Biden makes third of four weekend Ohio stops

9/9/2012
BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Vice President Joe Biden speaks  at Milford High School Sunday in Milford, Ohio.
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Milford High School Sunday in Milford, Ohio.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio - Democratic Vice President Joe Biden lambasted his Republican opponents for allegedly failing to tell voters of their plans for Medicare, deficit reduction, and taxes in a campaign speech here Sunday.

Mr. Biden addressed a crowd of 700 in the gym of Portsmouth High School as he continued a two-day trip through central and south Ohio.

“They talk so much about the national debt, the great urgency, the need to act now,” Mr. Biden said. “Not once did they sign on if it required additional taxes for millionaires, not once.”

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who was raised in Scioto County, where Portsmouth is located, said neither he nor current Republican Gov. John Kasich are the reason that Ohio’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average.

“President Obama and Vice President Biden saved the American auto industry,” Mr. Strickland said.

He also defended the administration on its coal record, saying the administration invested $5 billion in clean coal research, not mentioning it was a recent add to the administration’s energy policies after being accused by the coal industry of waging a “war on coal.”

Former Governor Ted Strickland greet a crowd while waiting for Vice President Joe Biden to speak at Milford High School Sunday in Milford, Ohio.
Former Governor Ted Strickland greet a crowd while waiting for Vice President Joe Biden to speak at Milford High School Sunday in Milford, Ohio.

Mr. Biden told listeners that being in southern Ohio feels like his old home in northeast Pennsylvania.

“I’ve been here a lot, planning on coming back a lot,” he said.

His speech continued the attacks he made the previous day in Zanesville and Athens, Ohio, that the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are planning “massive cuts” in social programs, such as Medicaid and college Pell grants, to pay for tax cuts for wealthy people.

“Seniors would be kicked out of nursing homes. What are we going to do? A lot of those folks are moms and dads. They come from middle class families. Even worse some have no families, nowhere to go. What’s going to happen?” he said.

He repeated his critique of the Republican plans for Medicare.

“They don’t tell you that their plan would immediately cut benefits for 30 million seniors,” Mr. Biden said, a claim Republicans have said doesn’t hold up to independent fact-checking.

The Biden tour is in predominantly Republican territory, and is expected to return to Republican territory on Wednesday when Mr. Biden campaigns in western Ohio. The exact location has not been announced yet.

Republican John McCain received 53 percent of the vote in Scioto County in 2008.

Contact Tom Troy at tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.