MESILLA, New Mexico (CNN) – In his strongest attack on Sarah Palin to date, Joe Biden let loose on Sarah Palin’s comments about “pro-America” parts of the country. “We are all patriotic!” he shouted, adding that he’s tired of Republicans insinuating that Barack Obama isn’t patriotic.
“It’s disappointing, and I hope it was just a slip on her part and she doesn’t really mean it,” said Biden to several hundred supporters at an outdoor rally in this sleepy southern New Mexico town. “But she said, it was reported she said, that she likes to visit “pro-American” parts of the country."
At a fundraiser in Greensboro, North Carolina Thursday night, Palin told donors, “We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe that the best of America is in the small towns that we get to visit, and in the wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation.”
The Delaware senator said no matter where people live, everyone loves America, pointing to the fact that he’s never been to a state that hasn’t sent its sons and daughters to serve the country.
“One of the reasons why Barack and I are running is that we know how damaging the politics of division [is] that continues to be practiced by the McCain campaign, how damaging this policy of division has been for Americans over the last decade,” said Biden.” It’s time to put this behind us.”
“We are one nation, under God, indivisible. We are all patriotic!” he shouted above the applause of the crowd. “We all love our country in every part of this nation! And I'm tired. I am tired, tired, tired, tired of the implications about patriotism.”
Palin later walked back her comments with reporters on her campaign plane, saying “Every area, every area across this great country where we're stopping and where also the other ticket is stopping and getting to speak at these rallies and speak with the good Americans, it's all pro-America.”
“She’s right. Every crowd we get is pro-American, every crowd she gets pro-American,” Biden told CNN’s Gary Tuchman after being read her quote, adding that he accepts her “clarification.”
Friday’s rally was Biden’s first since the Wednesday night debate between Obama and John McCain when the Arizona senator shot back at the Democratic nominee’s attempts to link him to George Bush by saying, “If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.”
Biden responded Friday with a quote from his mother, saying, “She said, 'Honey if it looks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, it’s a duck.'"
“Well ladies and gentlemen, in these last three debates it looked like a duck to me, folks," said Biden.
He also told his supporters there’s reason to be encouraged by the Democratic ticket's lead in the polls, but “this election is very, very, very, very, far from over.”
“This administration is, has bequeathed, I think, the tactics of Karl Rove to the McCain [campaign],” Biden said. “You’re going to see some pretty tough stuff, pretty tough stuff in these last two weeks, so we cannot let up.”