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Biden: Romney Has Abandoned His Republican Principles

Says Romney is beholden to the tea party. "That's not sketchy, that's etch-a-sketchy."

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Vice President Joe Biden escalated his criticism of Mitt Romney today in Florida, saying he's not only out of touch, but he's also out of touch with his own party.

"He’s out of touch where I think this country is," Biden told a fired-up crowd of hundreds in St. Augustine. And now—and now they’re even abandoning the core organizing principle of this new Republican party...This is an alliance between the right in the Republican party and the Tea Party—people I saw coming in here."

Referring to "4 or 5" tea party protesters outside his event, Biden said Romney has become beholden to the "new party — this morphed party" that he said is the Republican Party under the influence of the Tea Party.

One of the protesters, dressed in a Revolutionary-era costume, was spotted holding a sign reading "Obama's a Communist."

Biden borrowed President Obama's newly-coined term for Romney's multiple shifts in positon, "Romnesia," and, as has been his practice for the past few days, corrected him on calling the Republicans tax plan a "sketchy" deal.

"That's not sketchy, that's etch-a-sketchy," Biden quipped.

"And the man that the intellectual right was arguing as their standard bearer for talking straight about the need to make significant cuts," Biden said of Paul Ryan saying he has no plans to cut funding for Medicare. "That man. It’s contagious."

Again hitting Romney for his "binders full of women" comment in the last debate, Biden raised the binder containing the print version his remarks, as the crowd roared.

Acknowledging the mathematical near-certainty of an Obama victory if he takes Florida, Biden encouraged supporters to vote early for the Democratic ticket.

"With you, we can take Florida," Biden said. "If we take Florida, this election is over."

The vice president attacked Romney's 47 percent line on the campaign trail with his oft-repeated phrase that it's never a good bet to bet against the American people.

"America is coming back," he declared. "And we're not going back. We're moving Forward!"