Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

In South Florida, Vice President Joe Biden attacks Republican playbook

COCONUT CREEK — In his second official speech of the campaign, Vice President Joe Biden's retirement community address Friday was right out of the Democratic playbook: Accuse Republicans of wanting to "dismantle" Social Security and Medicare.

President Barack Obama's running mate briefly discussed some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, but he pointedly avoided mentioning it by name on the date of its second anniversary.

Biden spent more time bashing the budget-cutting plans of Rep. Paul Ryan, who's not on the ballot, than the likely Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

"There is no daylight between Gov. Romney and Republican leaders on the most important issues facing this country," Biden said. "Not even Romney's Etch A Sketch can change that."

The crowd laughed at the Etch A Sketch reference that has bedeviled Romney this week ever since his campaign's senior adviser suggested the Republican candidate could "reset" his message in the same way one can erase a picture on the old child's art toy.

Most of Biden's speech at Wynmoor Village was straightforward and sober, however. He suggested that Republicans want to use the country's debt and financial crisis to dismantle Medicare and Social Security. The substance of his speech was a clear indication that Obama will run as much against Romney as he will against congressional Republicans who support Ryan's budget plan.

"The choice they made was, in order to 'save the program,' they lowered the standard of living for those on Medicare," Biden said. "Rather than asking the wealthiest among us to help deal with the problem."

Biden made scant mention of the fact that most of Ryan's budget cuts were reserved for the less-popular Medicaid program for the poor. And he didn't clearly state that this year's Ryan plan was supposed to give retirees a choice: stick with traditional Medicare or go into a voucherlike system to buy private insurance.

Biden, pointing to a Politico article that detailed how Ryan used "poll-tested" words for this budget rollout, said there was little difference between this year's plan and last year's.

"If you take a look at it, they didn't really change anything they were trying to do," Biden said. "What's the difference between these two budgets? It's the way they talk about it."

Though Biden spent most of his time bashing Ryan and Romney, he indicated that Republican candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would be just as tough on entitlement programs.

"Make no mistake," he said, "if any of them get their hands on the keys to the White House, I promise you they will end Medicare as we know it."

In South Florida, Vice President Joe Biden attacks Republican playbook 03/23/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 23, 2012 10:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  4. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman

    Health

    TAMPA — When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Throughout her battle with brain cancer, Beth Caldwell, 35, keeps her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7, on her mind.
  5. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.