Detroit (CNN) – In front of a friendly audience, Vice President Joe Biden repeated a crowd-pleasing political attack against Republicans on Wednesday – with a new level of sarcasm.
"It's amazing, they discovered the middle class," the vice president said mockingly against his rivals. "And they care about it. They're running to save the middle class."
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Biden began the swipe by referencing the tough economic conditions the Obama administration inherited when it took office – a situation brought on by Republican policies, Biden claimed.
It was one of many seemingly ready-made applause lines Biden laid out for an audience of over 1,100 supporters – mostly African Americans - at Renaissance High School in inner city Detroit. It was the second of a two-day campaign swing that began in Minnesota on Tuesday.
Those at the Detroit event expressed their agreement with several of the vice president's points. At the beginning of his remarks, the crowd even booed the first mention of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"No, no, no," Biden said, attempting to tamp down the jeers. "I disagree with him on almost everything, politically. But he's a decent man."
Yet, Biden stoked the audience displeasure with political attacks.
At one point, he repeated his fresh assessment of the man who wants his job, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.
"Congressman Ryan, who is again a good man and a good family man, he has given definition to Gov. Romney's vague commitments…up to now," Biden said. "Now we know Congressman Ryan and…the Republicans in the Congress, they–as one person said–they have already passed in the Republican House what Gov. Romney is promising to pass for the whole nation."
"They call their new economic plan, what they're talking about, they call their plan new, they call it bold and they call it gutsy. But the neighborhood I come from, there's nothing gutsy about giving a millionaire another tax break. There's nothing bold about cutting Medicare, Medicaid and education and research and development in order to pay for that tax cut."
At another turn, Biden lumped his opponents together as sort of political bogeymen who would throw the country into deeper economic misfortune.
"Their theme is, 'Restore the dreams and greatness of this country.' But what I'm telling you, is that the very plans the congressman voted for over the last 14 years, the very economic policies the governor supported over this period of time – as governor and as a businessman – they are the very same policies that put America's greatness in jeopardy."
Biden also tailored his remarks to play up the administration's actions to bail out Detroit's automobile industry in 2008–actions that are popular in Michigan but derided by many conservatives.
"In spite of Gov. Romney's insistence that we, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," we rescued the automobile industry - saving 1 million jobs," Biden said, referencing a now famous newspaper piece from Romney. Since then, Romney has argued that he deserves some credit for his proposal to save the auto industry.
"I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back," he said in May. "My own view is that the auto companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help. And frankly, that's finally what the president did. He finally took them through bankruptcy."
Romney's campaign responded to Biden's speech.
"For millions of middle-class families, Vice President Biden couldn't be more out of touch with the state of the economy," spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement.
"After claiming yesterday 'the middle class is coming back,' the Vice President is now claiming that 'Detroit is getting back up.' But after nearly four years, middle-class families are struggling with lower income, fewer jobs, and increasing unemployment. The Romney-Ryan plan will provide 12 million new jobs, higher take-home pay and a brighter future for the middle class."