Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenProgressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (D-N.H.) got a hearty endorsement from Vice President Biden in New Hampshire on Wednesday for her reelection fight.
At a Navy shipyard in Portsmouth, N.H., Biden touted Shaheen's commitment to keeping the shipyard open in the face of defense cuts and the risk of base closures.
"Every time there have been attempts to close you down, you have people like Jeanne standing up here...making sure no one thinks about closing this place," Biden told shipyard workers.
He also credited Republican Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyottePoll: New Hampshire Senate race tight Biden likely to tap Robert Califf to return as FDA head Poll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat MORE (N.H.), and Maine Senators Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Emanuel defends handling of Chicago police shooting amid opposition to nomination Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing MORE (R) and Angus KingAngus KingAngus King: Losing climate provisions in reconciliation bill weakens Biden's hands in Glasgow Sunday shows - Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight Independent senator: 'Talking filibuster' or 'alternative' an option MORE (I) for fighting to keep the shipyard open.
"You keep America safe," he added.
The vice president also touted the importance of high-skilled manufacturing jobs, such as those at the shipyard, whose primary mission is to overhaul, repair and modernize Los Angeles-class submarines.
He said such manufacturing jobs were coming back home from places like China.
"American jobs are coming back. They're coming back home," Biden said. "Investment is pouring in. We have to seize the moment to restore the basic bargain that was never lost at the shipyard."
"Thank you for what you've done. Thank you for what you continue to do to maintain our military supremacy. Thanks for keeping the middle-class dream alive."
Shaheen will likely face former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, himself a retired Army National Guard colonel.
In a statement Wednesday, Shaheen said she "will continue to use my position as chair of the Senate Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee to block the administration's base closure recommendations because I know that's what's best for our national security, our shipyard workers and our economy."
The Republican National Committee slammed Biden's visit, saying "by only inviting national Democrats to today's event, the Vice President has injected politics where national security and economic issues should have instead been the focus."
A Biden aide later said that all members of both New Hampshire and Maine delegations were invited to the event last week.
Other Senate Democrats facing tough reelection battles this Nov. 4 are also touting their protection of military bases from closure.
The Defense Department is facing defense cuts of $500 billion over the next 10 years under sequestration, and the Pentagon has recommended a new round of base closures in order to meet those cuts.
Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallKennedy apologizes for calling Haaland a 'whack job' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP's Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' MORE (D-Colo.), also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who is facing a fight from Rep. Cory GardnerCory GardnerColorado remap plan creates new competitive district Protecting the outdoors: Three cheers for America's best idea Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm MORE (R-Colo.), on Thursday wrote a letter to Army leaders asking them to spare Army base Fort Carson from closure.
"For over 70 years, Fort Carson has provided the men and women of our Army with outstanding training opportunities and an unparalleled quality of life thanks to its ideal location and the abiding support of millions of Coloradans," Udall wrote.
Last month, Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth MORE (D-La.), another vulnerable Democrat facing a tough contest, sent a letter with Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBiden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Bottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic MORE (R-La.), to the Secretary of the Army John McHugh to save Fort Polk from any closures.
Fort Polk has more than 9,500 troops stationed there and is the second-largest employer after the state of Louisiana, a statement from Landrieu's office said.
“We believe further steps to downsize the Army, in the midst of the current downsizing, is ill-timed and dangerous," the Aug. 20 letter said.
Biden's visit to the first presidential primary state on Wednesday also fueled speculation about a possible 2016 run.
"It’s clear the Vice President is more interested in buoying his presidential ambitions and the reelection prospects of vulnerable Democrats which are all being dragged down by their lockstep support for President Obama and his unpopular agenda," said RNC spokesman Michael Short.