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Biden to Seniors: GOP Wants to Take Your Dignity

After a gaffetastic week, the vice president gave what he deemed a major campaign address in a swing-state triple-header.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 23, 2012 - 4:28 pm
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After this week, one would think that the White House would have given Joe Biden a time-out in the secret vice president’s bunker that he made not-so-secret in a 2009 gaffe.

There was the Monday night fundraiser for Sen. Robert Menendez (D) in New Jersey, where Biden made military historians the world over scream with his assessment of where the Abbottabad operation stood in historical significance.

“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan,” Biden said. “Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48% probability that he was there.”

When asked by a reporter if the operation was more audacious than, say, storming the beaches of Normandy, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the vice president didn’t misspeak.

Then there was the Tuesday breakfast to welcome visiting Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, where the the foreign pool reporter from the Irish Times wryly noted that “VPOTUS seems to have an inexhaustible supply of Irish sayings.”

Biden capped off the event, though, with KY humor. “With these two folks that you’re about to meet, if you haven’t already, there’s no doubt about them staying oiled and lubricated here. Ladies and gentlemen, now, for you who are not full Irish in this room, lubricating has a different meaning for us all.”

Not only did the White House not lock him up, but they sent him to a swing state today for a triple-header of campaign events.

On March 15, Biden gave a full-throated defense of the auto bailout at a United Auto Workers hall in Toledo, Ohio, in what he termed “the first of four speeches I’ll be making on behalf of the president and me in the coming weeks, laying out what we believe are clear, stark differences between us and our opponents and what’s at stake for the middle class, because it is the middle class that’s at stake in this election.”

The 69-year-old Biden’s first stop today, the Wynmoor Village retirement community in Coconut Creek, Fla., was his second major speech, he told the crowd of seniors.

Aptly timed after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled plans this week to reform Medicare, and after the House voted to repeal the ObamaCare provision that establishes a 15-member Medicare panel, the vice president told the seniors that the Republican path wasn’t embracing the elder generation’s “dignity.”

“Look, folks, the vast majority of the American people — whether they’re Democrats, Republicans, or independents — know there is a fundamental difference between us and the Republicans on this issue,” Biden said. “We believe in strengthening Medicare, they don’t.  Make no mistake about it, if the Republicans in Congress — and their amen corner of Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich — if any one of them gets their hands on the White House, the keys of the White House, I promise you will see Medicare ended as you know it.”

“…These guys want to repeal all that and, in the process, I would argue they’ll be repealing that sense of dignity, which is an incredible part of what this is all about.”

He spent much of his address telling family stories about his elderly mother and how he and his siblings secretly fed money into her checking account to cover doctor visits and the like.

He charged that “cut, cap and balance” spending reform pushed by Republicans would cut the seniors’ Social Security benefits.

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