Accused by Republicans of not having a plan to grow America’s economy, Vice President Joe Biden unveiled President Obama’s and his 20-page booklet, “A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security,” during a rally in the University of Toledo Student Union on Tuesday.
Mr. Biden mentioned the booklet during a speech that savaged the Republican presidential ticket over issues of concern to women and college students and which praised President Obama’s performance in the third and final presidential debate Monday night.
“Boy, did we see a President worth voting for last night,” Mr. Biden said to the audience of about 1,500 people, whom he encouraged to take advantage of early voting hours until 7 p.m.
The trip was Mr. Biden’s ninth to Ohio this year and comes as the two campaigns are trying to sway the swing state’s deadlocked voters.
THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Buy This Photo
After the UT rally, Mr. Biden’s multicar entourage paid an unannounced visit to Schmucker’s Restaurant on Reynolds Road. After Schmucker’s, where he ate a piece of pie and chatted with customers, he left for Toledo Express Airport to meet with President Obama in Dayton.
Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are also campaigning this week in Ohio: Mr. Ryan today at Cleveland State University and Mr. Romney at Cincinnati and Defiance on Thursday.
“We have laid out what we’re going to do. It’s all here in our plan. It sounds so trite to hold up a plan,” Mr. Biden said.
He said the administration already has created 5.2 million jobs, “brought back the automobile industry, we’ve already brought back the steel industry.”
“We want to create a million new manufacturing jobs, double our exports, so manufacturers can stamp on their products ‘Made In America,’ because that’s what people around the world want to buy,” Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Romney has been ticking off five points of his plan that he says will result in 12 million new jobs, and he has accused Mr. Obama of having no plan.
The booklet recounts the accomplishments of the last four years and itemizes the ideas that Mr. Obama has spelled out many times. They include new training for workers, ending tax deductions for corporations shipping jobs overseas, investing in domestic energy sources, and a “balanced approach” to reducing the deficit by “asking the wealthiest to do their fair share,” cutting $2.50 for every $1 in additional revenue raised from wealthy people, and closing corporate loopholes.
One proposal looks new, or at least little noticed: to require 80 percent of the nation’s electricity to come from “clean sources” by 2035. And the chapter on “Energy Made In America” calls for opening up millions of acres for exploration, including in the Arctic.
One of the large pictures in the booklet was taken July 5 in Maumee when President Obama held a rally at the Wolcott House.
Republicans dismissed the Democrats’ “Plan for Jobs” as “repackaged ideas.”
“This isn’t a plan to create Ohio jobs or secure America’s economic future; it’s a cheap prop to turn around the President’s struggling campaign. A repackaging of failed ideas on recycled paper isn’t going to cut it; only Mitt Romney offers a new direction with a plan that will create 12 million jobs and strengthen the middle class,” said Christopher Maloney, Romney for President spokesman.
Mr. Biden told the group, made up heavily of students, with 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 the ticket also wants to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 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 been tough with China, something he said he hears Mr. Romney promising to do in his campaign commercials.
“President Obama and I will not stand by and watch China break major trade laws and hurt Ohio workers,” Mr. Biden said.
Mark Carter, 23, of Detroit, a UT graduate student in political science and a “a big Obama supporter,” said, “They are the only ticket so far that’s been addressing educational issues.”
Mr. Carter said he didn’t like Mr. Romney’s statement 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,” he said.
Leonore Johnson, 89, of Toledo, said, “I like Joe Biden. I trust him to be fair to women, as opposed to [Paul] Ryan. I’m referring to contraception and women having control over their own bodies.”
Ms. Johnson saw him speak during the 2008 campaign when she also shook his hand and spoke to him about Social Security. Mrs. Johnson said she was a delegate for George McGovern in 1972.
Also in attendance was Marian Lively, 61, a Chrysler retiree who said before the auto bailout she was fearful she could lose her pension and her home.
“I appreciate everything they did to save my retirement,” she said. “The other side can’t say a whole lot to me.”
Members of the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition demonstrated outside the Student Union.
“Our international policies are pretty abysmal and pretty bipartisan,” said Terry Lodge, a member of the group, citing high defense spending and saber-rattling over Iran possibly having nuclear weapons.
At Schmucker’s, Mr. Biden schmoozed with the lunch crowd, accompanied by daughter Ashley Biden.
He talked steel with Ed Nazar, 89, former owner of a rubber firm that catered to the steel industry and closed in 2006 after 58 years.
“I told him that I was very happy they brought back legislation to give steel mills a break in America because steel was our biggest customer,” Mr. Nazar said.
Mr. Nazar said he is a registered Republican and plans to vote for Mitt Romney “because I believe in his business tactics.”
His wife, Ann Monaghan Nazar, 87, said she’s still undecided. “I’m really worried about small businesses,” she said.
Restaurant owner Doug Schmucker said he had a 20-minute notice of the visit to the eatery that has barely changed since it was started by his grandparents in 1948.
“I told him that I prayed for him. He shared that that was significant in his life also. It was an honor to be chosen for him to stop here,” Mr. Schmucker said.
Contact Tom Troy at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6058.