From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Biden refused to let a few dozen boisterous McCain supporters step on his message today, and instead incorporated a counter-rally into his appeals to unify the nation after the final votes are tallied in 48 hours.
"We can't move past the politics of division unless after this election is over -- if God willing we win -- we reach out to the very people out in the outer parking lot," He said. "I know you find some of that obnoxious... [But] somebody's got to be big enough to stand up and end this."
Biden, speaking just feet from the "Unconquered" statue honoring the Seminole tribe at Florida State University's football stadium, actually made several references to the protesters, who brandished colorful signs, blared a siren and shouted slogans like "Obama Not Ready" and "Country First."
"The fact of the matter is, maybe those McCain folks could hear this, they'd be interested," Biden said as he railed against McCain's support for the Bush Administration. "I thought it, I thought was the siren, it's just the whine." He later called the protesters "good folks" who were simply committed to McCain.
He largely stuck to the rest of his message, again using the "endorsement" of Dick Cheney yesterday to argue that there was no doubt that McCain would continue the policies of the past eight years.
"Look, it's not surprising. Dick Cheney has been wrong on everything for the last eight years," Biden said. "John McCain and Sarah Palin can have Dick Cheney's endorsement. We'll settle for people like Warren Buffett and Colin Powell."
This was the first of Biden's three rallies in the Sunshine State today. Biden will also hit Gainesville and Daytona, before flying late tonight to Missouri to begin a marathon final day on the trail.