Thursday, September 4, 2008
Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Biden spoke today at the George Mason University’s Prince William Campus’ Verizon Auditorium. Biden spoke this morning in Virginia Beach about national security but chose to hold this town hall meeting on the economy, bringing up issues such as crime, taxes, education and the price of gas and healthcare.
In his introduction of Biden, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, who’s name had been on the short list for the Democratic vice presidential nomination, acknowledged George Mason University President Alan Merten, who was in attendance, and the University’s status as the “Number One Up and Coming University” and underscored Biden’s experience and his own support for the VP nominee.
Biden discussed his experience not in government but with the average American and as an American from a small state. This is the] singe most important election for anyone in this room,” said Biden, “We are either going to get this country back on its feet…or our children and our grandchildren are going to be in a real tough situation.
Intertwining stories from conversations he has had while campaigning, he painted a grim picture of a problematic economy that is strangling citizens through the high costs of healthcare premiums, taxes and gas.
“I don’t expect the government to solve my problem; I expect them to understand my problem,” said Biden, quoting his father.
Responding to attacks made last night by Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, in her acceptance speech, Biden extolled the virtues of universal healthcare, Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obam’s tax plan and questioned the need to provide incentives to oil companies for drilling.
We’re not saying lets take care of all these [people’s] problems, we’re saying lets give these people a fighting chance,” said Biden. “Folks the middle class has built this county…as the middle class begins to shrink we’ll find ourselves in the circumstance where this country is fundamentally different.”
Biden asked five Virginians to tell their stories of economic despair and then asked the audience for questions and comments.
“I’m really tired of the republican pandering the woman voters,” said a female audience member.
Other questions were raised about illegal immigration, the price of education and the deficit.
“A country that out teaches us will out compete us,” said Biden in a response to a George Mason University faculty member’s comment about her inability to send her children to Mason due to her low salary, “We’re going to have to pay teachers more.”
The auditorium, which seats 300 people, was almost completely full with supporters who interrupted Biden multiple times with applause, laughter and shouted comments.