He said the administration wants to reduce manufacturers’ tax rate “by over 20 percent. We want to drop the rate particularly for high-tech manufacturers like you, Mr. President, even further than the 20 percent.”

And so much for simplifying the tax code.

“We want to create what’s called a global minimum tax, because American taxpayers shouldn’t be providing a larger subsidy for investing abroad than investing at home,” Biden said.

He pushed the White House mantra that investing in manufacturing will grow the middle class.

“But if you’ll forgive me for saying this, one thing that could bring this momentum to a screeching halt is turning over the keys of the White House to Santorum or Romney,” the vice president said.

“Look, they’re both good guys,” he continued. “They’re both good guys and I’ve worked with Rick for a long time. Senator Santorum is the only one of them who is even claiming to care about manufacturing, but his Senate record tells a different story.  … But if Senator Santorum has been inconsistent in what he has said and what he has done, Mitt Romney has been remarkably consistent as an investor/businessman, as the governor of Massachusetts, and now as a candidate for president, remarkably consistent and I respectfully suggest, consistently wrong.”

It was a pure campaign speech from there on out with a presumption of the GOP nominee as Biden launched into criticism of Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.

“They shut down a plant in South Carolina and cut jobs in another one in Rhode Island that made photo albums and picture frames and outsourced production overseas,” he said. “I’m tempted to say, Mitt, thanks for the memories. You know what I mean?”

“Look, Governor Romney’s business practices and his policies have clearly benefited the wealthy and most powerful among us, often at the expense of working and middle-class families,” Biden said. “They actually believe it’s the best way.  I’m not doubting their belief.  But it just doesn’t work that way.”

After Davenport, Biden headed to Sioux City, Iowa, and Milwaukee, where he was to spend the night. Tomorrow it’s two more campaign events there, then on to Chicago for two fundraisers.

On Friday, it’s Obama’s turn to hit the campaign trail again, with events in Burlington, Vt., and Portland, Maine.