(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden challenged Republican voters in New York's 23rd congressional district to teach conservative "absolutists" a lesson in the special House election Tuesday by voting for the Democratic candidate in the race.
"We aren't asking you to switch your party," Biden said at a rally for Democrat Bill Owens in Watertown, New York Monday morning. "We are just saying join us in teaching a lesson to those absolutists who say no dissent is permitted within your own party."
The comments come a day after Republican Dede Scozzafava, who withdrew from the race Saturday amid heavy pressure from conservatives - endorsed Owens. Many high-profile Republicans, including Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Dick Armey, have already thrown their own support behind third-party conservative candidate Doug Hoffman.
Related: Scozzafava campaigns for Owens
In his remarks at the rally for Owens, Biden elicited boos from the crowd when he mentioned Palin, Limbaugh and Armey.
"The idea that Rush Limbaugh would handpick [the] successor is kind of unusual," Biden said of the popular conservative radio host who has heavily backed Hoffman over the national party's choice of Scozzafava.
"I would have thought the last person I would bring up to the North Country is Dick Armey," Biden continued, pointing to the former Texas congressman and current chairman of the conservative group FreedomWorks. "He's a decent guy, but he represents a view so alien it seems to me to the pragmatism to the North Country. Sarah Palin, a former governor - her views are real and consistent with Armey's and Limbaugh's and Dick Cheney's."
"This is a different ideology," Biden continued. "This is different than anything I've known in my 45 years of being familiar with this district. You know, they may not have any room for moderate views in the Republican Party upstate anymore, but let me assure you, we have room, we have room."
Later in his remarks, the vice president couldn't help but return to the subject of the former Alaska governor when the issue of energy came up.
"Sarah Palin thinks the answer to energy is 'Drill, baby, drill,' he said, leaning into the microphone. "It's a lot more complicated, Sarah, than drill baby drill."
A just-released Siena College poll suggests Hoffman holds a 5-point lead over Owens, while 18 percent of likely remain undecided.
Update: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin fired back at Biden Monday. "As the vice president knows, I have always advocated an all-of-the-above approach to American energy independence," Palin wrote in a note on her Facebook page. "There's one way to tell Vice President Biden that we're tired of folks in Washington distorting our message and hampering our nation's progress: Hoffman, Baby, Hoffman!."
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