Biden to Republicans: We're With You
Vice President Joe Biden reached out to Republicans in the 23rd Congressional District Monday morning, urging them them to cross over and vote for Democratic candidate Bill Owens.
"This is a good man. Go out and elect him," said Biden.
Biden, in a speech at Watertown's Northside Improvement League, said the north country has always rejected the 'extremism' of the right and the left, and painted Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman as part of a movement to drive all but the far right out of the Republican party.
Biden described the Democratic Party as a party for both Democrats and moderate Republicans.
Biden's speech came after a tumultuous weekend in which Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava withdrew from the race in the face of withering pressure from conservatives.
Scozzafava also crossed party lines to endorse Owens.
"I pledge to you today to continue to support Fort Drum and legacy of (Army) Secretary McHugh and anticipate working with Assemblywoman Scozzafava because she will be an important element in that continuing campaign to make sure that Fort Drum is maintained and strengthened in this district," said Owens.
The speech came just after a surprise last poll in the race (from Siena College) showed Hoffman up by five points over Owens, in a traditionally Republican district.
Biden singled out Scozzafava for trying to 'rescue' her party from the right, and preserve the achievements of former Congressman John McHugh.
"The most extreme wing of the Republican Party made it clear in this campaign that they weren't going to tolerate any dissent," said Biden.
Several Democratic speakers praised Scozzafava at length, including State Senator Darrel Aubertine.
Meanwhile, several Hoffman supporters lined the street outside the North Side Improvement League, greeting the VP as he arrived.
Most said they were in Hoffman's corner due to his stances on abortion and gay marriage.
Saturday, February 6, 2016, Watertown, NY
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