Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a fired-up, 1,100-person crowd gathered at Detroit's Renaissance High School on the city's west side Wednesday afternoon.
Equally fired up, Mr. Biden vigorously attacked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan in a 40-minute speech similar to one he gave Tuesday while in Minneapolis, but with a few more references to the auto industry thrown in.
"Clearly, Republican obstructionism has slowed our progress, but it has not stopped our progress," he said. "In spite of the insistence by Romney that we should let Detroit go bankrupt, we rescued the auto industry."
Mr. Biden was introduced by Flint-born Claressa Shields, the first female boxer and the first American boxer to win a gold medal at the London Olympic games. She won the Olympic middleweight title by defeating Russian boxer Nadezda Torlopova.
When Mr. Biden and Ms. Shields were at the podium together, the overflowing crowd chanted both "USA" in reference to Ms. Shields' Olympic victory and "Four more years" for Mr. Biden and President Obama's re-election bid.
"We've had tough times in Michigan, but we never give up," Ms. Shields said. "We just get up and keep going. We keep fighting with the President and vice president who've got our backs."
U.S. House Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) warmed up the diverse group of attendees, reminding them of the good Mr. Biden has done for Michigan, including supporting legislation to save the auto industry.
Mr. Biden echoed that thought during his speech, saying there is a bumper sticker Democrats can use: "Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive."
The vice president didn't ignore the connection his opponent Mitt Romney has to Michigan, having spent part of his childhood and adolescence in the state when his father, George Romney, was a popular governor.
"This is not your father's Republican Party," Mr. Biden said. "This is not even Mitt Romney's father's Republican Party." George Romney was known as part of the GOP's moderate-to-liberal wing.
Mr. Biden said that the country's economy is growing under President Obama. He blamed Republican legislators for holding back progress that would create 14 million more jobs.
The vice president, who also was scheduled on Wednesday to attend two fund-raisers in the metro-Detroit area, said he believed his ticket would win in the end. He said President Obama has "a backbone like a ramrod."
Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said that middle-class families in Michigan are continuing to struggle with lower income, fewer jobs, and increased unemployment four years after the bailout.
"For millions of middle-class families, Vice President Biden couldn't be more out of touch on the state of the economy," he said. "The Romney-Ryan plan will provide 12 million new jobs, higher take-home pay, and a brighter future for the middle class."
The Republican ticket of Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan will travel to Michigan on Friday, holding an event at Long Family Farms and Cider Mill, the Commerce Township farm owned by the family of Chris Long, an Oakland County commissioner.
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