CASTLEWOOD, VA — Memo to Barack Obama: don’t mess with Joe BIden’s guns.
At a fish fry for mine workers in rural Southwest Virginia, the Delaware Senator commiserated on being from coal country himself — and did his damndest to convince the blue collar, mostly white Democrats he’s on the ticket to win over that Obama’s one of them as well.
One of rural Democrats’ biggest fears about Obama? That he’ll come after the Second Amendment. Not so, said Biden — and he’d better not try.
“I guarantee you, Barack Obama ain’t taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey,” Biden said angrily. “They’re going to start peddling that to you.” “I got two, if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he’s got a problem.”
Biden has said he doesn’t hunt, but shoots skeet with the two shotguns. “I like that little over and under, you know? I’m not bad with it,” he said today.
Much of his remarks focused on protecting labor from the “barbarians at the gates” — as Biden accused George Bush and John McCain of waging a war on unions. The Vice Presidential nominee also kept coal at the forefront, saying he could use the $4 billion in tax breaks that McCain wants to give to oil companies to instead develop clean coal technologies.
But the main message on the trail continues to be economic. Biden bashed McCain for his upcoming artcile urging deregulation of the health care industry to match the deregulation of banks over the last 10 years — just as that deregulation is being blamed for the collapse of several major Wall Street banks. “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done the last decade for banking, would provide more choices for innovative products and less burden by the worst of the excessive state regulations,”McCain wrote in the September issue of Contingencies, a trade magazine for actuaries.
Biden was happy to translate for the crowd. “Get rid of the regulations, get rid of the protection, and hang on to your health insurance,” he said. “Ladies and gentlemen, this guy’s not learned anything.”
“He wants the health care industry to have new ‘Innovative” products. Let me translate that for you. In the mortgage industry, they talked about new innovative products: Subprime mortgages,” said Biden. “The new product is bringing down our economy.”