Vice President Joe Biden pounced on Republicans, with his main targets Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, during an early afternoon downtown Minneapolis rally.
“Clearly, Republican obstructionism has slowed our progress but it has not stopped our progress,” he declared during a 37-minute speech.
Biden, wearing a blue shirt with sleeves rolled up, shouted that the country’s economy is growing, despite Republican efforts. He blamed the GOP on holding back progress that would form 14 million more jobs.
Republican presidential candidate Romney and running mate Ryan want to bring back failed economic policies from the George W. Bush era, Biden said. “We have seen this movie before, and we know how it ends. It ends with the great recession of 2008.”
The rally in The Depot, with an ice rink under a carpeted floor, attracted 1,556 people for the Obama-Biden campaign, the facility’s manager said.
Biden spent most of his speech bashing the Romney-Ryan GOP ticket, but did tell his audience about a bumper sticker Democrats can use: “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”
Biden was to follow his Minneapolis stop with one in Rochester, Minn.
In Minneapolis, the vice president gave Republicans who track his recent gaffs no further ammunition.
Before Biden arrived, state Republican Chairman Pat Shortridge said that he hoped the vice president remembers where he is, “unlike last week’s visit to Virginia, when he boldly stated he and the president could win North Carolina again. Oops.”
Shortridge said that sending President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Biden to Minnesota in recent months shows Minnesota may not be as safe a Democratic state as many think.
“After the VP’s visit, I’m confident we’ll be in even better shape to carry our state for the Romney-Ryan ticket,” Shortridge said.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., added the day’s comedy when she told that Minnesota mothers tell their children: “You can grow up to e anything; you can grow up to be vice president of the United States.”
She said Biden has the “eternal optimism” of the late Hubert Humphrey, a Minnesota senator and vice president.
Soon after Biden took the state, he honored Humphrey, former Vice President Walter Mondale and the late U .S. Sen. Paul Wellstone. He said little else about Minnesota.
Biden saved his strongest words for Romney.
He called Romney “a decent guy” but the most “out of touch” presidential candidate he has known.
Gov. Mark Dayton was scheduled to attend the event, but skipped it because he was sick.
Biden was U.S. senator from Delaware for 36 years.