About 2,000 supporters turned out at Bowling Green State University.
MARION, Ohio (AP) — Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden on Saturday ripped Republican John McCain, saying he’s clinging to President Bush’s “failed economic policies.”
Biden mocked McCain’s recent criticism of the Bush administration as too little, too late.
“All of a sudden, he’s seen the light,” Biden told a small crowd at Marion Harding High School in Marion in north-central Ohio.
“If John had seen the light, he would really have to acknowledge the economic crisis we’re in is the final verdict on the failed economic policies of George Bush,” Biden said.
Biden finished off a two-day trip through swing state Ohio on Saturday, his sixth visit here as a vice-presidential candidate.
Both campaigns are paying multiple visits to swing state Ohio in the last days before Election Day. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama planned a trip to several Ohio cities today and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had rallies scheduled today in Marietta, Canton and Cleveland.
Biden told about 2,000 supporters at Bowling Green State University that McCain and Palin were resorting to name calling and negative campaigning and warned that it will increase in these final days of the campaign.
“It will probably get worse,” he said, adding that McCain was stooping to the divisive politics of former Bush aide Karl Rove.
Biden sought to assure the college students in the crowd that better days were ahead, telling them not to give up hope.
He pointed out that the country was in the beginning of an unpopular war in Vietnam when he graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965.
“We’ve been able to overcome every obstacle in our way,” he said.
Biden took a jab at McCain for getting an endorsement Saturday from Vice President Dick Cheney. “I’m not surprised. Dick Cheney has been wrong on everything else the last eight years.”
Earlier, Biden spoke for about 20 minutes to an enthusiastic crowd in Marion of a few hundred supporters who filled the high school gym about halfway.
He hit familiar themes from the campaign’s recent rallies, calling McCain and Palin sidekicks to President Bush and his policies.
But after a few similar swipes at McCain and Palin, Biden moved on to more general remarks that boiled down to an all-too-familiar refrain: change.
“We do not have to accept things the way they are,” Biden said. “It’s within our power to change them.”
A McCain spokesman dismissed Biden’s remarks.
“Less than 24 hours after John McCain energized thousands of Ohioans, Joe Biden lulled his way through today’s speech, seemingly accepting his position as a drag on the Democrat ticket,” Ben Porritt said.
Biden has been visiting parts of Ohio that Democrats don’t normally pay attention to in a campaign’s closing days, including Kettering in suburban Dayton and Lima on Friday.
While Marion County has voted for the Republican presidential candidate the last four elections, voters in the city of Marion backed President Clinton in 1996 and Al Gore in 2000.
In Wood County, where Bowling Green is the county seat, voters backed Bush in 2000 and 2004 and narrowly supported Clinton in 1992 and 1996.
After the Marion rally, Obama supporter Amy Cooperider said something has to change economically in the country.
Cooperider, 43, of Marion, said she works full-time as a finance director at a domestic violence shelter and part-time as an accountant to help pay her college tuition for her two sons.
“I’m scared to death of how hard it’s going to get to be,” she said.