About 200 supporters of President Barack Obama turned out Sunday to hear the vice president's wife speak at a Women for Obama-Biden rally in the Strip District.
"Give everything you've got to get Joe and Barack re-elected," Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, said at the rally at the Obama field office on Smallman Street.
She touted Mr. Obama's record on women's rights issues, such as signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, appointing women to prominent positions in government and increasing accessible health services for women through his health care law.
She also addressed the cost of higher education, saying Mr. Obama has tried to make a college education more affordable for the middle class by increasing Pell Grant funding.
Mrs. Biden praised her husband, too, saying he drafted the 1994 Violence Against Women Act when he was a U.S. senator and has long championed women's rights.
Women cannot "refight the battles of decades ago," she said, suggesting the Republicans represent a return to the past, and she urged the crowd to ask all of the women in their lives which side they trust to stand up for women.
"I know who I trust," she said. "Do everything you can to make sure Barack and Joe have four more years."
At that, the crowd erupted into chants of "four more years!"
Mrs. Biden was joined at the event by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who chairs the Democratic National Committee. She said that when she underwent seven surgeries for breast cancer in 2008, she benefited from the excellent health care coverage provided to members of Congress.
But, she said, she realized that millions of other women did not have the same coverage.
Under Mr. Obama's health care plan, she said, they will. She blasted Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who she said "thinks it's fine to deny health care."
Mr. Romney has repeatedly said he will work to repeal Obamacare because, he said, it is a "$2 trillion entitlement" that the nation cannot afford. According to the Romney campaign, he will give each state the power to craft its own health care plan.
The federal government's role, he said, will be to help create a "level playing field" for competition by taking such steps as capping medical malpractice damage awards and encouraging individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools for insurance coverage.
Torsten Ove: email@example.com or 412-263-1510. First Published September 17, 2012 4:00 AM