JOE BIDEN IS JUST A HOMETOWN GUY LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IS THIS WHY THE REPUBLICANS FEAR HIM?
Vice President Joe Biden turned a Fourth of July celebration into a campaign stop to stress his deep roots in Pennsylvania, which has become a battleground state in this presidential election campaign.
After signing autographs for youngsters at the Little League field where he once played baseball, Biden went downtown to regale hundreds watching in camp chairs and blankets on a warm, sticky Tuesday evening with childhood stories.
He called the blue-collar, northeastern city of Scranton the "grit, sinew and soul of what freedom is all about."
"This county, this city, has gone through some tough times. It's had its heyday. It's come back," Biden said. "So many sons of Scranton have been knocked down, but they've gotten back up, time and time again."
He didn't make a reference during his 10-minute speech to his boss, President Barack Obama, or presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The event itself wasn't organized by the campaign _ Biden crashed Scranton's annual holiday celebration on a park dedicated to military veterans in between the federal and Lackawanna County courthouses.
Regardless, Biden tried to score points with voters in familiar territory, in a state that once again is seen as competitive in this fall's election _ even though Pennsylvania hasn't gone Republican since backing George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Obama is scheduled to campaign in Pittsburgh on Friday, his second trip to Pennsylvania this year. The visit coincides with the Obama's campaign release of a new TV ad in Pennsylvania this week that criticizes Romney's economic philosophies.
Biden on Tuesday was joined by another Scranton native, fellow Democrat and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, who is also running for re-election. There was no mention of the economy by either Biden or Casey _ but plenty of talk about the vice president's Scranton ties.
Also joining Biden onstage were his sister, Valerie Biden Owens, and son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden. Wearing khakis and a light-colored dress shirt unbuttoned at the collar, the vice president spoke on a humid night under menacing gray clouds
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