Although President Obama has received some criticism for failing to appear at the NAACP Convention, he did get at least one benefit from sending Vice President Joe Biden in his stead: Biden could be much more forceful in his defense and advocacy of Obama than the president would likely have been.
Biden has been the butt of numerous jokes because of his penchant for sometimes saying inappropriate things, but the vice president was in rare form this morning in Houston as he eloquently listed the president’s accomplishments and harshly attacked Republican Mitt Romney, who was booed by convention-goers on Wednesday for saying he would work to repeal Obamacare when he won the presidency. Obama, who reportedly had a previously scheduled commitment, did appear before the crowd by way of videotape before Biden’s speech.
“He passed the Affordable Care Act, a goal strived for by presidents starting with Teddy Roosevelt,” he said to applause from the audience. “He cut $100 billion from the federal debt over the next 10 years, providing access to affordable health care to 30 million Americans, 8 million black Americans who would never have had insurance.”
On the auto industry bailout, Biden said, “He was right, saving a million jobs and creating 200,000 jobs in the automobile industry. General Motors now leads the world again, and Chrysler is the fastest-growing company in America.”
Biden listed Obama’s priorities and policies in rapid succession.
“We see a system where everybody pays their fair share. Where the middle-class tax cut is maintained, and where no one making a million dollars a year or more pays a lower percentage in income than middle-class and working-class families. Where everyone, and I mean everyone, has skin in the game and no one gets played for a sucker.”
“Remember what this at its core was all about. It was about the franchise,”Biden said at the end of his speech. “It was about the right to vote! Because when you have the right to vote, you have the right to change things! And we — the president and I, and Eric [Holder] and all of us — we see a future where those rights are expanded, not diminished! Where racial profiling is a thing of the past! Where access to the ballot is expanded and unencumbered! Where there are no distinctions made on the basis of race and gender in access to housing and lending!”
Biden pointed out the things Romney has pledged to fight for, such as restricting people’s access to the polls.
“Imagine the recommendation for who is likely to be picked as attorney general or the head of the civil rights division, or those other incredibly important positions at Justice,” he said. “Imagine what the Supreme Court will look like after four years of a Romney presidency. Folks, this election, in my view, is a fight for the heart and soul of America.”