Vice President Joe Biden turned a dinner speech to Florida Democrats at Walt Disney World into a pep rally Friday night, blasting Republicans as obstructionists with whom he said the administration can no longer work, writes Scott Powers at the Orlando Sentinel.
Biden criticized the Republicans for blocking President Obama's American Jobs Act, for "playing roulette" with the federal deficit ceiling and standing in the way of other Obama initiatives and from Wall Street reform to health-care reform.
Biden revealed that for the last two and a half years he and Obama have tried to sit down with Republicans and now he concludes, "This is not your father's Republican Party."
"It's time to stand up. It's time to fight back," Biden bellowed to a cheering crowd of more than 1,000 people at the Florida Democratic Party annual convention at Disney's Contemporary Resort. "We are looking for this fight."
Biden accused Republicans of creating the very budget deficits that they campaign against, and of not understanding that their tax-cuts proposals and vow to kill healthcare reform would make the budget situation worse, writes Powers.
The Republican Party of Florida lashed back, saying that Democrats like Biden blame the American people for their own failures.
"We Republicans know that the blame lies with failed Washington policies that take too much of our money and infringe on our freedoms," said RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry. "We offer a positive alternative to the Democrats' pessimism."
Earlier that evening, Biden addressed nearly 1,000 educators at the annual convention of the Florida Education Association — the state's biggest teachers union. His message to them was similar, though a bit softer, saying that Republicans are not bad people, just wrong.
"They don't think that public education is salvageable," and are not interested in making "investments to make it what we know it can be."
Biden said Republicans had sold the public the message that teachers and their union are responsible for bad schools.
"Folks, this is one of the biggest scams in modern American history," he said. "They're using you to launch the most direct assault on labor, not just in my lifetime, but since the '20s."