(PORTSMOUTH, Ohio) – Vice President Joe Biden often proclaims how different the Republican Party is from generations ago, but in Portsmouth, Ohio, Sunday, he had a new way to describe them – a “different breed of cat.”
“They’re not bad guys. It’s just a different, as my brother would say, different breed of cat,” Biden said at Portsmouth High School.
In nearly every speech, Biden cites the transformation of the GOP with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan now at the helm of the party, telling audiences, “This is not your father’s Republican Party.”
Biden, whose son Beau is an Iraq war veteran, stressed the importance of acknowledging the sacrifices and contributions made by U.S. troops, a talking point he’s focused on since Romney failed to mention Afghanistan in his convention speech in August.
“Folks, folks, let me ask you: How many of you, like me, had a son or a daughter who went to Iraq or Afghanistan? How many of you have a brother or sister. How many of you know somebody who’s gone? You all know, you all know, we owe these young women and men an incredible debt to them, we owe those families an incredible debt,” he said.
“Those of you who have people deployed, you know — five, ten times a day, it just flashes through your mind. Folks we owe so much,” Biden later added. “This is going to go down, when we record this 9/11 generation, as the second greatest generation in the history of this country.”
On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, Romney continued to defend his omission of Afghanistan from his speech at the Republican National Convention, saying that policy is more important than words.
“I have some differences on policy with the president. I happen to think those are more important than what word I mention in each speech,” Romney said.
A crowd of 700 gathered at the local high school to listen to Biden, who has campaigned in the state over the weekend and will return to the state Wednesday. The vice president expressed his comfort level campaigning in an area similar to where he grew up in Pennsylvania.
“If you know northeast Pennsylvania, you’ll not be surprised. It’s not a whole lot different than southern Ohio, or actually a lot of parts of Ohio,” Biden said. “I feel really comfortable here. I’ve been here a lot. I plan on coming back a lot.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Dakin Andone, CNN
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
Jackson Adams, Teton Valley News
Azadeh Ansari and Angela Dewan, CNN