Joe Biden: 'We Can't Win Without Florida'

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: October 29, 2011 3:55 AM
Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden | Credit: c-span.org

With President Barack Obama almost certainly needing to carry Florida in 2012 to stay in the White House, Vice President Joe Biden tried to rally Democrats in a speech Friday night at Walt Disney World, insisting that the presidential election came down to the Sunshine State.

Speaking at the 2011 Florida Democratic convention, Biden emphasized how high the stakes are in Florida. Biden was introduced by Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson who is running for a third term in 2012.

“You’re going to see an awful lot of me,” said Biden, promising to focus on the Sunshine State and other swing states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania. “We plan on winning Florida. We can’t win without Florida.”

Ignoring the fact that the national unemployment rate went from 7.6 in January 2009, when Obama took office, to 9.1 percent in September 2011, Biden claimed the administration inherited an economic mess from President George W. Bush. Biden said, in January 2009, the nation was “on the verge of a depression.”

Biden took aim at Republicans for attacking the Obama administration on increasing the federal deficit, calling them hypocrites for not having controlled it under Bush. “They gave us a bubble and called it an economy,” Biden said.

The vice president praised the Obama administration for bailing out financial institutions and the auto industry. Biden claimed federal bailouts of the auto industry led to 1 million jobs being saved. Ignoring the national unemployment rate rising under Obama’s watch, Biden maintained that the White House had presided over 19 months of job growth in the private sector.

Insisting the nation had been ready to turn the corner on the economy, Biden slammed Republicans controlling the U.S. House for “playing roulette on the debt.” Biden bashed the GOP for blocking the Obama economic agenda. “They’re standing in the way of progress,” said Biden.

Biden signaled that the White House was ready to attack Republicans in Congress. Quoting Franklin Roosevelt’s attacks on Republican congressional leaders in “Martin, Barton and Fish” from the 1940 election, Biden took aim at “Boehner, Cantor and Mitch” -- a shot at U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The vice president also brought in the Republican presidential candidates, insisting that former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas are following the same game plan. “They’re singing out of the same hymn book,” he said.

Biden also took shots at Gov. Rick Scott, slamming him for turning down federal funds for high-speed rail, backing an Arizona-style immigration law and cutting education funds.

Besides kicking over the economy, Biden also weighed in on foreign policy, pointing to Obama’s announcement earlier in the month that American forces were pulling out of Iraq by the end of the year. Calling it perhaps the most important task Obama had performed, Biden told a cheering crowd that the administration had targeted terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, leading to his death at the hands of American servicemen. While acknowledging the 2012 election would not be fought over foreign policy, Biden said the current field of Republican presidential candidates had a long way to go to be qualified on international issues.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” said Biden, kicking the GOP presidential field and Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for not praising Obama after the death of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

The vice president closed with a shot at Bush.

“The choice is stark and clear,” said Biden. “Name me one major initiative  on taxes, on jobs, on Wall Street, on foreclosures ... the Republicans offer that is any different at all from the eight years they controlled the presidency.”

With their party reeling after the 2010 election cycle, other Florida Democrats spoke, stressing how important the Sunshine State would be in 2012.

While Obama carried Florida in 2008, Republicans crushed Democrats in the Sunshine State in 2010.

Gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink came close to defeating Republican nominee Scott, who was bloodied in a brutal primary with Bill McCollum, but the rest of the Democratic ticket went down in flames in 2010. Republicans buried the three Democrats in the state Cabinet races. Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek finished a distant third in the U.S. Senate race. Four Florida Democrats -- Allen Boyd, Alan Grayson, Ron Klein and Suzanne Kosmas -- were thrown out of Congress.

Republicans continued to build their majority in the Florida Legislature and won enough seats to override vetoes in both the House and Senate. After the 2010 elections, Democrats held only 39 of the 120 seats in the Florida House and 12 of the 40 seats in the Florida Senate.

