At USF SunDome, Biden discusses economy
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10/08/08 Seán Kinane
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photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Biden spoke before about 6,000 supporters at the SunDome on the campus of the University of South Florida this morning.

Sen. Biden’s 37-minute speech ended just before noon and focused mainly on the economy. But he also took shots at Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain’s performance in Tuesday night’s debate with Barack Obama.

“A majority of the American people are looking for a steady hand, leadership, an optimist, not an angry man lurching from one position to another.”

Biden said if McCain is elected, he would continue the policies of the Bush administration. But if Obama is elected, Biden said, they would end the war on Iraq.

“You can’t change the next four years if you simply continue George Bush’s shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later foreign policy. We will end this war. We will end this war.”

Biden said McCain can’t change the country’s approach to global warming if his vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin said she is not quite sure of the cause.

“You can’t call yourself a maverick when all you’ve ever been is a sidekick.”

The McCain team could have chosen intellectually honest ways to campaign, but is using scare tactics instead, Biden said.

Biden said the McCain campaign is becoming “erratic” and negative because the global economic crisis is causing the senator from Arizona to lose ground to Obama. McCain’s healthcare plan, Biden said, contains the same deregulation ideology that caused financial institutions to fail.

Biden said one reason Obama chose him as running mate is because U.S. Senator Bill Nelson “beat up” Obama to make him choose Biden. Nelson said that Biden is fit for the vice presidency.

A handful of McCain supporters protested outside the SunDome on almost the same spot where Joe Redner and others were arrested for trespassing while protesting President George W. Bush in 2002. About a dozen additional protesters stood across the street, several hundred meters from the SunDome. F

ormer University of South Florida President Betty Castor told WMNF that she is “thrilled” to have Senator Joe Biden on her home turf.

Among the Biden supporters in the crowd was USF junior, Kristen Corpion, who is a political science and anthropology major. She’s interning with the Obama campaign’s Ybor City office.

Biden also held a rally in Ft. Myers Wednesday afternoon and will campaign in Missouri on Thursday.

Photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

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