Is Joe Biden the GOP’s new secret weapon?

October 4, 2012

By , Christian Science Monitor

Is Joe Biden the GOP’s new secret weapon?

 That’s what the Mitt Romney presidential campaign appears to believe. It’s begun to publicize VP Biden’s twisted tongue moment of Tuesday, in which he said “the middle class … has been buried the last four years,” in an attempt to turn the sitting Veep’s own words against his boss.The Romney camp already has an ad up in which Biden is front and center. Titled “Couldn’t Say It Better,” it starts with about 15 seconds of clips of Romney and his VP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan saying that the “Obama economy” has crushed the middle class, workers are suffering, and so forth.

Then it cuts to Biden speaking Tuesday at a campaign appearance in Charlotte, N.C. “The middle class … has been buried” he shouts to the crowd. Then comes a white screen, and a simple phrase, “We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.”

Top Romney surrogate Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was even more cutting at an appearance Wednesday in Colorado. He repeated Biden’s statement to a roomful of Republicans, then said, “He’s the best thing we’ve got going, guys. Because in a moment of clarity, in a brief moment of clarity, he told us what we already knew.”

Will this work? Well, Biden’s sentence certainly fits into the Romney campaign’s original strategy for the race. That was to hammer home the jobless numbers and tie them to President Obama’s stewardship of the economy.

There’s a presidential candidate debate Wednesday night in Denver – just in case you hadn’t heard – and it’s supposed to focus on economic issues. We’re pretty sure that some variation of “middle class” and “buried” will work its way into a pre-planned Romney zinger.

The problem for Romney is that his economic message alone hasn’t been carrying him toward victory. Lagging a few stubborn percentage points behind Obama in the polls, the former Massachusetts governor has had to broaden his approach, hitting the administration on its policies toward the Middle East and other foreign issues as he attempts to portray himself as a more forceful choice for the Oval Office.

Plus, voters in general don’t necessarily see the wealthy Romney as the best candidate to look out for the middle class’s interests. In a recent Washington Post/ABC News survey 66 percent of respondents said that Obama does more to favor the middle class than the wealthy. Only 35 percent made the same judgment about Romney.

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