Biden hits Romney-Ryan ticket as a 'stark choice'
August 13th, 2012
03:21 PM ET
6 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. Woman In California

    I refuse to lose sight of this election because it is the most important election of my lifetime. We MUST remember Ryan is just a blocker for the REAL creep running for president, and I'm going to continue to keep my focus on Willard by demanding he release 10 years of his tax returns and Ryan is not going to change that.

    August 13, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. GonzoinHouston

    Ryan was chosen by, or imposed on Romney to shore up his tepid support among the GOP base. There was a distinct chance of a revolt by the TP's, leading them to stay home on election day or go 3rd party. The losers in this choice, as usual, are the evangelicals. This group is normally conservative first and christian second, but a mormon and a catholic are going to be a tough sell to a bunch of protestant fundamentalists.

    August 13, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Daveinil

    Stark choice: Barack and Joe slinging Hope for Change and Attack and Blame vs adults talking about solutions.

    August 13, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. rs

    truth hurts-

    The Truth is that those innocent little tax cuts the rich are getting (that Mr. Romney wants to expand) ALREADY take about $1 trillion out of the revenue stream for the gov't per year. As they were never actually budgeted (like Mr. Bush's two wars), it doesn't take a genius to see the origins of our growing deficit.

    August 13, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. rs


    But the Romney/Ryan plan is to ultimately do away with Medicare and Social Security- along with the ACA, so that's the GOP way to deal with the poor, the sick and the elderly. I don't know if it has occured to the GOP knuckleheads, but these are people we're talking about- good ol' American citizens. The GOP has frittered away the last 4 years hoping their heel-dragging would lead-somewhere. It hasn't. It just shows that the only folks the GOP is looking out for is the rich. The rest of us, not-so-much.

    August 13, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  6. Reagan80

    When someone has a hard time stringing 3 sentences together without saying something stupid, it's not a "gaffe".

    August 13, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Dorce

    Paul Ryan!! If you did not know him you better get to know him. This is the man who want to change medicare and medicaid into a voucher program by taking from the middle class and the poor to give to his rich friends millionairen and billionaire. Do you what a voucher program mean? They give you a voucher with a fix amount of cash value to it to pay for you medical cost. Let us say that your voucher is worth$3,000.00 and you accrue a $20,000.00 medical bill for the month and you know what that mean? That is mean that you have to come up with $17,000.00 out of pocket money to pay for that bill. Wow! that is a very efficient plan that will take from the middle class and the poor to give to the rich. In fact Paul Ryan plan is a trial olan and you know what a trial is; a trial is something that someone is tested to see if it works. That plan has not been proven working anywhere in the world and it come with big expense and risk to our frail seniors that need medical attention so often.

    August 13, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. rs


    So that's your answer? Let the rich hold us hostage? They've already shipped their jobs and factories abroad. If they aren't patriotic enough to invest in America, I say take their money. Put it to work here and build a middle class. We can no longer afford the wealthy welfare Republicans keep giving the rich. I'd much rather see a middle class re-develop in America at the cost of the 1% than drive the middle class to the poor house so that the rich can ship their money to the Cayman's- Like Mr. Romney has done.

    August 13, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. MikeinMN

    And before we all forget . . . .Where Are Romneys Tax Returns???????? And Ryans ? ? ?

    August 13, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. CBR

    Before we start criticizing stop to think about these facts. The very rich in this country can afford to have off-shore accounts and Swiss bank accounts. Even Mr. Romney has those. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican you are trying to protect your money. However, if you are running for President one would hope your money is invested int his country.

    Meanwhile, those of us who are not super wealthy are paying, paying a nd paying again. We are keeping the country moving forward because we do pay our taxes. We hardly know about any tax shelters and most of us do not have tax lawyers to help us.

    Those under the poverty level are just trying to keep going. Take a look around you folks because the people working for fast food outlets or in other jobs paying minimum wage. Hard work and hard times ahead for workers. More riches for the wealthy and for those who are Ceo's, CFO's, and Presidents of corporations.

    Mr. Romney

    August 13, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. California Grandma

    Joe Biden looks better than I've ever seen him – he looks invigorated. I like his bottom line way of talking.

    August 13, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  12. asd

    There are so many poor people in this country! Can't we just tax them and balance our budget? How can increasing taxes on 1% who make 50% of the money possibly help in any way?

    August 13, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  13. T'sah From Virginia

    I am really shocked that Romney picked Ryan – I was truly worried by Pawlenty and/or Rubio – I thought both of them would have given us more of a scare than Ryan – Wow, this proves Romney is not THINKING for himself; he allow WSJ, the Koch brothers, the Tea Party and other far-right entities make his choice... This is dangerous!!


    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 13, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Big_D

    Ryan wants to kill the farm bill and food stamps. I bet the conservative farmers love that.

    August 13, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Big_D

    If the rich take their currency and leave we can devalue old currency and force them to exchange it.

