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Biden praises Obama's 'courage to make the tough decisions' (+video)

Vice president Joe Biden accepted his party's nomination for a second term on Thursday. In his speech, he spoke of the respect he has for President Obama. He also reached out to working-class voters. 

By Philip ElliottAssociated Press / September 6, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.

Joe Biden stepped forward Thursday as Barack Obama's chief character witness, link to middle class voters and potentially the most biting critic of Republican rival Mitt Romney.

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Accepting his party's nomination for vice-president, Joe Biden said Americans should re-elect President Barack Obama, saying he knows there is more work to be done, but Obama has the courage to make the tough calls necessary to lead the nation.

Speaking candidly about his front-row seat to Obama's presidency, Biden used his speech to Democrats' convention to paint his friend as a gutsy leader who helped the nation turn the corner on its dour economy. He pointed to the decisions to bail out Detroit's auto industry and to dispatch Navy SEALs into Pakistan for a fatal raid on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's compound.

"Conviction. Resolve. Barack Obama," Biden shouted to delegates watching in the convention hall and millions more watching at home.

Biden, the sometimes off-script but always fiery vice president, praised Obama's hardest decisions. He deviated from his prepared remarks at times to include some of his signature rhetorical flourishes but stayed focused on the arguments Obama needs him to make to white, working-class voters.

"This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart and steel in his spine," Biden said, drawing the crowd to its feet. "And because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the grit and determination of American workers, and the unparalleled bravery of our special forces we can now proudly say what you've heard me say the last six months: Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive."

In the crowd, several delegates held up bumper stickers with versions of that slogan.

But with stubbornly high unemployment and the economy the driving factor in the presidential race, Biden acknowledged many Americans were not yet feeling things had improved since Obama won the White House in 2008. He asked for patience.

"Yes, the work of recovery is not yet complete, but we are on our way," Biden said. "The journey of hope is not yet finished, but we are on our way. The cause of change is not fully accomplished, but we are on our way. So I say to you tonight, with absolute confidence, America's best days are ahead, and, yes, we are on our way."

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