Thursday, April 26, 2018
Politics

Biden calls for post-election unity, rails on Romney at Sarasota rally

SARASOTA — Vice President Joe Biden used a noontime rally here to ask Democrats and Republicans to pull together after the election, just as governors and mayors in the Northeast are doing in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

"Look, it's working like it used to work when I was a young senator," Biden told about 1,300 Democratic supporters and campaign volunteers at the city's Municipal Auditorium.

"We're all better off when we're all working together," he said. "So hopefully when this God-awful storm and its aftermath is dealt with, and when this election is over, we'll once again do what we always do, work together one more time."

But Biden, who spoke for about 40 minutes, wasted little time jumping from that topic to the vast differences between the presidential candidates on issues from taxes and the economy to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout, he painted Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as entrenched in the past and flip-floppers.

"All of sudden, when you heard Romney say for four months it was a tragic mistake for the United States to leave Iraq without leaving 30,000 troops behind, now he's saying, 'I wasn't for this war to begin with,' " Biden said. "Boy, this guy can change fast. You've got to watch this guy."

Meanwhile, he portrayed President Barack Obama as forward-thinking and a champion of the middle class, the poor and women.

He elicited boisterous cheers from women in the crowd when he referenced the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed into law by Obama in 2009, and then contrasted that to Romney and Ryan's positions on women, at one point tying the Republicans to an Indiana Senate candidate who declared his opposition to abortion in instances of rape.

The crowd, including retirees, women and students, interrupted Biden several times, waving signs that said "Forward!" and chanting, "Four more years."

Biden seemed to draw the biggest cheers addressing Romney's statements on tax cuts, including for the rich.

"The only place they're being honest is when they say they want to extend the Bush tax cuts," he said. "Of that money, $500 billion of that tax cut that's supposed to expire on Jan. 1 would go to 120,000 families. … I learned a long time ago, wealthy people are just as patriotic as poor folk, but the last thing they need is another half a trillion dollar tax cut."

Among those attending, Vietnam veteran Tom Shockley, 67, a retired marketing executive from Shreveport, La., came with his wife, Karrie, 50.

He said they were vacationing in Sarasota when he heard about the rally on TV and wanted to show support for Biden. Last year, they attended an Obama rally in New Orleans.

"The Affordable Care Act will help relieve overcrowding in our VA hospitals because now those veterans will be able to seek private coverage," Shockley said.

His wife said she favored keeping abortion legal.

But not everyone in the audience was a Democrat.

Jared Padgett, a 19-year-old student at the State College of Florida, said he was a Romney backer.

"I came because I was curious," he said. "I wanted to hear the lies about Romney and how Obama will move the country forward."

He said he attended a Romney campaign rally a month ago and found that Republicans are "more friendly."

Nearby, a woman wearing Obama campaign buttons yelled: "Democrats are friendly, too."

Rich Shopes can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Mike Pompeo narrowly confirmed to be secretary of state

Mike Pompeo narrowly confirmed to be secretary of state

WASHINGTON — The Senate narrowly confirmed Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state on Thursday, clearing the path for him to take over as the top U.S. diplomat just as President Donald Trump faces high-risk moments on Iran and North Korea.Pompeo, the ou...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Trump says Cohen represented him in

Trump says Cohen represented him in "Stormy Daniels deal"

President Donald Trump acknowledged Thursday for the first time that his longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen represented him in efforts to silence Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who has alleged a sexual encounter with Trump more than a de...
Published: 04/26/18
HUD Secretary proposes raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies

HUD Secretary proposes raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies

WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson proposed far-reaching changes to federal housing subsidies Wednesday, tripling rent for the poorest households and making it easier for housing authorities to impose work requirements.Ca...
Published: 04/26/18
VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

WASHINGTON — White House physician Ronny Jackson has grown frustrated with the nomination process to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs and has told colleagues he may remove his name from consideration, two White House officials with knowledge o...
Published: 04/25/18
Sessions defends Trump pardons of Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby

Sessions defends Trump pardons of Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s right to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Bush administration official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Both pardons were issued by Trump and bypassed the ...
Published: 04/25/18
Seniors support ‘grandchildren’ with gun-control rally in Sun City Center

Seniors support ‘grandchildren’ with gun-control rally in Sun City Center

SUN CITY CENTER — Millions of women marched on Washington. Thousands of teenagers rallied in Tallahassee and Tampa Bay.And in Sun City Center, nearly 150 seniors held a demonstration for gun control on April 21, offering a simple but poignant message...
Published: 04/25/18

Sean Hannity, a Trump defender, under scrutiny for real estate deals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)ATLANTA — On his Fox News program last summer, Sean Hannity effused praise for his guest, U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson. "I know you have done a good job," Hannity said. "You are a good man."Carson’s presence gav...
Published: 04/23/18
Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

With the third largest Cuban American population, Cuba’s culture is celebrated throughout the Tampa Bay area and in a diversity of ways.Flags hang in homes, fashion is worn, music performed, food served.But be wary of honoring that heritage by puttin...
Published: 04/23/18
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18