From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Biden said that he's glad McCain "finally realized the idea that this election is about change," but said that while the message is new, his plans for the country don't back it up.
"John must have been the last guy in American politics to know this [election] is about change," he said. "The only problem is that all John's changing is the rhetoric. And all he'd change as president of the United States in my view is the name at the top of Bush's policies. That's the only change that you're going to see, and all that would do is keep America shortchanged."
The Delaware senator argued Republicans don't understand the anxiety most Americans feel about the economy, and certainly have not explained how they'd ease it.
"I've never seen so many Americans get knocked down with so little help, so little recognition from their government, from this administration," he said. "And apparently there's not going to be a whole lot more recognition of their plight and concern on the part, based on what's said so far, from the Republican ticket. Ladies and gentlemen, he and Sarah Palin have said nothing about how they're going to bring about change."
Biden's primary attack line on the GOP ticket has been that they offer only glib attack lines and distortions of Obama's plans, especially on taxes. Biden told several hundred here in Central Missouri that while the Democrats would give tax cuts to 95 percent of those who take home a paycheck, McCain would leave over 100 million families out of his tax plan, while giving $4 billion in incentives to oil companies.
Politifact debunked Biden's claim that 100 million families would be left out -- that it would be more accurate to say about 100 million people or about 65 million families.
"This isn't change this is more of the same," Biden said. "I can hardly wait until we get into the details of our respective tax policies."
This event was the rare one at which Biden took questions that one of them was not about his counterpart on the Republican ticket, Gov. Sarah Palin. But he did refer to her when one woman asked about how he and Obama would help those with disabilities. In her convention speech, Palin said she'd be a voice for parents with children with special needs, noting her newborn son, Trig, who has Down's Syndrome.
"I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have … the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability," said Biden, who's wife is a teacher. "Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?"
Biden's itinerary today takes him from the heart of Missouri to the Democratic stronghold of St. Louis. He told the audience that he felt good about the campaign, and said the Obama organization here would go a long way to turning the state blue.