Vice President Joe Biden launched a full-throated assault on Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, accusing him of trying to run away from a record and confuse voters going into the last days of the campaign.
Biden was spending the day in Iowa, one of several trips the two campaigns are making over the next few days as the time to try to secure Iowa’s six electoral votes begins to dwindle.
Biden reprised the “47 percent” attack line here, saying Romney’s comment to a private fundraiser earlier this year represented the true nature of the Republican ticket. And he charged that the Republican was trying to deceive Americans with new television ads about China and the auto bailout, part of a pattern of deception.
Biden said the election is about character.
“It’s clear to me who has it and who doesn’t. Barack Obama has the character of his convictions,” he said, adding the president says what he means and means what he says. “No one can say that about Gov. Romney.”
After the Muscatine stop, the vice president was scheduled to head to Fort Dodge.
Earlier, he spent his morning in Davenport, attending a Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral, then making a quick stop at Ross’s 24-Hour Restaurant in Bettendorf, ordering eggs, bacon, toast and coffee.
There were only a handful of diners at the restaurant, and Biden, who was with his sister, Valerie, got on the phone with Cynthia Freidhof, the owner, and thanked her for her support.
“I was a little worried. I walked in and saw Ron Paul and a picture of Newt Gingrich. I thought I better not order coffee,” he told her before adding, “I’m joking, I’m joking.”
Ross’ has been a popular stopping point for politicians. The president was there last year; Republicans also make it a point to stop there, and two of the diners Thursday may not have been fans of the Democratic ticket. When they left, they got in a car with a “Defeat Obama” bumper sticker.
While the only public event was in Muscatine, Biden’s stops in the Quad-Cities (he stopped off Wednesday night at the local Obama campaign office) provided him plenty of opportunity to boost supporters and volunteers in Scott County, an area of the state both campaigns covet.
Biden’s visit is one of a slew of visits that are in the offing in Iowa over the next few days.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will be in Cedar Falls on Friday, while the president and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be in Dubuque on Saturday, apparently only a few hours apart. The president also is expected back in Des Moines the day before the election.