Biden makes case for Obama as defender of the "average American"

10:07 PM, Sep 6, 2012   |    comments
Vice President Joe Biden addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • FILED UNDER

 


 


(CBS News) CHARLOTTE -Vice President Joe Biden suited up his familiar attire as attack dog Thursday night, leaving nothing to the imagination on the "completely different value set" and "vastly different visions" between President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

After officially accepting the nomination for a second term, Biden blew past his allotted 30 minutes to speak and said he wanted to use his speech to "take you inside the White House," where he said he's seen the president demonstrate incomparable courage in his decision-making, just as the "average American" makes "equally as consequential" decisions at his or her kitchen table. On everything from the auto industry bailout to the hunt for Osama bin Laden to Medicare to the DREAM Act, Biden tried to make the president's case as more qualified than Romney because of his "profound concern for the average American."

While Romney and Mr. Obama are "both loving husbands, both loving fathers," Biden, in signature tongue-in-cheek style, said he "found it fascinating last week, when Gov. Romney said that as president, he'd take a jobs tour. Well with all his support for outsourcing, it's going to have to be a foreign trip," he continued to an eruption of laughter and applause, alluding to Romney's former company Bain Capital's history with shipping jobs overseas. But Mr. Obama, Biden continued, "knows that creating jobs in America, keeping jobs in America, and bringing jobs back to America, is what the president's job is all about."

Where the president saw the auto bailout not as "about the cars, but about the Americans who built those cars," Biden said, Romney "saw it the Bain way - in terms of balance sheets and write-offs. Folks, the Bain way may bring your firm the highest profit. But it's not the way to lead your country from its highest office."

On the killing of bin Laden, orchestrated by the president and his advisers and carried out by a team of Navy Seals, Biden cited a previous remark by Romney that it's "not worth moving heaven and earth, and spending billions of dollars just to catch one person." If Romney "had understood that America's heart had to be healed," Biden continued, "you would have done exactly what the president did."

Prior to taking the podium, a video played featuring Biden expressing thanks for his opportunities in America despite his own humble beginnings. Picking that message up in his speech, Biden lauded the country for "proving itself" even "in the face of the deepest economic crisis in our lifetimes.

"We possess that same grit, the same determination, the same courage, that has always defined what it's meant to be an American, has always defined all of you," he continued. "Together, we're on a mission to move this nation forward, from doubt and downturn, to promise and prosperity - a mission we will continue and a mission we will complete."

Stumbling occasionally, the rarely glib Biden never let up, driving home his message with a fiery delivery that prompted chants of "U-S-A!" from the crowd.

"My fellow Americans, we now find ourselves at the hinge of history," the vice president concluded. "And the direction we turn is in your hands. It has been an honor to serve you, and to serve with a president who has always stood up for you. As I've said, I've seen him tested."

Wrapping up his 40-plus-minute speech, Biden concluded, "We are on our way. The journey of hope is not yet finished, but we are on our way. The cause of change is not fully accomplished, but we are on our way."

Biden was introduced by his wife, Jill Biden. Earlier in the evening, he was shown tearing up in the arena during remarks by his son, Beau, who said: "Four years ago, I told you that my father has always been there for me, my brother, and my sister, and that as vice president, he would be there for you. And he has."



Fact check: Opening night of the DNC

PHOTOS: 2012 Democratic National Convention

Democrats take a gamble with Bill Clinton speech

Obama speech to move indoors due to weather

Michelle Obama's convention speech lights up Twitter

DNC Sensation: Dancing traffic deputies

5 things to watch: Obama's big night

Clinton says Republicans left economy in a "total mess"

PolitiFact: Romney's Massachusetts

Most Watched Videos