Biden emerges as pitbull - tears into McCain

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Wonder where Joe Biden went? Like a marathon runner, he was just pacing himself. While all the attention was on new GOP superstar Sarah Palin, Joe Biden became the invisible man.

While extra reporters who wanted to cover Palin had to fly commercial because her plane was overloaded, Biden-duty was like being on the night shift at the morgue. Only a skeleton crew of reporters accompanied the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

No gaffes today (so far)

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Could this change? Perhaps. Biden re-inserted himself into the presidential campaign today. And unlike last week where he made news by unwittingly asking a wheelchair-bound supporter to "stand up," today he made news by following the new Obama playbook: stay away from Palin, focus on McCain, and accuse the other team of dirty tricks.

"My dad used to have an expression: "Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value," Biden said. "By that measure, John McCain doesn't stand with the middle class. He stands with George Bush firmly in the corner of the wealthy and well-connected. He stands with the CEO of Exxon-Mobil, who, while testifying before my Senate judiciary committee swore to me under oath that Exxon-Mobil didn't need the tax breaks they'd been given to explore for oil."

41, 43, 44?

Calling McCain "Bush 44," Biden continued the campaign refrain of saying that McCain voted with President bush 90 percent of the time. He went through a litany of spark plug issues where Biden said he and the President stood together.

"Issue after issue, vote after vote, the story is the same," Biden lamented.

Negative campaign

Then Biden switched over to the day-to-day activities of the presidential campaign, charging that the McCain team has launched below-the-belt tactics. That approach dovetailed with a new Obama ad released this morning.

"Some of the very same people and the tactics he once deplored his campaign now employs," he said. "The same campaign that once called for a town hall a week is now launching a low blow a day."

Apparently not wanting to come across as a whiner, Biden said, "Barack and I can take it. That's not what bothers me."

McCain response

The McCain campaign, seeming to be on offense as well, paid little attention to the re-emergence of Biden.

Barack Obama’s running mate today made more ridiculous comments that are not credible and stand in complete contradiction to their record," said McCain spokesman Ben Porritt.

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