Council Bluffs, Iowa (CNN) - In the face of bruising headlines and public opinion that President Obama did not bring his A-game for Wednesday's presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden rallied to the president's side - disagreeing with dominant public opinion and essentially casting Romney as a flip-flopper.
"I thought the president did well. He was presidential," Biden said after reporters asked him about the president's widely panned debate performance.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
In the next breath, the vice president turned the tables – panning Romney's performance, instead.
"You just never know what … position that Governor Romney is going to come with," Biden said. "I mean, the centerpiece of their economic policy so far has been a tax cut. And last night I, we found out he doesn't have a $5 trillion tax cut."
"I guess he outsourced that to China or something," Biden added. "I don't know if that's off-shored. But it's hard to figure out what Gov. Romney's position is on a number of issues. But I think as time goes on, meaning days, it's going to become pretty clear that Gov. Romney has either changed a number of his positions or didn't remember some of his positions."
Biden's comments came during a stop at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Council Bluffs, ahead of a campaign in the city. They echoed a slam from the president himself. At a Denver campaign event, before Biden's, the president mocked that "the real Mitt Romney" could not have on stage with him.
Both men press that Romney has proposed $5 trillion in tax cuts that would help the wealthy and harm the middle class. Romney repeatedly denied that characterization and insisted his plan would not add to the deficit.
Independent fact checkers have sided against President Obama's claim.
Performing a fact check, CNN anchor John Berman ruled the claim as false because of Romney's intention to offset the tax cuts by eliminating as yet unspecified loopholes and lowering deductions.
Berman rated Romney's claim that his plan would not add to the deficit as incomplete.
Meanwhile, Factcheck.org also ruled the president's claim as false.