October 14, 2008

Biden Decries Personal Attacks Aimed at Obama

By The Associated Press

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden on Sunday accused the McCain campaign of trying to distract Americans from their economic woes by launching "unbecoming personal attacks" at Barack Obama.

Appearing at a boisterous rally near his childhood home, Biden said John McCain's campaign is desperate to change the subject from the financial crisis that has wiped out many Americans'college and retirement savings. He said McCain has resorted to making "ugly inferences" about Obama in the waning days of the campaign.

"Every single false charge, every single baseless accusation is a simple attempt to get you to focus on something other than what's affecting your family and your country," said Biden, who was cheered by some 6,000 people packed into a sports arena in the blue-collar city where he lived until he was 10.

"It's good to be home!" said the Delaware senator, who was joined on stage by former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton - the former Democratic presidential candidate who has her own roots in Scranton, where her father grew up and is buried.

The battered economy might be helping Obama in Pennsylvania, where he has surged ahead in polls over the past few weeks. A daily tracking poll conducted by Muhlenberg College has shown Obama with a double-digit lead over McCain since Oct. 3.

If Obama and Biden win Pennsylvania, Sen. Clinton predicted Sunday, "there's no way they can lose the White House."

Clinton beat Obama in the Pennsylvania primary by 10 percentage points, in part by appealing to the socially conservative, blue- collar voters in Scranton and many other parts of the state. Biden's counterpart, Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is scheduled to campaign in the city on Tuesday.

Biden on Sunday cast McCain as out of touch with the concerns of everyday Americans who are worried about their jobs and the declining values of their homes. He said McCain doesn't know how to get the nation's economy back on track and would simply continue the policies of President Bush.

"Nothing less than our prosperity and our security is on the ballot," he said.

At an Obama rally in Roanoke, Va., later Sunday, Bill Clinton said Bush's response to the financial crisis is helping Obama's campaign.

"The administration keeps plowing an Uzi's worth of bullets into the McCain-Palin ticket every time they have something else go wrong," Clinton told an evening rally of several hundred people gathered at Roanoke's downtown Market Square. "It's good politics for us."

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