“We need to send President Obama and Vice President Biden back to the White House in 2012,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

Wasserman Schultz spoke on behalf of Obama’s jobs plan and attacked Republican presidential hopeful Romney for wanting to cut taxes for businesses and higher earning Americans.

“President Obama has done so much,” Wasserman Schultz said. “He prevented the economy from going over a cliff.”

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith, a former state senator who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2006 and was the party’s lieutenant governor nominee on the defeated 2010 ticket, stressed Democrats need Nelson to win if they want to keep control of the Senate in 2012, insisting that the upper chamber was “hanging in the balance.”

Smith maintained that Democrats would vote in full force in 2012 to help Obama win Florida and keep Nelson in the Senate. “The Democrats are going to bring voters back to the polls,” said Smith.

Lenny Curry, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) slammed the Florida Democrats and Obama in a statement released on Friday.

“Tonight while Florida Democrats gather in Orlando, I am reminded that at a fundraiser in San Francisco this week, President Obama said, ‘We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge ...,’" Curry said. “A month earlier in Orlando, Obama told a local TV interviewer: 'I mean, there are a lot of things we can do. The way I think about it is, you know, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and, you know, we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track.'

“Well, while Democrats meet in one of the nation’s most innovative and creative entertainment/attraction centers, I hope they find a way to stop blaming the American people for their own failure of vision,” Curry added. “Here in Florida, we Republicans know that the blame lies with failed Washington policies that take too much of our money and infringe on our freedoms. We offer a positive alternative to the Democrats’ pessimism. We offer a vision that unleashes the power of the small-business entrepreneur. We will get government out of the way and let the next wave of American prosperity start right here in the Sunshine State. In one year and just a few days, we will give the American people a president who believes that the people -- not omnipotent government -- are not soft or lacking imagination. The American people are ready, all we need is a true leader.”

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (7)

5:22AM JAN 22ND 2014
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Trini Quiroz
8:38PM OCT 31ST 2011
Get used to, unless a MIRACLE opens all disenfranchised Democrats & other minorities voters minds!
Jeff B. Willis
11:03AM OCT 30TH 2011
Biden is probably right. Democrats can't win without Florida. But Republicans can make it easy for Democrats if they fail to ask the tough questions. (a) Can Newt Gingrich do well enough with women and younger voters to win? (b) Will Hispanics support Mitt Romney without Marco Rubio on the ticket? (c) Is Herman Cain a "flash in the pan," lacking the necessary staying power to make it to the final whistle?(d) Has Mchelle Bachmann become a liability for conservatives?(e) Will Ron Paul refuse to guarantee the Republican Party that he will not run as a third party candidate?

If they answer to all is "yes" we may need to revise our preferences. Marco Rubio says he's not interested in the Vice Presidency. I agree with Brit Hume: "He must say that to maintain creditibily in his current position." But Rubio is also thinking about each candidates chances. He won't run on the bottom of a long shot ticket. That's both wise and insightful. Why should he! He's in a great position as Senator and doing a superlative job! Odds are, he will be the decisive difference in Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Colorado. If the Republicans win these states it places Obama in a difficult, though not impossible position. However, if the nominee can sweep the South and the Plains, the Dems chances of victory would become extremely limited. It comes down to simple pragmatism.
Bryan K Donnelly
10:08AM OCT 29TH 2011

Nice to see our flea brained vice president finally get something right. The Democrat-socialists HAVE to carry Florida next year to win. And they WILL NOT. They have no more chance of carrying the “Sunshine State” than they do of taking North Carolina, Virginia (even with the tax greedy Washington suburbs,) or Ohio. Hell, they’re in trouble in such “blue” Democrat-socialist strongholds as Michigan, Wisconsin, and even the People’s Republic of New York.

