Biden Sharpens GOP Criticism as He Preps for Debate

CHESTERFIELD, Va. - As he prepares to debate his Republican rival, Vice President Joe Biden continues to flesh out a character portrayal of his opponents being out of touch with middle class values.

Biden and Rep. Van Hollen held their mock debate session last week to prepare for the vice president's Oct. 11 faceoff in Danville, Ky., against Congressman Ryan, who an Obama campaign official described as having an "exceptional grasp of policy details and budgetary matters."

Continuing an offensive he began last week in New Hampshire, he hammered away at Mitt Romney's comments about 47% of the American people, as Biden put it, "seeing themselves as victims unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives."

"He made over 13 million dollars in income, almost all from investments which he paid in 17 percent or less," Biden said. "He got millions, he has millions stashed in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The guy had a Swiss bank account, he refuses to release 10 years of tax returns which he demanded of his running mate?"

Biden said the job of the president is to "lift people up, not to tear them down."

"When [Romney] said it's not my job to worry about ‘these people,' well whose job is it?" Biden asked. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are our brother's keeper. We are one nation under God. We are all in this together, and if the 47 percent doesn't make it, the country doesn't make it!" The crowd cheered.

The vice presidential candidate questioned how serious the congressman is about debt when he voted ‘no' against the Simpson-Bowles, accusing Ryan of deliberately preventing Congress from voting on it.

Biden appeared to be testing out counterattacks to Paul Ryan, who has begun to use PowerPoint slides on the campaign trail to illustrate the enormity of the nation's debt. He accused Romney and Ryan for wanting to take the country back to the proposals of George W. Bush.

"And I don't want to sound like a wonk, a Washington wonk here," Biden said. "But the facts are, during that period we had the slowest growth in jobs of any time since World War II. There are the facts."