Fresh off the Democratic National Convention, Vice President Joe Biden used two appearances in Ohio on Saturday to mock the Republican National Convention in Tampa and accused his opponents of not having the courage to explain their policies. Those and other comments were quickly labeled as "false and discredited attacks" by the Romney campaign.
Biden even went galactic: claiming that a Martian visiting the RNC would have, essentially, been lost in translation.
"If you had been dropped down from Mars, (if) you'd been in a time capsule for the last 100 years, and you got dropped down from Mars and turned on the convention and you heard them talking about Medicare, you'd think they really cared about it," Biden said. "You'd think it's something they thought of."
"Wouldn't you have thought, 'These guys, man, they must've come up with this idea and they've defended it all along.'
"They mention it so often, you'd be surprised to learn they've always been trying to chip away at it for the last 40 years," Biden added, crediting Democrats "who came up with the idea" and who've fought to defend it.
Biden attended two campaign events in Ohio: a morning stop at the Zane Grey elementary school in Zanesville -- some 50 miles east of Columbus -- and a stop at the Athens Community Center in the city of Athens, home to Ohio University in the southeastern part of the state.
Zanesville is located in Muskingum County. In 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama lost to Republican Sen. John McCain in the county by seven points. Alternately, Obama won Athens County in 2008 by 36 points.
At the elementary school, the vice president began by lumping Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan with House Republicans.
"There is no difference between what Romney wants to do in this country and what the House Republicans and the House of Representatives have already tried to do," Biden said, claiming his opponents want to "inflict the same programs, the same initiatives, the same tax system."
"They want to restore the greatness to this nation," Biden said in a mocking voice. "I wonder if it ever crossed their minds how in the Lord's name we got in this mess in the first place."
From there, the vice president picked apart the arguments laid out at the Republican National Convention.
At the convention, Republicans started a debt clock on the first day to count the amount of debt accrued during the four-day event. The massive clock hung from a balcony in a prime location, in full view of attendees and television cameras.
Biden had a response for that.
"And they got that clock running back there," Biden said. "They don't know that they had a whole bunch of Republicans running to get that clock moving the previous 20 years."
"They're right about one thing; we got to deal with the debt," Biden said. "They're right, but they talked about this great urgency to get it under control. ... But not once, not one single time did they tell you that they rejected every single solitary offer: Ryan, Romney, the Republican Congress rejected every effort to reduce the debt in the last four years."
Later, at the Athens stop, Biden went further -- saying Republicans refused those debt-cutting offers if they contained "one single dollar, one single penny in a new tax for millionaires."
The vice president also questioned the courage of Republicans to explain their proposals.
"What are these policies? Well, they're not telling you," Biden claimed. "They don't have the courage to tell you what these new policies are. I do. I got the courage to tell you. I'm anxious to tell you."
On Medicare, Biden said: "What they're proposing will actually cause the Medicare trust fund -- that pays for the benefits when you go to the hospital, the doctor, etc. -- to run out of money, a sufficient amount of money by 2016. That's when it would hit the wall."
Biden continued: "And the most important thing they did not tell you: they're not actually preserving Medicare. They're for a whole new plan, 'vouchercare.'"
"Here's how it works. They're going to give your mom or your dad -- when they become eligible, or even if they are eligible -- they're going to give you a voucher, which is essentially a coupon. And it's going to be worth X amount of dollars. And they're going to say to your mom, 'Mom, go out there in that insurance market and bargain for the best deal you can get, including if you want to buy Medicare.' But if it costs more than the ... benefits you're now getting, they say, 'Mom go borrow it somewhere.'"
Biden also filled in what he likened to blanks in his rivals' tax proposals.
"They need you to pay for the massive tax cuts they want to keep for the very wealthy," he said.
"Five hundred billion dollars -- one-half trillion dollars -- of those tax cuts go to 120,000 American families," Biden said. "They want to add a new -- a new -- $250,000-a-year tax break for those same families. Folks, that's not fair, man. That's not fair."
On both points, the vice president claimed his facts could not be challenged.