The American people have had a bellyful of Obama “Hope and Change.” He, with the active support of the “mainstream media,” ran as a “moderate” and got the votes of the brain dead “independents” by presenting himself and his minions as something he is NOT, a patriotic American who loves his country. He is, in fact, a socialist “third world activist” who HATES this nation, it’s history, its institutions, its constitution and especially its economic system, the most productive in world history. He and his Democrat-socialist acolytes in Congress have been attempting to “transform” us into something we refuse to be, a statist, collectivist, quasi-fascist, European style welfare state.

Witness how most Americans despise Obamacare, his signature legislative “triumph” and want it repealed before it starts killing us. Witness the utter failure of his economic policies; the gigantic “stimulus” pork barrel of $ 800 BILLION, his draconian over-regulation of our domestic energy industry, the utterly failed and largely corrupt attempt to foster fantasy “green energy” a la Solyndra and First Solar. The economy is in the dumper and will not emerge until we do the things that actually promote growth; cut spending, cut taxes, cut business taxes drastically, remove impediments to investment and job creation such as Obamacare and the utterly wrongheaded Dodd-Frank financial “reform” law. Only a Republican president, Senate, and House can do what is needed; and NOT a Romney style Obama LITE administration attempting to tweak the current failed system; re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Only a genuine CONSERVATIVE sweep like the “Reagan Revolution” will do. Fortunately that is what we are likely to see next November.

The current carefully planned and orchestrated radical left wing “Occupy Wall Street” burst of puerile petulance will NOT help the Democrat-socialists with the great American middle class. Indeed it may only serve to “turn off” many clueless moderates as did the 1968 left wing convulsions with which today’s balding, overweight, 60’s leftovers are seeking to retrieve their wasted youth. Neither is the aspect of youthful unemployable sociology majors seeking non-payment of their student loans and “freebies for everyone” likely to generate many votes outside academic cloud ku ku lands like Berkley, Madison WI, or own Gainesville (U of FL.)

“Whistling past the graveyard,” the Democrat-socialists are telling themselves that the vicious class envy rhetoric they’ve lately emphasized will turn things around. Absurd! That’ll get ‘em the 20% or so who, according to all polling, are self-described “liberals” (as opposed to 40% “conservatives.”) You don’t win elections with splinter groups. Some also seek to compare the contrived extreme left “Occupy” set as synonymous with the Tea Party on the right; equally absurd. The Tea Party actually arose SPONTANEOUSLY out of rage at having Obamacare socialized medicine shoved down our throats. Remember all those congressmen-women “town halls” that went really badly for its supporters in 2009? The Tea Party is resolutely middle class, enthusiastic, and ready to work. It will decide the GOP nomination for president and then get him elected! Lest you fall into the trap our “mainstream” media are creating, “the Tea Party is over,” know now that it is growing exponentially and will provide the money, volunteers, and zeal to “make it happen.”
Dorine in FL
8:35AM OCT 29TH 2011
Once again the Democrats conveniently forget that they have had a super-majority in both houses of Congress from January 2007 until 2010 when they lost the House majority... In January of 2007 the unemployment rate was 4.7%... and THAT number is what they inherited from Republicans... since they had already changed the economy for the worse by the time Obama got into office... IOW, Congress holds the nations purse-strings and therefore the Democrat's in Congress have made the economy twice as bad as what they inherited from a Republican Congress...
8:25AM OCT 29TH 2011
Joe Biden's IQ = Joe Biden's Age. Joe Biden cannot win Florida so now what? His team has screwed over Israel and lost half of the Gold Coast of Florida' Jewish vote and they screwed over the Seniors and lost their vote. Their treatment of Marco Rubio is costing a major chunk of the Hispanic vote. Not to mention, the redistricting. Let Dufus campaign hard in every state he surly could rile up the ignorant vote.
Trini Quiroz
8:47PM OCT 31ST 2011
TO REPUBLICAN...there is some reason in your words, but don't kid yourself, there is no love lost for Mr. Rubio among Hispanics Democrats & Independents, He may be all that amomgt Tea-partiers and his Cuban-republican supporters.

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