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Published: Friday, 5/18/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Biden resumes attack on Romney in Ohio visit

V.P. questions ex-governor's business record

BY JAMES O'TOOLE
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE
Vice President Joe Biden speaks before supporters during a campaign stop at a car dealership in Martins Ferry on Thursday. It was the Democrat's second day of campaigning in Ohio.  Vice President Joe Biden speaks before supporters during a campaign stop at a car dealership in Martins Ferry on Thursday. It was the Democrat's second day of campaigning in Ohio.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

MARTINS FERRY, Ohio -- Vice President Joe Biden renewed his assault on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's business record in a second day of campaigning in Ohio.

Speaking at a car dealership in Martins Ferry, Mr. Biden faulted the Republican's criticism of the auto industry's federal bailout.

He argued that the business record that Mr. Romney boasts of is not a training ground for the White House.

"The job is much bigger than that," he said.

In an echo of his speech in Youngstown the previous day, Mr. Biden also questioned Mr. Romney's investment record as the head of Bain Capital, contending that his shareholders had profited at the expense of workers at firms taken over by Bain.

Mr. Romney contends that while some of Bain's investments did result in job losses or bankruptcies, others thrived and created jobs, with a net gain of thousands of jobs.

Mr. Biden's speech was welcomed by dozens of supporters inside the dealership, while about 60 demonstrators shouted outside, protesting the Obama Administration's policies on the coal industry, according to the Associated Press.

The family-owned car dealership was saved by the bailout of the auto industry, the Obama Administration told the Associated Press.

"We can't forget the values that President Obama and Vice President Biden showed in rescuing the auto industry," sales manager Rich Vince told the crowd before Mr. Biden spoke.

The dealership, in Martins Ferry since 1928, employs about 30 people and sells about 75 cars a month, including 17 to 20 new cars, Mr. Vince said.

Without the bailout of General Motors, "we wouldn't be here," he said.

In response to Mr. Biden's Ohio visit, the Romney campaign criticized Mr. Biden and President Obama for administration spending policies that have continued to raise the national debt by $5 trillion, the equivalent of $15,000 for every Ohioan, according to a Romney spokesman.

"After three years of broken promises, there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work," Romney spokesman Amanda Henneberg said.

"But President Obama and his campaign can only resort to misleading attacks on Mitt Romney," she said.

The vice president got a warmer reception as he headed from Ohio to Pittsburgh International Airport.

His motorcade detoured through Washington, Pa., for a stop at Hog Father's Old Fashioned BBQ.

"I hear the food's pretty good here," the vice president proclaimed as he entered to the applause of about 20 patrons -- a mix of surprised diners and a few Democratic Party partisans who had apparently been tipped off to the stop.

He squeezed into the already full booth by the door and exchanged introductions with the diners.

Mr. Biden had a big hug for Brenda Davis, the Democratic mayor of the town.

"It's very exciting for the city of Washington to have the vice president here," she said just as he was entering.

Frank Puskarich of McMurray, the restaurant's owner, said Mr. Biden insisted on paying for the takeout order, and that he and his staff left "a generous tip."

After a 30-minute visit, Mr. Biden left with carrot cake, ribs, and macaroni and cheese.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. James O'Toole is politics editor at the Post-Gazette.

Contact James O'Toole at: jotoole@post-gazette.com, or 412-263-1562.



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