Afterward, Biden made an unscripted stop at the Airport Diner where he kibitzed with patrons, shook hands, posed for photographs, autographed a model airplane for 9-year-old Kyle Dinwoodie and accepted a compliment from waitress Sue Sciascia, who said she told the vice president, "Television doesn't do you justice. You're younger and you're more handsome in person."
Speaking to about 75 union truck drivers, teachers, service workers, firefighters and carpenters at a union hall before they went out for a day of door-to-door campaign canvassing, Biden said "labor is where I come from."
"You know guys we, and women, we have been in a position of late where somewhere the last six, seven, eight, 10 years, where somewhere we were supposed to apologize for labor," the Democratic vice president said. "All this talk about the middle class. There is a middle class because of the word union. That's why there's a middle class."
Citing the experiences of his grandfather and great-grandfather, Biden credited unions with people "a voice in their own lives' and went on to say the unions were still important to the Obama campaign.
"We need you. We need all the volunteers we can get," he said. "And the reason we do more than most times is because we're going to be outspent by the super PACs considerably. And there's only one antidote. It's a knock on the door. It's somebody saying look, I know what you just saw and what you just heard in that ad about how Romney is getting tougher on China [laughter in room] whereas I'm here to tell you, I know these guys, they're you're neighbors, I know these guys, I vouch for them. The thing we don't thank you for enough is -- we appreciate your endorsement, but what really matters -- we appreciate individual contributors -- but what we appreciate the most is the fact that you put your name on the line for us. You vouch for us. That's not an easy thing for somebody to do."