LA CROSSE -- U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl and U.S. Rep. Ron Kind hailed Vice President Joe Biden's debate performance prior to his appearance on the UW-La Crosse campus today -- his first stop after Thursday's vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky.
"Does the vice president have the finest smile in America or what?" Kohl, D-Milwaukee, asked the capacity crowd in the Cartwright Center -- a reference to Biden's repeated grinning during GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan's debate remarks.
"I'd hate to be a Republican today, trying to win the election by tearing America down, where we are, and where we're going," Kohl said.
He said the nation's economy is growing "by anybody's estimate," and that the La Crosse area could make the difference in one of the election's only true battleground states.
"We stand for the things that are good and right about the future of America," Kohl said of Democrats.
Kind, D-La Crosse, called Biden "Smokin' Joe," and said the vice president didn't let Ryan "get away with a factless presentation."
"That's not Joe's style," Kind said. "That's a bunch of malarkey."
Kind charged that the Romney-Ryan ticket isn't "being serious and leveling with the American people," pointing to proposed tax cuts and spending on defense and health care.
He also railed against rolling back financial regulatory reform, and jokingly asked where he could file a missing persons report for the Bush administration during the campaign.
"They don't want to remind the American public just what their bad policies did to our nation," Kind said of the GOP ticket.
State Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, also addressed the crowd, asking students and residents to give at least four hours of volunteer time to the Obama campaign in the last weeks of the race.
Shilling said if they fulfill those four hours, "I guarantee they will give your four more years of their time."