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. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  2. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  3. After last year's drug-related deaths, Tampa's Sunset Music Festival says it's stepping up safety, security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Alex Haynes worked three jobs. He had a fiance and an infant son. He owned his own home in Melbourne. Last summer, the 22-year-old attended the Sunset Musical Festival at Raymond James Stadium.

    He left in an ambulance.

    Last year’s Sunset Music Festival was marked by dozens of medical emergencies.
  4. What you need to know for Friday, May 26

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read this morning why Florida's most prized sweet corn is nearly extinct. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times