming coverage of the first 2012 Presidential Debate from Denver, Colo. Coverage kicks off with ABC News' live preview show at noon, and full debate coverage begins at 8 p.m.
While campaigning in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Biden said the middle class "has been buried the last four years," a statement upon which Republicans quickly pounced and have turned into a focal point of their messaging this week. The Romney campaign even produced a T-shirt bearing Biden's statement and the phrase "Honest Joe" on Wednesday.
Rubio, who has been campaigning in the West for Mitt Romney the past two days, said he's looking forward to tonight's presidential debate so that Romney can highlight the negative impact big government has on the middle class.
"Here's the thing we have to fight against, and I can't wait for tonight's debate to start taking that fight to them. Big government doesn't help the middle class. It buries the middle class," Rubio said.
"If we lose the American middle class, we become just like everybody else," Rubio said. "Four more years of Barack Obama threatens to take away from us what makes us different and special than the rest of the world…. What we're deciding in this election is not just who we want to see living in the White House, but the very identity of our nation as an example to the world, as not just a beacon not just to freedom but of prosperity. That's what this election's choice at its core is all about."