In a trip to Richmond that could pay dividends in his long term political future, Vice President Joe Biden headlined the annual Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at the Richmond Convention Center.
Biden, who could have designs on a 2016 White House run, also made an impromptu stop at Croaker's Spot in Richmond to stump with the Democratic nominee for Governor, Terry McAuliffe.
It make sense for Biden to be seen in a critical swing state like Virginia, and be seen with Hillary Clinton's close friend McAuliffe. 2016 is a long way off, but make no mistake- every move means something.
As for the event itself, Biden gave a rousing speech, laced with Democratic red-meat. He launched into a blistering attack on congressional Republicans regarding women's issues. That is one key area of distinction the McAuliffe camp is attempting to make between their candidate and the GOP nominee for governor, Ken Cuccinelli.
Meanwhile Republicans worked to mute Biden's visit, but tracking back his past statements on the coal industry and tying those to McAuliffe's record on the issue. Coal is a major industry in the Southwest part of Virginia. Republicans also argue, a vibrant coal industry leads to lower utility costs for all Virginians.
Our Mike Valerio was with the Vice President at every step of his visit. He filed this report for NBC12:NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to South Richmond Saturday, stopping at the popular restaurant, Croaker's Spot. Biden campaigned with Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe Saturday afternoon, bringing some star power to help make McAuliffe a household name.
Biden greeted Richmond wearing ray-bans, descending from Air Force 2 after a 15 minute flight from Washington, D.C. The vice president met McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy, on the tarmac, leading up to Saturday's main campaign event, the Jefferson-Jackson Democratic Fundraiser in Downtown Richmond.
McAuliffe took the stage at the fundraiser, taking aim at Republicans on jobs and social issues.
"When we want to be a commonwealth that is open for business, we have to put an end to divisive attacks on women's health, gay Virginians, and scientists at our universities," McAuliffe said.
The Democratic candidate told the crowd at the Richmond Convention Center that Republican business leaders have embraced his bipartisanship and business experience.
But Colonial Heights and Chesterfield delegate Kirk Cox said in a news conference Friday the candidate has added few jobs to Virginia's economy.
"I really challenge you to show where he's not only lead in any business, but where he's been successful," Cox said. "And the exaggeration really troubles me," Cox said.
But Biden also went on the attack, warning against Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Biden also became emotional discussing the Tea Party, focusing on the group's lack of support for the Violence Against Women Act.
read and see the rest of Mike's story on NBC12.com.