LA CROSSE -- Vice President Joe Biden today chided the GOP presidential ticket for what he called an unprecedented negative view of the nation by candidates running for the highest offices in the land.
"All you hear from them is talk about the culture of dependency, America in decline," Biden said in his return to western Wisconsin following the lone vice presidential debate last night. He was in Eau Claire last month.
"How could these guys have such a profound misunderstanding of the people of this country?" Biden asked the estimated 2,000 people in the Valhalla Room of UW-La Crosse's Cartwright Center, declaring it's "never been a good bet to bet against the American people."
Biden, who was introduced by wife Jill, said his debate Thursday against U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan showed "fundamentally different visions for America."
He said he had "great respect" for Ryan, before hammering the Janesville Republican over tax issues and women's rights.
Biden charged that Ryan "could not name one" tax exemption that would close to pay for the GOP ticket's proposed tax plan and that the House budget authored by Ryan would implement "drastic cuts across the board, eviscerating education and so many other things."
He charged that Ryan made clear during the debate that a Romney administration is "prepared to impose their private views on everyone else," and told the audience that the Obama ticket is committed to ensuring that women have the same rights going forward as men -- noting Ryan's vote against Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.
Biden also criticized the Romney ticket's stance on Afghanistan, saying the Republicans' conditions on leaving mirror their positions on a number of other issues: "It depends on which day you ask them the question."
The vice president reiterated his attacks from the debate on the GOP candidates' views of government entitlements, particularly Romney's now-infamous "47 percent" comments at a Florida fundraiser earlier in the year.
"It's about time that Gov. Romney takes some responsibility ... to help the American people," Biden said.
He closed his speech by urging supporters to get involved in the campaign down the home stretch.
"If we win Wisconsin, we win this election," Biden said.