Vice President Joe Biden was in Davenport stumping for Bruce Braley
The Braley-Ernst race is one of the closest races in 2014's midterms
Biden is considering a 2016 presidential bid and has close ties to Iowa
Vice President Joe Biden delivered a wonky, populist speech on Monday in Davenport where he endorsed Bruce Braley for Senate and lambasted Republicans for forgetting about the middle class.
Biden, who is known for being folksy and prides himself on relating to working class voters, attacked Republicans for what he called attempts to roll back Medicaid, privatize social security and stop any raise of the minimum wage.
“What are these guys,” Biden questioned at one point during the speech.
“This is a different breed,” the vice president said of Republicans. “They aren’t bad or good, they are just different. They are just really, really different.”
Biden endorsed Braley as the right choice for Iowa voters and, at times, attacked Republican Joni Ernst, Braley’s opponent. Biden, however, didn’t refer to her by name, instead calling her “Bruce’s opponent.”
The vice president also nationalized the race, saying that, “This election in Iowa is more important than Iowa.”
“This election in Iowa is about sending a message to the entire country and to our Republican colleagues who know better,” Biden said. “If Bruce wins and I believe he will… it is going to break the back of the hard right.”
Biden has been a strong supporter for Braley, both in this senate race and his previous races for Congress.
The senate hopeful said the vice president – who is considering a run at president in 2016 – has been in Iowa so much that “He doesn’t need a GPS” in the state, “he just needs to know where he is going.”
The Braley-Ernst race has remained close throughout and looks like it will come down to the last eight days of campaigning. Polls have each campaign within striking distance of one another, a fact that – coupled with Iowa being the crucial first-in-the-nation caucus state for the presidency – has drawn out a number of big name Democrats and Republicans.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio will be in Scott County on Tuesday, while Hillary Clinton, who’s polling ahead of any other Democrat considering a 2016 presidential bid, will visit Davenport on Wednesday.
Speaker of the House John Boehner will also visit Davenport on Monday night, a fact that was not lost on the vice president.
“My friend, John Boehner, and he is my friend,” will be here later, Biden said. “I hope he talks about what the Republicans are for.”
Then Biden turned to one camera on the riser next to him and acted like he was talking directly to Boehner: “Talk about what the Republicans are for John, it is your buddy Joe.”
After the speech, which included Rep. David Loebsack, Biden and Braley shook hands with supporters as Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” played in the background.
At one point, a women presented Biden with her baby. The vice president showed surprise and chatted with the mother. When someone asked them to pose for a photo, the vice president obliged.
After the photo, instead of kissing the baby – which is an old political cliche – Biden turned to his right and laid a kiss on the woman’s temple.