    August 13, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Tea Party Traitor

    Romney's claim that the Obama administration is responsible for job losses is laughable. The policies that Romney/Ryan are promising to restore are responsible for the losses, which happened under Bush and Cheney. Soon after Obama, there have been jobs created, in numbers about ready to overcome the 6 million job deficit that he inherited. Call it what you will, it's still a fact.

    August 13, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. John P Sabella

    You know you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to find spending areas to cut. Do we really have to go to Mars? And if we find bacteria on Mars is it really worth all that money? And there is talk about another moon landing. We went there and found nothing. If we must spend money spend intelligently.
    Fresh water will soon surpass oil as the planets most precious commodity. Should we not be building desalination plants along the coast and figure out a way to bring water from the Great Lakes to the parched interior? This drought does not seem to be getting any better. Water treatment is only a sustainable solution. Marrying water treatment with augmentation equals growth in housing, farming and cities, factories etc… (I don’t think Ralph Nader would like it)
    If we must cut we must spend wisely as well. We can’t be caught with our pants down especially when it comes to food and water. This is something this country can do, its low tech and everyone wins.

    August 13, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. TKO

    I just find this whole "Obama has no plan" hilarious. Romney's econmic "plan" has been rejected by economists both right and left as completely untenable. And now ryan steps into the mix with a plan that is anabolic trickle-down. Go back to the history books and study a little econ 101: the economic woes in this country have been growing since the eighties, when middle class wages began to stagnate in the face of huge tax breaks for the wealthy, which continued to grow through the 90's til now. The buying power of the middle class has shrunk because all the wealth is tied up in speculation and investment (in speculation) and NOT in job creation or increased wages. when no one can afford to buy, jobs disappear. Pushing more money into the hands of the wealthy will simply tie up more of this country wealth and make it unavailable to the middle class. The deficit was driven up by Bush throug his war, but we do NOT need austerity right now–Europe has shown us that much. We needmore spending on infrastructure (jobs) and that will happen when we shift the tax burden back onto the wealthy, where is was until the 80's, and free that money up to help rebuild. You may not like these ideas, but the facts are in folks–giving money to the rich does not work

    August 13, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  19. Russ

    If I hear someone from the Romney campaign say "they doubled down" on something one more time!!!!! Come on, come up with a different catch phrase that one is worn out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 13, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. disgustedvet

    660 folks showed up to hear obama's surrogate. Meanwhile Romney/Ryan drew over 10,000 down the road. It's all over but the rioting libbies.

    August 13, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @Janine: "Taxing the rich people more will never work , they just move and take their assets somewhere else."

    Funny, we had a budget surplus under Clinton when the tax rate was 39%, a mere 3% more than now. Heck, during the 50s, the rate topped out in the 90% and we saw huge economic expansion!

    The problem is the FACT that there are some American millionaires and billionaires would rather invest in other countries where labor is cheap and environmental regulations don't exist. They are just too lazy to invest in the country that has given them so much opportunity in the form of military defense, infrastructure and an educated populace to work for them and buy their products.

    And if you can't see this, you're intellectually lazy and too foolish to realize the GOP works overtime to convince you to vote against your own self-interest.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    August 13, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    @John P Sabella:"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."

    Why Munster? In a nutshell, because the GOP plans on subtly stealing the 2012 election and then declaring their extremist, destructive policies as "the will of the people." Munster personifies this extremism to a "T."

    Never mind that in 2008, when we elected a Democratic President and sent Democratic majorities to the House and Senate, the Republicans were claiming that THEIR policies were actually the "will of the people" and have ever since been trying to make President Obama and our country fail. It's obvious to anyone with a working brain that the only way for the Republicans is THEIR way; democracy be damned.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    August 13, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX


    This is Houston, please be advised Obamaloney has eliminated our funding. Now you need to extend your stay in space until WE (NASA) can help elect a responsible patriotic and experienced president.

    We (NASA) will (depending on funding availably) will send up a rocket with some small food stuffs and a change of clothing.

    NASA, NASA, NASA......

    August 13, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |


    You see....people like Jerry make me shake my head. Do you work for NASA Jerry ? Are you conservative ? You probably scream and kick about too much big government on one side of you mouth.........

    And stick your hand out for MORE government funding out the other side of your mouth.

    Didn't NASA ( even with cuts ) get 17 BILLION in funding this last time around ?

    So which is it Jerry ?

    Do you want the President to quit spending as you guys love to talk up.

    Or do you want more spending- If it benefits YOU.

    August 13, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. ed galbraith

    Ryan's a pro-lifer...yes...even if it's a teenage girl whose been raped. That is an "ideologue" position (i.e.,based on religious conviction). That's consistent with his Ayn Rand economic crap. And, for you Republicans out there don't understand, read Ayn Rand and see how that fits with your social responsibilities as a Christian or whatever.

    August 13, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Brian Dodge

    @ AncientTexan – there are 155 million employed now, as opposed to 154 million when Obama took office. Who does your math – Limbaugh? Palin?

    August 13, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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