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Biden stumps for Clinton, McGinty at Chatham

Vice+President+Joe+Biden+visited+Chatham+University+at+11%3A30+a.m.+Tuesday.+John+Hamilton+%7C+Senior+Staff+Photographer
Vice President Joe Biden visited Chatham University at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. John Hamilton | Senior Staff Photographer

Vice President Joe Biden visited Chatham University at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. John Hamilton | Senior Staff Photographer

Vice President Joe Biden visited Chatham University at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. John Hamilton | Senior Staff Photographer

By Emily Brindley / Assistant News Editor

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Continuing the Democrats’ Pennsylvania blitz to ensure they win the state in November, Vice President Joe Biden took his turn in Pittsburgh Tuesday to stump for Hillary Clinton and Katie McGinty.

At a campaign stop at Chatham University Tuesday morning, Biden spoke to a crowd of about 600 students and other voters, according to media reports. His visit came only a few days after Democratic presidential candidate Clinton campaigned in Squirrel Hill and just a day before Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pennsylvania Senate candidate McGinty visit Pitt’s campus.  

The visit was Biden’s second stop in Pittsburgh in recent months, after he spoke alongside Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine at Pittsburgh’s Labor Day Parade. Kaine and Clinton campaigned together at Taylor Allderdice High School Saturday, in their second stop together in Pittsburgh. In July, the duo campaigned together at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Downtown.

So far this month, Clinton has maintained a steady lead ahead of Republican candidate Donald Trump in Pennsylvania polls. According to Real Clear Politics, she currently leads by an average of 5.7 points across all polls.

Though Biden focused on Clinton’s candidacy throughout his speech, he also stumped for McGinty, who is running a tight race against incumbent Republican Pat Toomey that has garnered national attention.  

“[McGinty] understands,” Biden said. “I put the greatest faith in people who arrive at their decision on policy starting in their gut, moving through their heart and then being able to articulate it by a sound and brilliant mind.”

If McGinty wins the Senate race against Toomey, she could help tip the balance of the Senate toward the Democrats, which Biden said would allow Republican senators to vote with more freedom instead of feeling pressured to play it safe by voting along party lines.

After a healthy post-Democratic National Convention lead, McGinty has fallen behind Toomey in the polls in recent weeks. According to realclearpolitics.com, Toomey currently leads by 1.8 points across all polls.

“When we take back the Senate, I promise you –– remember I said this –– I promise you it’ll free up about 30 Republican senators to begin to function again, because the pressure will be off them to have to be so recalcitrant about everything and abusing the power of the Senate,” Biden said.

At the beginning of his speech, Biden also took a few minutes to discuss Republican presidential candidate Trump and his “ridiculousness,” including his tweets about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and the recently publicized hot mic video from 2005 that recorded Trump saying his fame and power permitted him to grab women and kiss them indiscriminately.

“This man is thoroughly unqualified, based on his conduct, his abuse of power and his lack of substance and knowledge,” Biden said.

Since the Washington Post released the hot mic video came on Oct. 8, Trump has called the comments “locker room talk.”

Despite his denunciation of Trump, Biden focused his speech on the change and progress that Clinton and McGinty could make if elected. Tailoring his speech to the college students in the crowd, Biden said one way to provide lower-cost college education to Americans is by closing loopholes in the tax law.

No matter their education status, social status or financial status, Biden encouraged everyone in the audience to vote in the upcoming Nov. 8 election.

“Remember the Gore election. Remember elections that have been literally decided by a handful of votes,” Biden said. “Folks, there’s only 14 days left until election day. I know you’re all going to vote. We need you.”

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Biden stumps for Clinton, McGinty at Chatham