Vice President Joe Biden speaks at M-7 Technologies in Youngstown, Ohio. (Tony Dejak / Associated…)
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Vice President Joe Biden brought the Obama campaign's Bain Capital offensive to Ohio on Wednesday, framing the election as a choice between economic philosophies that would have stark consequences for the middle class.
Speaking at a local manufacturer, Biden said there was "life and hope in the heartland" as a result of the administration's pro-manufacturing policies, which he said would do more to build a lasting economy than the profit-at-all-cost approach of firms such as the one Mitt Romney headed.
It was a spirited pitch to a working-class crowd that Biden acknowledged needed little persuasion.
"You all get it," he said. "You know the difference between an economy that’s built on making things rather than on collateralized debt, creative credit default swaps, financial instruments like subprime mortgages."
"That's not how you build an economy. You build an economy by building things."
Romney's message this week has focused on the nation's growing debt load under Obama. Biden talked about the debts Bain Capital loaded on to the companies it took over, such as GS Steel, the Kansas City plant that was the focus of a two-minute television ad airing in battleground states this week.
When Bain bought the company, it had $13 million in debt. When it filed for bankruptcy, it was $533 million, Biden said.
"What that means is, when you've got that kind of debt and things turn bad, you’re dead," Biden said.
While workers lost jobs, health care and saw pensions dwindle, Romney and his partners "walked away with at least $12 million on compensation."
"Romney made sure the guys on top got to play by a separate set of rules. He ran up massive debts, and the middle class lost. And folks, he thinks that experience is going to help our economy?" he said.
The Romney campaign, which sent a campaign spokesman to trail Biden during a two-day Ohio swing, countered that what Obama economics really means is "8% unemployment for 39 straight months, 605,000 manufacturing jobs lost, crushing debts and deficits for future generations."
"Governor Romney's proud of his business record," Ryan Williams said. "We're willing to stack up Governor Romney's record in the private sector and term as governor of Massachusetts against Barack Obama's failed economic policies and his disappointing in office."
Republicans have accused Obama of antagonizing business, and said the attack on Bain Capital is class warfare.
Biden bristled at the contention in his remarks.
"I resent the fact they think we’re talking about envy. That it's job envy, wealth envy. That we don’t dream," Biden said, his voice booming through the cavernous facility. "My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams. They don’t get it! They don’t get who we are!"
Original source: Biden warns Ohio of the consequences of 'Romney economics'