In a speech that alternated between a fierce defense of President Barack Obama and strong attacks on the Republican ticket, Vice President Joe Biden accepted the nomination to run for a second term at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night.
Biden focused on two of Obama’s biggest decisions -- to order to green-light the raid to kill Osama bin Laden and the approval of the taxpayer bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.
Vice President Joe Biden delivers his speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the determination of American workers, and the unparalled bravery of our special forces, we can now proudly say what you’ve heard me say for the last six months -- Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive,” he declared.
Alluding to the still sluggish economy, he said, “Yes, the work of recovery is not yet complete, but we are on our way. The journey of hope is not yet finished, but we are on our way. The cause of change is not fully accomplished, but we are on our way.
Slideshow: Democratic National Convention
Biden said, “We know we have more work to do. We know we’re not there yet. But not a day has gone by, in the last four years when I haven’t been grateful as an American that Barack Obama is our president -- because he has always had the courage to make the tough decisions.”
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Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
With the monthly jobs report for August to be released Friday morning, Biden underscored the importance of creating more employment. Obama “knows that creating jobs in America -- keeping jobs in America -- bringing jobs back to America -- is what the president’s job is all about.”
The most recent jobs report for July showed 12.8 million people seeking work and an 8.3 percent unemployment rate. Another 8.2 million were working part time because their employer had cut their hours or because they were unable to find full-time work.
The vice president said he would tell the audience about “the Barack Obama I’ve come to know. I want to show you the character of a leader who had what it took when the American people literally stood on the brink of a new depression. A leader who has what it takes to lead us over the next four years -- to a future as great as our people.”
Biden said, “Barack and I have been through a lot together these four years. And we’ve learned a lot about each other. One of the things I learned about Barack is the enormity of his heart. And I think he learned about me the depth of my loyalty to him.”
In return, Obama opened his own acceptance speech by praising Biden as “the very best vice president I could have hoped for.”
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, Democratic strategist and former top advisor to VP Al Gore, Michael Feldman and President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden talk about what President Barack Obama needs to say in his speech to lay out a vision for the next four years.
The vice president said that he and Obama were better able than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to understand what middle-class families have gone through.
NBC's Chuck Todd compares the Republican National Convention held last week in Tampa, Fla., to the Democratic National Convention.
He used much of his speech to taunt Romney who he said thinks “it doesn’t much matter where American companies put their money or where they create jobs.”
“The most fascinating thing I found last week was when Gov. Romney said, that as president, he would take a jobs tour. Well with all his support for outsourcing -- it’s going to have to be a foreign trip,” Biden joked.
When Obama signed the taxpayer bailout of General Motors and Chrysler into law, Biden said, he understood what some of his advisors did not, that “this wasn't just about cars, this was about the people who built and made those cars. And the America those people built.”
Biden complained that even though Romney grew up in Detroit and his father George ran American Motors, “he was willing to let Detroit go bankrupt. I don’t think he’s a bad guy ... I’m sure he grew up loving cars as much as I did. What I don’t understand, what I don’t think he understood” is what “saving the industry meant to all Americans, not just auto workers.”
Alluding to Romney’s role as president of the investment firm Bain Capital, Biden said, “I think he saw it the Bain way. I think he saw in terms of balance sheets and write-offs. Folks, the Bain way may bring your firm the highest profits. But it’s not the way to lead our country from its highest office.”
Biden’s son, Delaware Attorney Beau Biden, put his father’s name in nomination for vice president, telling the convention that “the most memorable moment of the past four years was not something most Americans saw. It wasn't even on American soil. It took place in Iraq, at Camp Victory, where I was stationed.”
There on July 4, 2009, the vice president led a naturalization ceremony in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces for a couple hundred men and women from all branches of our military
“As he led those new Americans through the oath of citizenship, this celebration of democracy in the land of a deposed dictator, I was struck by the strength and diversity of our country,” Beau Biden said. “I was reminded why we as a nation are stronger when everybody has a chance to do their part. And I was reminded of everything President Obama and my father have done to guarantee that chance.”