Biden rallies Democrats in South Philadelphia

November 3, 2008 9:29:34 PM PST
Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden called for strengthening the middle class and uniting the country as he concluded his campaign Monday night. Biden, along with his wife, Jill, appeared at Marconi Plaza in the heart of South Philadelphia, just miles from his home state of Delaware.

"If we help Wall Street, we can help Main Street and every other street in Philadelphia," Biden said as he touched on a number of topics, including health care, the war in Iraq and the struggling economy.

The Delaware senator was introduced by shortstop Jimmy Rollins of the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter told the crowd not to give up if there is a long line to vote.

"The road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue goes right through Pennsylvania," Nutter said. "We win Pennsylvaia, this race is over."

Gov. Ed Rendell also addressed the crowd, saying Biden is a friend of Pennsylvania.

"His first home is in Delaware; his second home is Scranton and his third home is Philadelphia," Rendell said.

Nutter and Rendell spoke before Biden's arrival. The Philadelphia rally concluded a three-state, election-eve blitz for Biden, who also campaigned Monday in Missouri and Ohio.

Earlier, in Lee's Summit, Mo., Biden vowed that he and Barack Obama would "re-establish the middle class" by focusing on job creation and helping homeowners facing foreclosure.

"For too many families who are working hard, playing by the rules ... people can see it slipping from their grasp," Biden told a crowd of about 1,500 at the Longview Community College Recreation Center south of Kansas City. "We are on the cusp of a new brand of leadership."

On the eve of the election, Biden highlighted the nation's financial crisis and said Obama would offer a three-month moratorium for homeowners facing foreclosure. He also jabbed Republican John McCain, saying there was "literally not one fundamental economic difference between John McCain and George Bush."

He later repeated a sarcastic barb about the Republican ticket of McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

"Hey, maverick. Hey, maverick," Biden said to roars of laughter. "I mean, give me a break.

"I don't think they're mavericks. I think they're sidekicks."

Biden got perhaps the loudest response when he banged his fists on the podium in declaring that Obama would end the war in Iraq.

"End it, we will," he said. "We will end it responsibly, but end it we will."

Monday's schedule across the state underscored how important Missouri and its 11 electoral votes are to both parties. Palin addressed voters Monday in Jefferson City.

Betweed his Missouri and Philadelphia appearances, Biden touched down in Ohio, another swing state, and campaigned in Zanesville and Copley.

"Probably America's decision will be whatever Ohio decides," Biden told a cheering crowd of about 1,500 at a rally inside the Copley High School gymnasium in Summit County in northeast Ohio, a part of the state that tends to favor Democrats.

Ohio went for President Bush in 2004, and has 20 electoral votes.

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Associated Press writers Christopher Clark in Lee's Summit, Mo., and M.R. Kropko in Copley, Ohio, contributed to this report.


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