New Orleans (CNN) - Fresh from rallying public employees and union workers in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden mixed a dose of humor with blunt seriousness at the National Association of Black Journalist convention on Wednesday.
“I believe the differences in this election are stark,” he said. “I believe Romney and this new Republican Party - because this ain’t your father’s Republican Party — (and) their social policy… is a throwback to the ’50’s.”
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Biden also brought some humor from the nation’s capital, teasing the NABJ president and audience that “In Washington, D.C., a gaffe is when you tell the truth.”
Especially coming from the gaffe-prone Biden, it’s a reminder that any microphone may be on.
On his way back from California, the stop in New Orleans was an opportunity to stump and underscore his message before journalists.
Biden said he neither wanted to “explain or complain,” but rather offer what he saw as the “reality” facing American voters in November: between President Barack Obama or GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
He then pivoted to his jabs against the presumptive Republican nominee.
“Imagine what the Supreme Court would look like after four years of a Romney presidency?” he asked. “You may like it, but just imagine what it would mean to traditional civil rights, women’s rights, equal rights.”
With the Supreme Court expected to soon hand down decisions in key cases – including the president’s health system reform and a state immigration law – the message was especially timely.
Journalists at the conference who spoke with CNN said Biden’s appearance – as a high-profile member of the administration – underscored the importance of their organization.
“I think (the vice president) recognizes the voice of NABJ and the people we reach,” said Nicondra Norwood of station WVUE.
“It’s not just education, it’s health care,” added Norwoord. “I think particularly in New Orleans, we still have so many issues that are the legacy of a post-Katrina age.”
Biden highlighted his ability to connect to a diverse crowd, unleashing his firebrand style on an issue which he has been pushing recently.
“Do you know anybody black or white, Hispanic, rich, poor that doesn’t dream of their kid going to college,” he said. “Give me a break!”