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Biden urges Democrats to 'stop whining'

Citing voter anger at the majority party, the vice president tells a fundraiser that a Republican Congress would add to the national debt and cut government programs.

September 28, 2010|By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington — Vice President Joe Biden took on a more urgent tone as he campaigned for Democrats in New Hampshire on Monday, saying the party's base needs to "stop whining" about stalled priorities and consider the impact a Republican Congress would have.

Using the GOP's "Pledge To America" as new ammo, Biden warned at a fundraiser outside Manchester that Republicans would add trillions to the national debt and "eliminate every program in the government from the FBI to highways."

Yet voters are understandably angry at Democrats as the majority party in Washington, given the state of the economy, Biden said. "If we make this a referendum on the current state of affairs, we lose, and so that's why we've got to make this a choice."

Even as Democrats work to sway independent voters, Biden told the partisan crowd that they also need to "remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives."

"This president has done an incredible job. He's kept his promises," he said.

Biden's comments reflect the new urgency on the part of the White House five weeks before election day at targeting Democratic voters who, polls have shown, are less enthusiastic about voting than Republicans. In a recent interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Biden urged progressives to "get in gear."

President Obama and Biden will be at college campuses Tuesday to rally young voters, an important part of the ticket's winning coalition in 2008.

"You can't sit it out. You can't suddenly just check in once every 10 years or so, on an exciting presidential election, and then not pay attention during big midterm elections where we've got a real big choice between Democrats and Republicans," Obama said in a conference call with college reporters Monday.

Biden spoke at a Manchester home on the economy earlier Monday. His event at Stonyfield Farm outside the city benefited Senate nominee Paul Hodes, incumbent Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and the state Democratic Party.

mmemoli@tribune.com

http://www.twitter.com/mikememoli

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