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'Middle Class Joe' Rallies Supporters For Hillary

Bobbie O'Brien
WUSF Public Media
Vice President Joe Biden working the rope line after his 30 minute speech Wednesday rallying voters for Hillary Clinton in Tampa.

Vice President Joe Biden describes himself as a "Middle Class Joe.” And during a campaign swing through Tampa on Wednesday, he called on other "middle class folks" to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

About 150 supporters greeted Biden under a blazing sun outside the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. He took the stage just before noon, noting Florida is seeing another razor-thin race for president.

“Well as my grandfather would say, 'Here we go again,'” Biden said. “I don't know how in the heck you guys worked this out, but it gets down to Florida, Florida, Florida. Not a joke.”

Biden then told the crowd if they do their job right - and turn out more voters - they all will be able to go to bed early Tuesday night.

Biden is correct -- Florida is no joke -- it's the largest state where the race for president is still contested and home to 29 electoral college votes. And that's why both Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are holding a flurry of rallies in the state during the campaign's final days.

Roy Branner of Tampa attended Clinton's rally in downtown Tampa last week. But as a huge fan of the vice president, Branner said he wanted came to another rally to show his support and see his "favorite politician."

“I respect him for the life that he's led through 30-40 years of public service, and to endure the personal tragedies that he's had and still come out on top, I think is an inspiration to us all,” Branner said.

And he wasn’t the only Biden fan at the Hillary Clinton rally.

Denise Whitty now lives in Florida, but is originally from Delaware - Biden's home state.

“He is very, very loved and he's just a normal, all round great, great, great guy,” Whitty said. “We love Joe. We love Hillary. We love Joe. We love Barack Obama. We are going to miss him.

Whitty was with other friends from Delaware, including 93-year-old Ruth Clark, who was recovering from surgery yet insisted on coming to the rally so she could see “Joe.”

The Delaware transplants said they voted early and for Hillary just like their “favorite politician” asked them to do.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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