TACOMA, Washington (CNN) – Joe Biden thanked Colin Powell for endorsing Barack Obama Sunday, saying that with his choice of Obama over John McCain, questions about the Illinois senator’s ability to be commander-in-chief will be put to rest.
“From the very beginning, this Republican party has tried to suggest that Barack Obama, Senator Barack Obama, wasn’t ready to be commander-in-chief,” said the Delaware senator to more than 11,000 supporters in a minor league ballpark, his biggest crowd to date when campaigning without Obama.
“With all the three and four star generals, with the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the former National Security Adviser, the former Secretary of State, one of the most respected men who have ever worn the uniform, endorsing Barack Obama over John McCain today, no more questions! Barack Obama will be a commander-in-chief we can all respect!”
Biden later noted that an agreement between the US and Iraq on a timetable for withdrawal of US troops is close to being signed, something Obama has long called for.
“John McCain talks about leadership,” said Biden, “Let me remind you, whose idea was that? Barack Obama's. John McCain's the only odd man out now, along with Governor Palin.”
Biden invoked the troops when targeting Sarah Palin’s recent comments in North Carolina that she likes to visit “pro-America” parts of the country, saying that Washington, like every state, has “sons and daughters” who have died while serving the country. He did acknowledge that Palin has since clarified her remarks.
“North Carolina is pro-American but Tacoma is not or Wilmington, Delaware is not?” asked Biden.
“So don’t anyone even indirectly imply to me that there’s one more patriotic part of the country than another part of the country!” Biden thundered to loud applause from the crowd. It doesn’t matter where you live, it doesn’t matter your color, it doesn’t matter your religion, we are all Americans! We’re all Americans! Governor Palin may have stepped back from some of the divisive rhetoric she’s been using, but the Republican Party has stepped up their attacks that are just as divisive.”
Biden will spend most of his week in Colorado, North Carolina and West Virginia, three battleground states where the Democratic ticket has recently climbed in the polls.