KnightNews.com received the following pool report from the White House press office, filed by a pool reporter working for the Tallahassee Democrat:
The vice president left the FSU practice gym at 2:20 p.m. for the six-minute drive to the Challenger Learning Center. He passed the small “Occupy Tallahassee” encampment and three demonstrators stood on the sidewalk of Madison street, waving, as one made a cellphone video of the motorcade.
Gatekeepers at the Challenger Center, an IMAX theater and exhibit hall with a space theme, said 300 supporters attended the fund-raising event. One of them was Barry Richard, the attorney who argued President Bush’s case successfully in Bush v. Gore in 2000. Richard a former Democratic state representative from Miami, is an attorney practicing in Tallahassee and his wife, Allison, arranged the Challenger event.
“I think they’re going to get re-elected,” Richard said outside, before the vice president spoke. “He’s been an exceptional president, probably the best in my lifetime. I think people have a comfort level with the guy.”
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith of Alachua revved up the crowd, introducing Vice President Biden.
“People are excited about 2012 and I’ll tell you why they’re exicted about 2012, because we’ve got an administration that’s proven it knows what it’s doing, they know how to do it and we’re going to re-elect this administration, this president and this vice president.
“I’m going to cut the evening very short for everybody. I promise you, if you watch Florida you’re going to know how the nation goes, very early, and Florida is going to vote Democratic in 2012.”
Smith summed up by repeating something he said Biden says, “The most important thing about this campaign: If you want to know in 2012 what we’ve got to say, it’s very simple – General Motors is hiring and Bin Laden is dead.”
The Vice President began by calling out for former US Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, who was defeated in 2010 after switching his vote and supporting national health care. Boyd was not there or did not respond in the tightly packed crowd. Biden also thanked Allison Richard and Rod Smith.
He repeated the stuff about unemployment when he and Obama took office. Citing Smith’s introduction, he said, “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. It’s a metaphor, it’s a metaphor for our foreign policy and our domestic economic policy”
He said the American people don’t mind sacrifice to restore “the middle class promise” of a job, homeownership and sending kids to college.
“But I’ll tell you what Americans don’t like in my neighborhood, where I came from, and I suspect in yours, they don’t like being taken for suckers. They don’t like being taken for suckers,” he said, drawing laughter and applause. “They’ve been asked to give and give and give. They’ve been asked to keep their wages stagnant, they’ve been asked to cut back on a whole bunch of things and they’ve done it.
“They look around and they think there’s a big chunk of society out there that isn’t in on the game.”
Speaking of “simple basic fairness,” Biden said “I think the American people are tired of being tired.”
“They’re tired of diminished horizons,” he said, adding that he and Obama recently met with CEOs and other top execs from Seimen’s, DuPont, Ford, Masterlock, and other “major, major companies.” He said the business trend is that “millions and millions of jobs will be coming back home from abroad.” Biden said American companies realize that “the safe bet” for protecting intellectual property and other business advantages is to manufacture in the US.
He said economic productivity had “been a race to the bottom” under Republican administrations, with companies trying to find cheap labor overseas. He said the chairman of Ford told him the automaker is investing over $16 billion in plant and equipment, creating over 12,000 jobs in the US. He said Masterlock moved to Mexico and China and is now returning to Milwaukee.
“Mitt Romney says the best way to deal with foreclosures is to let everything hit the bottom.” (The crowd muttered loudly) “No, no, no, no – by the way, from purely a dollars and cents standpoint, he could get ready to argue that, that’s right out of the business school manual. But guess what? We’re not reorganizing and purchasing companies, we’re trying to rebuild a country.”
He said the GOP candidates are showing true colors in debates and that the DNC ought to sponsor 19 more so the voters can see them.
“For the first time, the Republicans are not – as we say, to use a football metaphor – they’re not hiding the ball. They’re saying exactly what they believe. For real – no, it’s good – it’s good because for the first time we can have an honest debate. These guys aren’t out there saying, ‘We’re compassionate conservatives, we want to fight to protect Medicare and Medicaid …’ They’re just being straight up, saying what they believe.”
“Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, I think they’re slightly different, and I mean this sincerely. I think it’s more about obstructionism for them. For them, their actions say what they really believe.”
Poor people have no habit of working
“These are the same guys who are calling the president a ‘food stamp president’ – a thinly veiled, I don’t know what it is, but it’s inappropriate. It’s inappropriate.”
He estimated that Super PACs will spend $200 million to $800 million “to go after Barack.” He said the Democrats can’t compete with money but need volunteers, “to put the best ground game in the history of presidential politics back on the ground. We can’t match their multi-millionairs writing $2, $5, $10, $20 million checks, but we can match every dollar they put out there with somebody on the ground.”
He concluded by quoting Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles, a friend from their U.S. Senate days, who was governor 1991-98 (he died in Dec. 12, 1998), “I didn’t come here to stay, I came here to make a difference.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we got a long road ahead. But here’s what I know – with your help, we’re going to stay four more years and we are going to make a difference.”
As the crowd applauded, Biden shouted his thanks and called out, “God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Keep the faith. We’re gonna do this.”