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Joe Biden fires up NAACP. Where was President Obama?

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Pat Sullivan/AP

(Read caption) Vice President Joe Biden greets participants after addressing the NAACP annual convention on Thursday in Houston.

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Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday delivered a fiery speech defending Obama administration priorities to the NAACP annual meeting in Houston. His basic theme: For working-class black families, President Obama’s agenda is better than challenger Mitt Romney’s.

“I think Mitt Romney is a fine family man. I believe he’s driven by what he believes. But the differences are so basic about how we view the future of America,” said Mr. Biden.

For instance, education does not play a central role in Mr. Romney’s vision of the US, while it does for Mr. Obama, charged Biden. Romney opposes government support for the development of renewable-energy sources and efforts to equalize pay between men and women.

Biden drew perhaps his most enthusiastic crowd response when he said that the incumbent administration wants to expand voting rights, not diminish them. In a number of states, Republicans have led efforts to require that voters produce identification – a requirement that Attorney General Eric Holder has derided as a “poll tax” designed to suppress minority votes.

“Folks, there is a lot more to say, but this is preaching to the choir,” said Biden, stating the obvious as the audience applauded.

Polls show that Obama should win upwards of 95 percent of the African American vote, so in many ways Biden’s reception was foreordained. The pastor who led the invocation to open the day’s proceedings listed how the NAACP had been “blessed” to hear from a number of prominent individuals, but left that word out when referring to the presumptive GOP nominee, saying only that “we’ve heard also from Mitt Romney."

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