Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Town Hall in Exeter, N.H., on Thursday. (Jim Cole / Associated Press )
Joe Biden, who's been the Obama campaign's lead attack dog for weeks now, sharpened his rhetoric Thursday to label Mitt Romney as out of touch, and accuse him of supporting a tax structure that was "out of step with American values."
The vice president went to Exeter, N.H., where Romney had delivered a major speech on the economy before the state's leadoff primary, to continue the administration's push for a so-called Buffett rule to ensure the wealthiest Americans were paying at least as much in taxes as the middle class.
He contrasted that vision with what he said was the "Romney rule," that the "very wealthy should keep the tax cuts and loopholes they have" and get even more.
"Middle-class Americans have shown their willingess to stand up and do their part.... But the one thing we don't like is being played for a sucker," he said. "So when you all pay your taxes next week, you ... ought to be able to know that everyone else is paying their fair share as well."
Biden said Romney would extend the Bush tax cuts and provide new breaks so that "millionaires can pay less."
"Folks, we've seen this movie before. You've seen the movie. It does not end well," he said. "Where has he been? Could it be that he's out of touch?"
Biden later noted that it was Romney who recently accused President Obama of being "out of touch." "And anti-woman, by the way," he added, deviating from script for a moment.
He then asked the crowd, "Hey, how many of you all have a Swiss bank account? And how many of you have somewhere between $20 and $10 million in your IRA?"
"Out of touch? He calls the president out of touch?"
Biden's speech Thursday was the fourth of what was to be a series of four "framing speeches" laying out the Democratic ticket's general election message on key issues.
The first, in Toledo, Ohio, was on the auto bailout. He then discussed entitlement programs in Florida, followed by a speech on manufacturing in Iowa.
The campaign, pleased by the response to the speeches, now looks to add more in the coming weeks.