Biden ramps up attack dog role in Obama campaign
CHICAGO – Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, trying to step up his role of attack dog, on Monday labeled Republican John McCain as a “profoundly out of touch” politician using dishonorable tactics to try to win the White House.
In excerpts from a speech he is to give in Michigan, Biden, running mate to presidential hopeful Barack Obama, said both McCain’s policies and his campaign strategies mirror those of the unpopular U.S. President George W. Bush.
“We’ve seen this movie before, folks. But as everyone knows, the sequel is always worse than the original,” Biden will say in the speech he will give in St. Clair Shores, Mich.
“If you’re ready for four more years of George Bush, John McCain is your man. Just as George Herbert Walker Bush was nicknamed ‘Bush 41′ and his son is known as ‘Bush 43,’ John McCain could easily become known as ‘Bush 44,'” Biden plans to say.
Opinion polls show a dead-even race between Obama and McCain with less than two months to go before the Nov. 4 election.
Helped by his pick of Sarah Palin as his No. 2, McCain erased the lead that Obama held for most of the summer, leaving many Democrats nervous and impatient for Obama to begin hitting back at attacks they contend are straight out of the playbook of former Bush adviser Karl Rove.
In lambasting McCain, Biden is stepping into the traditional role for a vice presidential candidate of attack dog. He has been critical of McCain in previous speeches but Monday’s speech marked an escalation of the tone. Part of Biden’s difficulty in playing the attack-dog role effectively is that he is not getting nearly the media spotlight that Palin, a new face on the national political scene, is receiving.
Recalling the many years he has been a Senate colleague of McCain, an Arizona senator, Biden accused McCain of selling out his principles to win the election.
“The campaign a person runs says everything about the way they’ll govern. John McCain has decided to bet the house on the politics perfected by Karl Rove,” Biden says in the speech.
McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt dismissed Biden’s comments as those of a “long-time Washington insider, entrenched in the status quo.”
“Regardless of their rhetoric, Barack Obama and his running mate can’t distance themselves from their records which gives voters zero confidence that they can deliver change when we need it the most,” Porritt said.
The Obama campaign also released a new ad saying McCain was taking “the low road” in some of his campaign’s ads and attacks on the Democratic candidate, citing commentary in newspapers such as the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune that criticized the McCain ads.
– Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Biden during a campaign stop in Ohio in late August.)