CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Campaigning his way toward the Democratic National Convention, President Barack Obama slapped a “Romney doesn’t care” label on his rival’s health care views yesterday and said Republicans want to repeal new protections for millions without offering a plan of their own.
Vice President Joe Biden swiftly broadened the attack, accusing Republicans of seeking to undermine the decades-old federal program millions of seniors rely on for health care. “We are for Medicare. They are for voucher care,” he said.
The president and vice president campaigned separately across three battleground states as delegates descended on the Democrats’ convention city for two days of partying before their first official meeting tomorrow in the Time Warner Cable Arena.
An enormous sand sculpture made in Obama’s likeness served as a reminder, as if any were needed, that the Democrats were in town.
Some 800 demonstrators marched through the streets around the convention hall, protesting what they call corporate greed, as well as U.S. drone strikes overseas, said to kill children, as well as terrorists. Dozens of police officers walked along with the protesters’ parade, carrying gas masks, wooden batons and plastic hand ties. One arrest was reported, for public intoxication.
The economy is the dominant issue of the campaign, and Biden’s itinerary, in particular, underscored the threat that a sluggish recovery and high, 8.3 percent unemployment pose to Democrats seeking another term in power. He was in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that have received little attention previously as the candidates, their parties and outside allies concentrate on the areas of the country deemed most competitive. His presence suggested the race in both states was tightening.
There was additional evidence of the same concern, as the president’s senior surrogates refused to give a direct answer when asked on Sunday morning television programs if Americans are better off than they were four years ago.