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Biden hammers Romney on outsourcing, wealth

WATERLOO, IA -- The outsourcing attack continues, with Joe Biden wielding the rhetorical cudgel today.

"You got to give Mitt Romney credit. He's a job creator," Biden said Tuesday at an eastern Iowa UAW hall, pausing for dramatic effect from a knowingly chuckling crowd of over 400. "In Singapore. And China. And India."

On the first stop of a two-day swing through the Hawkeye State, Biden skewered the GOP nominee for his tenure at investment firm Bain Capital, repeatedly calling Romney a "pioneer" of shipping American jobs overseas.

"Here's the bottom line, folks: Bain and their companies, they made a great deal of money outsourcing and off-shoring American jobs," the vice president said. "Yeah, they made a lot of money, but in the process they devastated whole American communities here in the heartland and back in my home state of Delaware."

The attack echoes one made by the Obama team in a wave of new ads running in swing states Ohio and Virginia as well as here in Iowa. "Mitt Romney never stood up to China," a narrator intones ominously in one of the commercials. "All he's ever done is send them our jobs."

Biden said that the wealth -- along with its attached strings of privilege -- that Romney accumulated from his tenure at Bain led to an "out of touch" nominee without an understanding of how real Americans keep track of their families' balance sheets.

"Did you ever think you'd be choosing between two people running for president, one of whom has a Swiss bank account?" he asked an incredulous crowd.

The vice president, who coughed and cleared his throat frequently throughout his remarks, noted that he was suffering from a cold. But the illness did not keep him from his trademark bellows in defense of the "American worker."

"His whole career, this good man Mitt Romney has looked at American workers, looked at all of you and the places I come from, looked at us as part of the problem," he said. "The president and I don't see American workers as part of the problem. We see them as the heart of the solution."

Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul called Biden's claims "misleading" and dinged Obama for rewarding foreign-owned energy companies with stimulus money.

"Vice President Biden today doubled down on the Obama campaign's same misleading attacks in an effort to distract voters from the President's disastrous economic record," she said. "President Obama thinks that economic development means sending billions of taxpayer dollars to foreign-owned companies and rewarding donors with money from his failed stimulus program."

Waterloo, home to a large John Deere factory, has enjoyed fairly low joblessness compared to the rest of the country. Recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate in the area under five percent; it peaked in 2009 at 7.5 percent.

Biden noted that success Tuesday, winning cheers for recalling the Obama administration's efforts to jumpstart the auto industry and other parts of the manufacturing sector.

The vice president will remain in Iowa tomorrow, with events scheduled in Dubuque and Clinton.