Biden hits Romney-Ryan ticket as a 'stark choice'
August 13th, 2012
03:21 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden hits Romney-Ryan ticket as a 'stark choice'

(CNN) – Fresh off a beachside vacation, Vice President Joe Biden resumed his campaign trail attacks Monday, this time with a new target in the mix.

Biden, at an event in Durham, North Carolina, argued the decision to pick Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate offers a "stark choice" for voters this fall.

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"The differences couldn't be more clearly laid out through the selection than you're going to hear," Biden said.

Biden called Ryan on Sunday to congratulate the Wisconsin congressman, who was announced as Romney's No. 2 at a campaign even in Norfolk, Virginia the day prior. But the vice president said the move to put Ryan on the ticket further clarifies the differences between the two campaigns this fall.

"These are stark, stark choices," Biden said.

Democrats have since pounced on the running mate pick, using the House budget committee chairman's controversial budget plan as a way to paint a Romney presidency as a threat to popular entitlement programs, like Medicare and Social Security.

Ryan's $3.5 trillion budget proposal, first introduced in 2011, includes the provision that Medicare-approved private insurers would one day compete with traditional Medicare on an exchange. The proposal would not affect Americans currently over age 55. The plan's opponents, however, say that would increase the financial burden on senior citizens.

In his remarks Monday, Biden refrained from digging too far into the so-called Ryan plan, instead using the opportunity to tie Romney with House Republicans, at large.

"Congressman Ryan has given definition to the vague commitments that Romney's been making. There's definition to it now," Biden said. "It's clear. Congressman Ryan and the Congressional Republicans…have already passed in the House what Governor Romney is promising to give the whole nation."

The vice president countered the idea that the policies promoted by a Romney-Ryan White House would offer bold solutions.

"What's gutsy about giving millionaires another tax break, what's gutsy about gutting Medicare, Medicaid, education? What's gutsy?" Biden said.

Defending his proposals, Ryan said Sunday his plan would retool Medicare so that it remains financially soluble for future generations.

"My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida," he said in an interview with CBS News. "Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because government made promises to them that they've organized their retirements around."

Romney has in turn embraced Ryan's budget plan in the past, comparing them to some of his own economic policies. The presumptive GOP nominee, however, has not made Ryan's plan a part of his platform in the 2012 campaign, and in a set of campaign talking points obtained by CNN on Saturday, surrogates are reminded, "Of course they aren't going to have the same view on every issue."

Responding to the speech, Romney's campaign said Biden "doubled down" on what it called the "failed policies" of the Obama administration.

"Vice President Biden today doubled down on the same failed policies that have resulted in skyrocketing debt, higher taxes and record job losses," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. "The Romney-Ryan ticket will lay out a bold vision for our country and promote commonsense policies that will create jobs, help the middle class and turn around our struggling economy."

But the vice president on Monday argued Romney's choice of Ryan will turn off voters in the end, arguing the selection represents a move further to the right within the Republican Party.

"Folks, this ain't your father's Republican Party. It's not even Governor Romney's father's Republican Party," Biden said, referring to the late George Romney, former Michigan governor and one-time presidential candidate.

Biden's speech came shortly after President Barack Obama delivered jabs against Ryan, warning an Iowa crowd about the congressman's position on the controversial farm bill.

"I am told that Governor Romney's new running mate Paul Ryan might be around Iowa the next few days. He is one of the leaders of Congress standing in the way. So, if you happen to see congressman Ryan tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities," the president said.

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • North Carolina • Paul Ryan
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. DC from NJ

    Romney just handed the election to Obama, which makes many of us very happy! Thanks Mittens.

    August 13, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "you are addressing this to barack hussein obama correct? he and the democrats are the only ones to cut medicare. i can count on your vote for romney then?"

    Hard at work spreading the lies I see. That ones really pretty ridiculous, to be honest. I mean, if you really think of yourself as a sharp political mind, you should be able to come up with something better than "don't look at the black and white writing in Ryan's budget that says exactly the same thing as the ACA." Apparently, you're about as sharp as a beachball though.

    August 13, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    I don't think Romney chose Ryan..I think the ones banking him told him he BETTER choose Ryan. The Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, the Vegas billionaire are running this show. Even Rush Limbaugh has said this is NOT about Romney he is just the front guy.......the "others" are calling out all the shots.

    August 13, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Matt

    Here'/s the deal america – Have you noticed the cities going bankrupt? Why is that happening? Easy answer ~ no, there isnt an easy answer ~ the complicated answer is the tax base eroded as unemployment grew. The payments due to retired pensioners are growing. And just like medicaid and welfare ~ there arent enough payers into these systems to support the costs going out.

