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Biden: Romney in debate changed or forgot some of his positions

October 04, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Vice President Joe Biden campaigns Thursday in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Vice President Joe Biden campaigns Thursday in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (Nati Harnik / Associated…)

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Vice President Joe Biden joined other Democrats in attempting to spin Mitt Romney’s strong debate performance by arguing that the GOP nominee who appeared on stage was not the same one who’s been running for well over a year now.

In a rare Q&A with reporters Thursday, Biden said, “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.”

President Obama, Biden said, did well, and appeared “presidential.” But “you just don’t ever know … what positions Gov. Romney’s going to come with,” he continued.

In Wednesday night’s debate, Obama said Romney wants a $5-trillion tax cut – a cut that could not be sustained, the president said, under Romney’s budget plans. Romney denied he was proposing such a cut.

“Last night we found out he doesn’t have a $5-trillion tax cut,” the vice president said mockingly. “I guess he outsourced that to China or something.”

Biden maintained that he and the president “feel very good” about the remaining debates, including the lone vice presidential debate that will pit him against Rep. Paul D. Ryan. The two will square off Oct. 11.

“All debates are tough. But I’m looking forward to it. I really am,” he said. “The thing about Congressman Ryan is he’s been straightforward up to now [about] all the significant changes he wants to make. We have a fundamentally different view on a whole range of issues, so I hope it will be a fun debate.”

Heading into this week Biden had participated in only one mock debate, with Ryan’s Democratic counterpart on the House Budget Committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, playing the opposition role.

Biden said he’s spent most of his time studying Ryan’s positions, because: “I don’t want to say anything in the debate that’s not completely accurate.”

Biden was campaigning Thursday in Iowa, probably his final public events before more intensive debate preparations.

The Romney campaign pounced on comments Biden made to supporters in Council Bluffs, where he reaffirmed the Democratic ticket’s position on letting the so-called Bush tax cuts expire on incomes over $250,000 a year.

Biden, Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said, “fully embraced the president’s job-killing tax increases.”

“The choice facing Americans in this election gets clearer every day. We can either have four more years like the last four, with the same policies that have resulted in high unemployment and falling incomes, or we can elect Mitt Romney — who will lead us to a real recovery with more jobs and higher take-home pay,” Williams said.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

twitter.com/mikememoli

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