Biden hits Ryan record, likens campaign to ‘running against an incumbent’

DANVILLE, Va. — Vice President Biden said campaigning against vice-presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is "almost like running against an incumbent." 

For the second straight day amid a three-day tour through North Carolina and Virginia, Biden aimed to hammer away at Ryan and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and their proposals for the nation, seeking to link the House Budget Committee chief's policies in Congress with Romney's agenda.  

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"Congressman Ryan and his Congressional Republicans, as one person said, have already done what Gov. Romney is promising he will do for the nation," Biden said before a crowd of nearly 900 people at a research center in southern Virginia. "So this is one of those rare cases. It's almost like running against an incumbent. Everybody knows what we stand for and what we want to do. We are making it as clear as we can make it."  

Biden told the crowd that it's "a good thing" for the country that "we have this stark, stark choice" between the candidates vying for the White House. 

He also aimed to telegraph a message that Romney is Obama's polar opposite. 

"So we know now," he said. "Before, Gov. Romney had a tendency to be vague or change his position a lot. So this is a good thing for the country that we have this stark choice."

In his speech, Biden aimed to be sympathetic to those looking for work. "How many know people who look at the ceiling wondering, 'Am I going to be able to sleep on this bed under this roof in two months?' "

But, in an effort to send a strong message to the middle class, he added that if Republicans "unchain" Wall Street, "they're going to put you back in chains."

The Romney campaign slammed Biden, calling his statement a "new low."

“After weeks of slanderous and baseless accusations leveled against Governor Romney, the Obama Campaign has reached a new low," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "The comments made by the Vice President of the United States are not acceptable in our political discourse and demonstrate yet again that the Obama Campaign will say and do anything to win this election."

An Obama campaign official noted that Biden was using a metaphor.

"The Vice President was clearly using a metaphor to describe the devastating impact of deregulating Wall Street and the financial industry, as well as how Governor Romney’s policies would take us back to the same failed formula that led to the 2008 financial crisis — the same failed formula that benefitted a few, but crashed our economy and hurt the middle class," the official said.

— This story was updated at 1:49 p.m.