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Published: Wednesday, 9/17/2008

Biden blasts McCain during Maumee visit

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to a crowd on W. Wayne St. in Maumee, Ohio, during a campaign stop Wednesday.  Biden is running with presidential candidate Barack Obama. Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to a crowd on W. Wayne St. in Maumee, Ohio, during a campaign stop Wednesday. Biden is running with presidential candidate Barack Obama.
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Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden lashed out Wednesday morning at Sen. John McCain during a town square-type rally in Maumee that started his two-day bus tour of Ohio.

Mr. Biden said the nation has been polarized under President Bush and that middle class Americans have gotten "kicked in the teeth" the past eight years with the Republican president in the White House.

"John McCain is fundamentally out of touch with the American people," said Mr. Biden of the Republican nominee for president. "No where has he been more out of touch than the current financial turmoil."

More than 1,500 people crowded onto West Wayne Street in Maumee to hear Sen. Barack Obama s running mate.

"[President Bush] promised that he would work well with Democrats and bring integrity back to the White House," Mr. Biden said. "Well folks, we saw how that story ended."

He said a McCain presidency would be like a movie sequel to the last eight years.

The Maumee crowd greeted the senator with the chant "Go, Joe, Go."

Spectator Steve Sledz, of Swanton, is a registered Democrat but undecided on who to vote for in November.

"Spending is out of control in Washington and who are we bailing out now?" Mr. Sledz said. "I understand you don t want your financial institutions going under, but it s a business and when they make a profit, does the government come and seize that?"

The Federal Reserve Board announced an $85 billion plan Tuesday to bail out troubled insurance giant American International Group Inc.

Mr. Biden said Senator Obama would hold lending companies accountable and require greater scrutiny before handing out a government bailout.

A group of youngsters greet Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden during his campaign stop on W. Wayne St. in Maumee. A group of youngsters greet Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden during his campaign stop on W. Wayne St. in Maumee.
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Max Hibbard, of Paulding, Ohio, said he was pleased to hear Mr. Biden promise to hold lenders more accountable.

"I think John McCain is going to be more of the same," Mr. Hibbard said. "I liked him in 2000, when he was a maverick, but he s been branded and roped as a Republican."

Mr. McCain issued a statement on the situation in the financial markets and AIG.

"The government was forced to commit $85 billion to stop the collapse of AIG, another in a growing series of events that includes Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," the statement said.

"These actions stem from failed regulation, reckless management, and a casino culture on Wall Street that has crippled one of the most important companies in America... We need strong and effective regulation, a return to job-creating growth and a restoration of ethics and the social contract between businesses and America."

Mr. Biden stopped for nearly 30 minutes Wednesday afternoon at a diner in downtown Findlay to spend some time shaking hands and chatting with diners at Wilson's.

Senator Biden was received by a friendly crowd of about 40 diners. Although he had already eaten lunch, the senator ordered a Wilson s specialty, which is a sugar pie, as well as a slice of apple pie. He also ordered a Diet Pepsi, a chocolate malt, and a burger.

Mr. Biden posed for a picture with Brody Yingling, 15, a campaign intern wearing an Obama T-shirt. "He s too young to vote!" said an elderly diner the next table over who identified herself as a Republican.

He will be in Canton Thursday for a rally at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He ll also make stops in the Akron and Youngstown areas.

From earlier editions of toledoblade.com.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden landed at Toledo Express Airport last night ahead of his two-day bus trip across northern Ohio.

Mr. Biden's campaign plane, a Boeing 737-800, arrived at fixed base operator Grand Aire from New Castle, Del., about 10:15 p.m.

After getting off the aircraft, Mr. Biden spoke for several minutes with a small group of Toledo firefighters, whose national union, the International Association of Fire Fighters, has endorsed Barack Obama for president.

James Martin, Jr., president of Local Firefighters 92 and one of seven who met the Democratic vice presidential nominee, said Mr. Biden talked about what his days are like and being a candidate.

'He's very upbeat, very positive. It was great talking to him, very down to earth, like talking to my uncle,' Mr. Martin said.

He said Mr. Biden didn't ask for their support. 'He probably knew he didn't need to,' Mr. Martin said.

'I think it's going to be a tough race here to the end. I think it'll be close.'

Mr. Martin said Mr. Biden has been a strong supporter of safety forces.

The Delaware senator will stump for votes at 'Change We Need Rallies' at 9:30 a.m. today in Maumee and later today in Wooster, Ohio.

He will be in Canton, Akron, and Youngstown tomorrow, the Obama-Biden campaign said.

Mr. Biden will be in Uptown Maumee in the 100 block of West Wayne Street between Conant and Allen streets.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

People are asked not to bring bags or umbrellas for security reasons. No signs or banners will be permitted.

Maumee Mayor Tim Wagener said West Wayne would be closed for the event along with two parking lots and two alleys.

'This is the first time since we had Richard Nixon that anyone on the national ticket has spoken in Uptown Maumee [outdoors],' Mr. Wagener said. 'Everyone that has been here on the campaigns has usually spoken inside the [Lucas County] Rec Center.'

Mr. Wagener said there would be plenty of nearby on-street parking.



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