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Biden Focuses on Contrast With Ryan in Republican’s Home State

Vice President Joe Biden went to Paul Ryan’s home state a day after debating the Republican vice presidential nominee to reinforce the differences between the two parties on Afghanistan, abortion rights and taxes.

Biden and Ryan, a U.S. representative from Janesville, in southeast Wisconsin, clashed on issues of national security and U.S. economic growth in last night’s debate.

While Biden praised Ryan today at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse as “a decent guy” and family man, he said the debate left no doubt “we have a fundamentally different vision for America, a fundamentally different value set.”

Biden’s trip to Wisconsin follows a visit by President Barack Obama on Sept. 23, as the Democratic campaign works to ensure that that it doesn’t lose a reliably Democratic state with its native son as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate. A CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll conducted Oct. 4-9 showed Obama ahead, 50 percent to 47 percent, down from 51 percent to 45 percent the month before.

“I made it clear that we are leaving Afghanistan in 2014, period,” Biden said. It’s time for Afghan forces “to step up in defense of their nation” and for them “to stand up as we draw down.”

Biden also highlighted the contrast with Romney and Ryan over reproductive rights. “It was made very clear that they don’t believe a woman has the right to control their own body,” he said.

On taxes, Biden argued that proposals from the Republicans would result in the typical middle-income family paying $2,000 more in federal taxes.

Last night was the only debate between the two vice presidential candidates. Obama and Romney will face off twice more. The next event will be Oct. 16 in Hempstead, New York, followed by a foreign-policy debate Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Florida.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in La Crosse, Wisconsin, at hnichols2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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