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Published: Tuesday, 10/23/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Biden stirs enthusiastic crowd at University of Toledo appearance

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Vice President Joe Biden fires up the crowd today at the University of Toledo. Vice President Joe Biden fires up the crowd today at the University of Toledo.
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Vice President Joe Biden praised President Obama's debate performance and talked up women's issues, insurance, and jobs at a rally today inside the University of Toledo's Student Union.

"Boy, did we see a president worth voting for last night," Mr. Biden said to the audience of about 1,500. "I've watched this guy, sat with him on every major decision. This is a guy who knows what he believes, sits down, takes all the advice and information any reasonable person can give him. This guy has clear vision, but most of all he has a steady hand."

Mr. Biden, who stayed Monday night at the Toledo Hilton Hotel, reached out to Toledo area supporters on the second day of a three-day visit to Ohio. His next planned stop is Dayton where he and President Obama will appear together.

The Obama-Biden ticket is blanketing the state in hopes of maintaining the lead most polls show them holding over Republican nominees Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are also expected to campaign this week in Ohio. Mr. Ryan is scheduled to talk about the economy and upward mobility at Cleveland State University on Wednesday, while Mr. Romney's plans haven't been announced.

Mr. Biden told the group, made up heavily of students, his voice rising from quiet to a near-shout, that the Republican ticket would backtrack on women's rights to choose an abortion. He said they also want to repeal Obamacare which allows students to stay on their parents' insurance until they are 26 and prevents women from having to pay more for insurance than men.

He said Mr. Obama has "never once has he turned to me, whether a decision on Bin Laden or dealing with how we serve the economy, never had him say, Joe what do you think the politics of this are. Not one time. This guy acts on his principles."

He again attacked the "math" of the Republican plan to cut taxes by 20 percent while eliminating some exemptions, with the expectation of the plan being revenue-neutral.

"They want to keep a tax cut that goes to 120,000 families. That tax cut will add another $250,000 to those 120,000 families. There aren't enough exceptions [to make it revenue neutral]," Mr. Biden said.

Vice President Joe Biden gets a piece of custard pie from Diane Haffen during a campaign stop at Schmucker's restaurant in Toledo. Vice President Joe Biden gets a piece of custard pie from Diane Haffen during a campaign stop at Schmucker's restaurant in Toledo.
THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Buy This Photo

He mocked Mr. Romney's vow to get tough with China, saying Mr. Obama has already done that.

"President Obama and I will not stand by and watch China break major trade laws and hurt Ohio workers," Mr. Biden said.

He told the college group that the Obama administration will "expand student loans, expand student aid, expand work-study programs."

To balance the budget, "we're going to ask for a balanced approach. Every outside group said you need both revenue and cuts. And it's about time the wealthy start paying a little bit more," Mr. Biden said.

Among those in the audience was Mark Carter, 23, of Detroit, a UT graduate student in political science. He called himself "a big Obama supporter."

"They are the only ticket so far that's been addressing educational issues," Mr. Carter said, adding he didn't like a statement made by Mr. Romney that college students should borrow money from their parents to pay college tuition. "A lot of people's parents don't have money to loan their children."

Also at the event was Cheryl Vines, who said women's reproductive choice issues are a primary concern.

"I'm a big supporter of President Obama and Joe Biden," she said. "I want everyone to get out and vote."

Staff writer Kate Giammarise contributed to this report.

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