Vice President Biden talks equality for women and immigration in Greeley stump speech
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 17:10
Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley played host to Vice President Joe Biden’s most recent stump speech Wednesday as he set his sights on firing up a Democratic base in a predominantly Republican county.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and Rhonda Solis, a Greeley community activist, joined the VP on stage.
The crowd at the grassroots event totaled 1,100 — many equipped with campaign signs — and contributed the enthusiasm of an election season entering the home stretch. Biden wasted no time stressing the middle class of this country is one of its greatest assets.
He criticized Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s understanding on foreign policy and underlined his administration’s commitment toward equal rights for women. In doing so, he classified Romney and running mate Paul Ryan’s views on women’s rights as being stuck in a 1950s time machine.
“For good measure, Governor Romney has said on multiple occasions that he wants to ban Planned Parenthood,” Biden said.
More specifically, Biden drew a contrast with Romney, saying the Republican presidential candidate would have voted against the Lily Ledbetter Act if he had the chance, therefore not providing equal pay for women in the workplace.
Biden also spoke on the issue of immigration and praised President Barack Obama and his administration’s formation of the DREAM Act but found fault with Romney’s immigration policy of self-deportation.
“Republicans want to send immigrants ‘home’ — home? Where is that? This is home right here,” Biden said.
He continued by referencing immigrants who were brought to America at a very young age and oftentimes without them even knowing.
“Sixteen and a half percent of kids on college campuses in Denver are Hispanic,” Biden said. “Barack and I see what you all see — nothing but promise.”
Education and keeping loans at a reasonable level is another issue continually discussed this election year. It continues to be a concern for those parents with kids seeking a higher education.
“I got three boys in college — at CSU,” said John Matteson, a Greeley resident. “Bring down your rates, and get it out of the private banks.”
The now infamous 47- percent remark — a comment originally uttered by Romney during a closed-door dinner referring to the 47 percent of Americans who depend on the government — made a brief appearance during Biden’s speech.
“Romney and Ryan see the American people in terms of givers and takers,” Biden said. “That 47 percent should worry about Romney, because he has no idea who they are.”
A few of the attendees Wednesday agreed with that sentiment.
“Romney’s out of touch with the middle class people,” said Sally from Loveland.
An issue prevalent to many families across Colorado can be found in the state’s wind industry. It relies increasingly on much-needed tax breaks from the government. Vestas, a wind energy manufacturing company with several plants in Colorado has already had to make drastic layoffs due to its uncertain future.”
“I lost my job at Vestas,” said Jenna from Loveland. “(Obama) knows what I am going through as a single mom. He knows, and there is hope.”
The tax credits are set to expire at the end of the year, but congressional gridlock orchestrated by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has stalled the process.
“America is neither dependent nor in decline,” Biden said. “I say watch out — it has never been a good day to bet against America.”
The economy and job creation has been at the forefront of this election; Biden emphasized the positive movement of manufacturing jobs and bringing those jobs back from other countries.
“We have a plan to create a million new manufacturing jobs, cut taxes and produce more American-made energy, recruit and train 100,000 new math and science teachers, cut the cost of tuition in half,” Biden said.
This is likely the last time Biden visits Colorado until the election. His postponed event from Tuesday in Boulder has yet to be rescheduled.