Vice President Joe Biden tried to stir up some election fervor during a visit to Syracuse Monday.
Biden, a Syracuse University alumnus, made sure to point out to Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner that he was sporting an orange tie for his visit to a city he called “almost home."
"Steph, I just want you to know I got my colors on, I got my colors,” Biden joked.
Then it was down to business, stumping for Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei, who’s facing a competitive Republican opponent in former federal prosecutor John Katko in the race for the 24th Congressional District.
"Folks, this is a big election," Biden explained. "I know you hear that every year, but this really is for the following reason. We are finally climbing out of a god-awful hole we were dropped into by the other team.”
He says this election is a fight over the future of the middle class, both in central New York and across the country.
“The thing that from the first time I met Dan, that he and I agree on, and this is genuine, the central challenge of our time, his and mine and the Congress and Washington, is how do we restore the middle class?” Biden asked.
And between extolling Democratic campaign points about income inequality and women’s issues, he said this election is important because it could tame tea party Republicans, who he believes have made it more difficult for moderate Republicans to find consensus with Democrats in Washington.
“If we can in those races, where opponents like Dan’s are on the ballot, if we win, we’re going to get a double out of this," Biden said. "One, we will keep Democrats in play, and we will also put Republicans back in play.”
Biden says he’s never seen a time where Republicans and Democrats have had such difficulty finding compromise, and he blames tea party Republicans.
"Let’s make it clear where we stand in upstate New York," Biden explained. "Let’s make it clear where the people of America stand. Vote for Dan Maffei. Get the word out. We’ll win and we’ll begin to generate consensus again.”
Maffei is facing former federal prosecutor John Katko in the race for the 24th Congressional District, which includes all or part of four counties, including Oswego, Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties.