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Joe Biden's 40 Car Entourage Angers Aspen Law Enforcement

Joe Biden went to Aspen this weekend to speak at a private corporate event. Local law enforcement, including the sheriffs of Pitkin County (Aspen) and Garfield County (Glenwood Springs) are justly critical. It cost them thousands of dollars in overtime and security, the Secret Service didn't chip in (either did the corporation), he was only there for 24 hours and his speech wasn't open to the public. On top of that, he had a 40 car motorcade they had to monitor for 70 miles between the Eagle County Airport (near Vail) and Aspen, both for his Friday arrival and Saturday departure.

Helicopters buzzing above Aspen and multiple road closures along Highway 82 and Interstate 70 on Friday and Saturday accompanied Biden’s entourage, which involved a 40-car motorcade and at least nine local law enforcement agencies.

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Biden vs. the NRA

VP Joe Biden met with the NRA today. The NRA is not happy.

Biden sat down for about an hour and a half of talks with an NRA representative and officials from other gun owners' groups after telling reporters he is likely to recommend background checks for all gun buyers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips.

"It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen," the NRA said in a statement after the meeting.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also called for universal background checks today. Colorado has background checks for commercial sales and gun shows, but not private transactions. [More...]

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Biden: Romney "Wants to Turn Back Time"

Joe Biden in Arvada, Colorado today:

When taking the stage, Biden reminded the crowd that tonight was end of Daylight Savings time. "It's Mitt Romney's favorite time of the year because he gets to turn the clock back," Biden said.

A new Ipsos/Reuters poll on early vote results shows Obama leading in key swing states: [More...]

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Rudy Giuliani on Biden: Two-Faced As Usual

Rudy Giuliani today said Joe Biden is "too unbalanced" to be step into the role of President should that become necessary.

"I don't think he's nuts. I'm just saying I wonder if he's got the kind of balance - probably what I should have said is the balance to be president of the United States," Giuliani said. "This guy is like one gaffe after another, and he's a joke on late-night television."

Earlier this week he said Biden isn't too bright. He was referring to Biden's comment on Tuesday, when speaking to a predominantly African American group, that "Mitt Romney's regulatory policies would "put y'all back in chains."

In 2008, when Sarah Palin used the words "blood libel" in responding to media reports that she may have contributed to the Arizona shootings, which many regarded as anti-Semitic, he defended her. [More...]

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Joe Biden in Mexico: Legalization Out of the Question

Vice President Joe Biden in Mexico today on U.S. drug policy:

There is no possibility that the Obama-Biden administration will change its policy on legalization."

Biden said the Obama Administration will ask for more funding for Central America's drug war in addition to the $361 million we've given so far:

Biden said the U.S. has provided about $361 million in anti-crime aid under the Central America Regional Security Initiative, but leaders in the region called that insufficient. Biden said the administration is asking more from congress.

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Biden: al -Qaeda Too Weak for Another 9/11 Attack

Vice President Joe Biden was on Meet the Press this morning. Among his comments:‘We don’t believe they have the capacity to pull off a 9/11 type operation." His exact words:

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, you never say never. Okay? But we are-- our intelligence community is united in the view that the ability of Central Al Qaeda, that is Osama bin Laden and company, in the Af-Pak area, in those mountains, has been significantly degraded. And we don’t believe they have the capacity from there to pull off a -- a 9/11-type-- operation.

You can watch his interview here.

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Biden Says Cheney is Trying to Rewrite History

Vice President Joe Biden appears on Meet the Press this morning. Here's the transcript of his comments about Dick Cheney (no link yet, received from NBC by e-mail), in which he asserts Cheney is attempting to re-write history. As for his motive, Biden says Cheney is either misinformed or misinforming. Why not just call him what he is -- a disingenuous ex-politician.

DAVID GREGORY: Let me ask you about some of the criticism that's been leveled at this Administration by former Vice President Dick Cheney. He has argued that this Administration has failed to treat the fight against terrorists as war. He cites the decision related to Khalid Sheik Muhammad to offer him a civilian trail as one example. Giving the Christmas Day Bomber the privileges of the American criminal justice system is another example. The decision to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison. What do you say?

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Biden Stops For Barbecue in Denver

This afternoon Vice President Joe Biden walked into M&D's, a local barbecue haunt in Denver, before speaking at a Middle Class Task Force at the Natural History Museum. He was a hit with the customers.

Tomorrow he gives the commencement address at the Air Force Academy.

I want to know where he was for dinner. The TL Kid and I were driving back from the Lowry area -- going west on Alameda -- around 6:00 pm. Around Quebec, he notices there are two cop cars parked on each side street. I suggest maybe it's "The Heat is on" D.U.I. campaign which relaunched this weekend. But we're in a boring, non-fancy, residential area. Would they be trying to get workers driving home after Happy Hour? Unlikely.

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McCain Says He Won't "Coddle Criminals"

Via Sentencing Law and Policy where law prof Doug Berman provides his own thoughts, Sen. John McCain has an op-ed today in the National Law Journal outlining his views of criminal justice and the role of judges.

Terrorists are not the only threat to public safety. Lax enforcement policies, judges who legislate from the bench and lack of support for law enforcement personnel all continue to force our innocent citizens behind the barred windows of their homes and allow criminals to roam free.

And now drugs are bringing waves of crime and organized gang activity to rural areas thought to be nearly immune from such problems. The federal government must both support state and local law enforcement and effectively enforce federal laws designed to root out violent crime, organized gangs and other interstate criminal activity.

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Obama to Spend Last Weeks in Red States

Sen. Barack Obama will concentrate on states that voted for George W. Bush in 2004. His schedule:

He and his aides appear so confident of his prospects that apart from a brief stop in Madison, Wis., next Thursday, Obama currently has no plans during the next 10 days to return to Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Hampshire or any other state that voted for John Kerry in 2004.

Instead, he intends to spend two days this week in Florida, where early voting begins on Monday, and travel to Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico and possibly Nevada and Indiana. Those states hold 97 electoral votes combined, and Bush all in 2004.

Obama strategist David Axlerod says:

"I don't want to say he won't go to a Blue State, but we're certainly concentrating on expanding the map."

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CBS Post Debate Poll: Biden Won 2:1, Moved More Uncommitted

Post-debate poll of uncommitted voters by CBS:

Forty-six percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Democrat Joe Biden won the debate, compared to 21 percent for Republican Sarah Palin. Thirty-three percent said it was a tie.

Eighteen percent of previously uncommitted percent say they are now committed to the Obama-Biden ticket. Ten percent say they are now committed to McCain-Palin. Seventy-one percent are still uncommitted.

As to whether Palin is qualified to take over as President if need be:

44 percent say the Alaska governor could be an effective president. Ninety-one percent said Biden could be effective as president, up from 66 percent before the debate.

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CNN Post Debate Poll: 53% Still Believe Palin Unqualified to Take Over as President

In a CNN post-debate poll, 53% of those polled say while Gov. Sarah Palin exceeded their expecations in the debate tonight, they still believe Gov. Sarah Palin is unqualified to take over as President. Numbers below:

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Biden: McCain's Health Care Plan the Bridge to Nowhere

Biden pointing out that McCain's health care plan would tax our health care benefits and be a boon to the insurance companies:

[D]o you know how John McCain pays for his $5,000 tax credit you're going to get, a family will get?

He taxes as income every one of you out there, every one of you listening who has a health care plan through your employer. That's how he raises $3.6 trillion, on your -- taxing your health care benefit to give you a $5,000 plan, which his Web site points out will go straight to the insurance company.

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Biden on Change and Single Fatherhood

Sarah Palin does not own family issues. McCain does not represent change.

Look, I understand what it's like to be a single parent. When my wife and daughter died and my two sons were gravely injured, I understand what it's like as a parent to wonder what it's like if your kid's going to make it.

I understand what it's like to sit around the kitchen table with a father who says, "I've got to leave, champ, because there's no jobs here. I got to head down to Wilmington. And when we get enough money, honey, we'll bring you down."

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Biden's Best Answer: John McCain is No Maverick

Biden: Can I respond to that? Look, let's talk about the maverick John McCain is. And again I love him, he's been a maverick on some issues but he's been no maverick on things that a matter people's lives. He voted four out of five times for George Bush's budget which put us half a trillion in debt this year and over three trillion in debt since he got there. He has not been a maverick in providing healthcare for people.

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