DENVER – New Jersey Republicans jeered Barack Obama’s choice for vice president in a Saturday afternoon conference call today, with state Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Mercer) describing as "historic," presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Il.) decision to name Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) as his running mate.
"Yesterday, Sen. Obama picked someone who does not believe his own running mate is ready to be president of the United States," said Baroni, chair of the McCain campaign in New Jersey.
Citing a Democratic Primary debate exchange between ABC moderator George Stephanopoulos and then-presidential candidate Biden in which the latter said he does not believe the presidency is the proper venue for on-the-job training, Baroni focused on the freshman Senator Obama’s lack of experience.
"That’s not me saying it, it’s Joe Biden," said Baroni, echoing a McCain television ad that is now up and running in South Jersey.
Joining Baroni on the call were McCain campaign spokesman Peter Feldman, state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex), Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), and Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose (R-Franklin).
Each picked a different piece of the Biden record to respectively diminish, slamming the veteran Democratic senator especially hard on his tax record.
The Republicans also complained about what they see as a lack of consistency in the Obama message, and tried to depict the Illinois senator’s choice as a reconfirmation of his essential weakness as a presidential candidate.
Mroz said the new look Obama was forced to pick someone with foreign affairs credentials because he lacks experience on the subject. Yet the ultimate Washington, D.C. insider Biden simultaneously undermines Obama profession to be a change agent.
"This myth of change has been dampened," agreed Bramnick, who noted that Biden’s son is a Washington, D.C. lobbyist.
If Obama has counter-punched at the inexperience tag by using his opposition to the Iraq War to demonstrate his good judgement, the Republicans also seized on that supposed strong point in the context of the Biden pick.
"Barack Obama has demonstrated exceptionally poor judgment," he said.
They never said the word "liberal," but they repeatedly invoked the senator’s record in support of tax hikes.
In his turn on the call, O’Toole stayed on top of the issue.
"It’s terrible news for the taxpayers of New Jersey," said the McCain campaign’s vice chair of Biden’s presence in the race. "The only interesting note is that Obama’s tax and spend record is overshadowed by Biden’s."