CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Vice President Joseph Biden used the auto industry and Osama bin Laden in his long-winded critique of the Republican presidential ticket as he accepted the nomination to run for a second term.
"And because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made," Biden said, referring to President Barack Obama, "and because of the grit and determination of American workers and the unparalleled bravery of our special forces, we can now proudly say - Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."
On the final evening of the Democratic National Convention here, Biden fully embraced his role as party attack dog. He occasionally wandered off script but only into safe territory, praising his wife or indulging in a few stray words for emphasis.
"Fired up, Ready for Joe" said signs waving throughout the packed Time Warner Cable Arena. Biden's speech bled into prime time, lasting several minutes longer than was allotted.
Biden described in firsthand detail two conflicts the president confronted in his first term, sitting "hour after hour in the oval office."
"We sat for days in the Situation Room," Biden said. "He listened to the risks and reservations about the [bin Laden] raid. And he asked the tough questions. But when Adm. [Bill] McRaven looked him in the eye and said, 'Sir, we can get this done,' I knew at that moment Barack had made his decision. His response was decisive. He said, 'Do it.' And justice was done."
Biden contrasted that with GOP nominee Mitt Romney, referring to the former Massachusetts governor's 2007 quote, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth, and spending billions of dollars, just trying to catch one person."
"I don't think he's a bad guy," Biden said over jeers from audience. "I'm sure he grew up loving cars as much as I did. I just don't think he understood - I just don't think he understood what saving the automobile industry meant to all of America. Not just auto workers. I think he saw it the Bain [Capital] way. Balance sheets. Write-offs."
At the end of his speech, Biden choked up as he spoke about the commitment of troops serving overseas. He emphasized that his faith in the president remains strong despite the staggering economy.
"As I've said, I've seen him tested. I know his strength, his command, his faith," he said. "I also know the incredible confidence he has in all of you. I know this man. Yes, the work of recovery is not yet complete, but we are on our way."