SARASOTA, Fla. -- Promising to give a Sarasota audience "the whole load" of his GOP criticism, Vice President Joe Biden unloaded a barrage of derision Wednesday over a Romney campaign ad alleging that American automakers are planning to move manufacturing overseas to China.
Calling the Jeep ad "one of the most flagrantly dishonest ads I can ever remember in my political career," Biden called the allegation - which has been widely disputed by fact checkers and by the auto companies themselves - "an outrageous lie."
"All my time I have never heard an American corporation in the waning hours of the campaign engage with that kind of description of what a presidential candidate's doing," Biden said after quoting a General Motors statement calling the Romney ad "campaign politics at its cynical worst."
Responding to Biden's criticism, Romney adviser Kevin Madden said "We've got an ad out that we believe makes the case for why Gov. Romney would be stronger for the auto industry and why the auto industry's an important part of a strong economy. They've got an ad that they're using to make their case to the public, and we'll leave that with voters."
In Sarasota, Biden claimed that auto workers in Ohio have been frightened about losing their jobs because of the ad, calling United Auto Workers representatives to ask if its allegations are true.
"Folks, the president's job is not to show confusion," he said. "It's to plant the seeds of confidence."
The vice president's remarks to a crowd of over a thousand came 1100 miles away from the rust belt cities where the Romney ad is on the air, emphasizing how strongly the Obama team hopes to push back against the commercial and make its claims into a character issue for Romney. President Barack Obama is not on the campaign trail today, traveling in New Jersey with GOP governor Chris Christie to survey damage from SuperStorm Sandy.
Garrett Haake contributed to this story.