    What isnt going away is the people. People need to have the care. They need to eat. So while Obamey and Biden resort to smear attacks on Romney, and fear tactics on Ryan pay attention to what they are NOT SAYING. They have no plan. They have no answers for the failing systems. There is pain coming ~ the question is who can deliver us the least amount of pain across the entire population. I dont believe its obama ~

    August 13, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. myviewis

    So what is Biden's answer to no Cost-of-Living increase to Senior Citizens now going on 3 years? And how about taking $500 billion dollars from Medicare to fund Obamacare???? Why Medicare????? Why, why, why, why, why????

    August 13, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Name Champsbabe

    "Once upon a horse" you got it right! As an Independent, Romney's choice for VP turned me way off! Going to go for Obama!

    August 13, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Dean

    once upon a horse

    I don't think Romney chose Ryan..I think the ones banking him told him he BETTER choose Ryan. The Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, the Vegas billionaire are running this show. Even Rush Limbaugh has said this is NOT about Romney he is just the front guy.......the "others" are calling out all the shots.
    ----------------------
    Do you see all those black helicopters in the sky each night?

    August 13, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. NickAnast

    Actually, Matt, the Dems DO have a plan. It's called make the rich pay their fair share of taxes and don't mess around with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Much better plan than simply eliminating Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare - which is what Rmoney and Ryan want to do.

    August 13, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Shecky

    "In his remarks Monday, Biden refrained from digging too far into the so-called Ryan plan, instead using the opportunity to tie Romney with House Republicans, at large."

    HA! HA!
    That's because Biden-The-Buffoon has probably never READ the Ryan plan and has NO CLUE what it says.

    August 13, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. truth hurts

    NickAnast - Actually, Matt, the Dems DO have a plan. It's called make the rich pay their fair share of taxes and don't mess around with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Much better plan than simply eliminating Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare – which is what Rmoney and Ryan want to do
    =========================================================================================
    i can see you have bought into obama and democrat lies. take all the money from the rich and you still don't have enough. but the liars won't tell you that because tax the rich is just a smoke screen. doing nothing as obama and the democrats are doing will guarantee these programs go away because they are unsustainable. but don't believe me, go read the governments own reports. educate yourself instead of drinking the koolaide.

    August 13, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. John P Sabella

    Speaking only as a political strategist, the only thought I can come up with is Romney and his advisers knew he could not win the election if all things remained the same. I personally agree, Obama has been inching up in the polls in the key pivotal states and there is no reason to think this trend would stop. Romney had to make a bold move.
    Although it defies all prior election results, Obama should be losing in the polls because of the sluggish economy. No president has ever been reelected during a bad economy. But He's just ahead enough to win close. This may be so because the opposition party is more right than Obama is left making Obama look like a moderate when he is actually a liberal. If there is one thing Americans fear is change. If Romney had moved to the middle as most expected he would he may have been our next president. However, with Ryan as VP clearly Romney has no intention of movement.
    I personally don’t understand Romney's choice. He is a moderate republican by record and who else is the far right going to vote for. Even if they don’t like Romney they'll vote for him to stop Obama. Romney needed to capture the undecided vote especially those in Florida. Ryan adds charisma and ideology but not necessarily votes.
    Romney had to do something bold to get Florida. Rubio would have been a great selection. As far as I know, he never advocated changing SS or Medicare. However I read articles a while ago that said he had too much baggage which made him more of a liability than an asset.
    The undecided electorate may not love Obama but “the devil you know is better than the devil you don't" especially in this case where the differences are so blatant and now there is a real tangible issue that will define democrat from republican.
    Romney and Ryan have 86 days to convince America the "Ryan budget" is the only way to prosperity. This must be done against a blitz of negative ads against Romney/Ryan and Ryan's SS/Medicare ideas. Every move Romney makes will have a counter measure. This is the brake Democrats have been waiting for.

    August 13, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Ancient Texan

    Reality @4:29 There are fewer people working now than when Obama took office, in fact fewer than since 1983. And you think Obama "has corrected that"?

    August 13, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "And how about taking $500 billion dollars from Medicare to fund Obamacare???? "

    Same cuts in Ryan's budget. For realz...cut the crap. And to be frank, while I keep saying "same cuts," that's really just glossing over it, because the numbers add up the same, but the nature of the cuts is quite different. Most of it in the ACA comes from hospital reimbursement rate controls and other devices for decreasing provider payouts, but which won't result in decreased access to services. Captain Lapdog's budget does it all throughthe vouchers, which directly effect the ability of recipients to actually afford health care sertices and therefore actually does threaten access to care. So, while the amoutn of cuts is about the same, they are very different in nature, with Mittens' and his running mates' Medicare cuts falling squarely into the category of threat to access to healthcare.

    August 13, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. rob

    @ NickAnast
    The Dems plan ??? "...make the rich pay their fair share of taxes and don't mess around with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid." Given the tax increases the admin proposes would pay for about 2 weeks of the Dems budgets....THEN WHAT ?!?! Given that Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are going broke and won't be there for people under 40 when they need it, WHAT EXACTLY DO THE DEMS PROPOSE TO DO ABOUT IT ?!?! NOTHING. They do not have a plan and with the help of the liberal media like CNN they won't be pressed on a plan. They will continue to use scare tactics, lies and distractions. So its up what remains of the adults in this country to make the changes in Nov.

