President Obama's re-election team stepped up its rhetoric against Republicans today by using a time-tested tactic: unleashing the vice president.
Joe Biden told United Auto Workers members in Toledo today that the GOP was "dead wrong" about Obama's rescue of the car industry rescue and that Republican policies favor the well-to-do.
"Hey, I'm back, you're back, and the industry is back!," Biden told the car workers at one point, his voice rising.
Discussing the campaign, Biden said that GOP candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich "have a fundamentally different economic philosophy than we do. Our philosophy ... is one that values the workers in the success of a business. It values the middle class and the success of our economy."
"Simply stated, we're about promoting the private sector, they're about protecting the privileged sector," Biden said. "We are for a fair shot and a fair shake. They're about no rules, no risks, and no accountability."
Biden's appearance was the first in a series of speeches "about the economy and the middle class that will frame the issues that will be at the core of the general election," says a statement from the campaign.
Biden follows a long line of vice presidents who have served as attack dogs for their boss's re-election.
Given an audience of auto workers, Biden spent a lot of time today praising the auto bailout -- and Obama, pushing for it in the face of some political opposition.
"The President, he didn't flinch," Biden said. "This is a man with steel."
"He made the tough call and the verdict is in," Biden said. "President Obama was right and they (the critics) were dead wrong."
Biden promoted the Obama campaign's theme of protecting the middle class, saying "that's what this election is all about."
"It's a choice, a clear choice, a choice between a system that's rigged and a system that's fair," Biden said. "A system that says everyone will be held accountable for their actions, not just the middle class, a system that trusts the workers on the line instead of listening to the folks up in the suites."
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Biden felt differently about Obama during the 2008 election.
"In 2007, Vice President Biden said he didn't believe Barack Obama was ready to be president," Saul said. "More than four years later, it's clear that he was right. Since taking office, President Obama has devastated the middle class by failing to live up to his promises of fixing unemployment, lowering gas prices, decreasing health care costs, and addressing the unsustainable federal debt."