    August 13, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. Janine

    Taxing the rich people more will never work , they just move and take their assets somewhere else.
    Happened in England under Wilson and it had dire consequences for the country .
    As for all these Obama supporting celebrities they can afford to be liberal thinkers as they always have a way out.
    They own properties abroad and I am sure they have impressive bank accounts in foreign countries.
    Stop being so naive .
    Romney is the better choice otherwise your country will slide into an even bigger deficit.

    August 13, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. yes, a very stark choice

    romney/ryan and the realization this country is in dire straits and must act to avoid bankruptcy

    or

    obama/biden and their endless class warfare and eventual bankruptcy.

    August 13, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "with the help of the liberal media like CNN they won't be pressed on a plan. "

    The only thing the MSM is helping to hide is how simple the fixes to Medicare and SS truly are, how dependent they are upon tax reform to assure the wealthy are paying their fair share and how dependent they are on the GOP/Teatrolls getting the everloving crap out of the effing way and letting us enact short-term recovery stimulus so that people can get back to work, the economy can stabilize and THEN we can start deciding how to responsibly cut spending. That's it in a nutshell from almost every expert economist out there, but instead we have to listen to the MSM play he-said-she-said with the rhetical diarrhea flowing from the Teatrolls' mouths.

    August 13, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  18. Larry L

    @myviewis

    So what is Biden's answer to no Cost-of-Living increase to Senior Citizens now going on 3 years? And how about taking $500 billion dollars from Medicare to fund Obamacare?
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Like every post from you this is a simply a stupid political play on words. Check any of the fact-checkers. Here's a summary: "The health reform law, aka the Affordable Care Act, does call for cutting $500 billion from Medicare to help finance subsidies for the uninsured. The administration portrayed these as “savings”—in other words, money not spent for Medicare that could be used for another purpose. But the important take-away is this: the law does not cut a dime from the basic Medicare benefits seniors receive. All seniors will still get hospital benefits, coverage for physician services, lab tests, hospital outpatient care, prescription drugs, and so on, and will continue to receive them unless pols on both sides of the aisle succeed in changing the fundamental structure of Medicare."

    August 13, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Ann

    "Folks, this ain't your father's Republican Party. It's not even Governor Romney's father's Republican Party," Biden said,

    And you are not even Clinton's Democratic party Mr. Biden. Bill Clinton knew that first thing to care about was the economy. This administration doesn't.

    August 13, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. DS0

    The Democrat plan to pay for entitlements appears to be:

    1) Increase taxes on the rich (which won't really dent the problem, but fits with their ideology)
    2) Borrow the rest from our children and grandchildren.

    Now that is indeed a stark choice.

    August 13, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Larry L

    @Janine

    Taxing the rich people more will never work , they just move and take their assets somewhere else.
    ---------------------------------------------------–
    But I thought those kindly folks were the "job creators"? That offshore tax shelter is exactly why Romney doesn't want us to see his tax returns! We need to close those loopholes and make those who have reaped the benefits of our country and made obscene fortunes while the middle-class becomes the working poor. He did exactly what you said – evaded taxes and invested offshore while the middle-class suffered the recession. Think!

    August 13, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Jane

    Now here a man who looks complete sure of himself and full of confidence. Thank God!!! I'm so glad you're our vice president Joe!!!

    August 13, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. DB

    This all you got Biden, where is the stark choice. you have not presented any ideas or policy other than attacking opponent. where is the budget from Dems? Stark choice is when two side present the idea not one side and other criticize.

    August 13, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Lisa P

    myviewis

    So what is Biden's answer to no Cost-of-Living increase to Senior Citizens now going on 3 years? And how about taking $500 billion dollars from Medicare to fund Obamacare???? Why Medicare????? Why, why, why, why, why????
    August 13, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Because there are ways to make Medicare more efficient without lowering the quality of services. You know that "waste, fraud and abuse" that the Republicans are always claiming will magically disappear if they cut funding, making up for the budget cuts? That's what the Affordable Care Act does to Medicare, except the efficiencies (like getting rid of duplicate tests and unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital stays) have been tested and are clearly spelled out. That's the difference between good public policy and wishful thinking (or bullying, depending on your point of view).

    August 13, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. John P Sabella

    Aside from all this intelligent political banter can someone clue me in on this question?
    Romney needs Florida to win the election. Even though Ryan’s Medicare plans only affect people 55 years and younger the elderly will probably still find him a threat especially with the expected Obama blitz smear campaign. Surely Romney saw this. Then why did he pick Ryan as VP?

    PS please no heckling or name calling. I’m nowhere as savvy, bright or informed as the rest of you.
    I figure since I can’t ask Mr. Romney certainly a few of you very informed people would know.

    August 13, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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