Jill Biden begins 7-city tour through eastern Pa.

Posted: October 09, 2012

HARRISBURG - Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, launched a seven-city tour across the eastern half of Pennsylvania on Monday to call attention to Tuesday's voter registration deadline.

In a brief address to about 150 campaign volunteers and supporters at the Obama campaign office here, Biden hit some of the highlights of the administration's current term: increasing college funding, defending the rights and women and gay Americans, and bringing Osama bin Laden "to justice."

"No matter what, we will keep working so that everyone can create a better life for themselves, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love," she said.

While her husband prepared for Thursday's debate with GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, Biden, who was raised in Willow Grove, rallied the party faithful in a city that marks a small island of blue in the red sea of the central Pennsylvania "T."

Biden, a lifelong educator, emphasized the broad theme of the next four years: helping the middle class regain its economic footing, whether through improved access to health care, making college - especially community colleges, like the one in Northern Virginia where she teaches - more affordable, or supporting veterans benefits.

But Biden, joined by daughter Ashley, closed her remarks with a message targeted specifically to Pennsylvania that drew applause from the packed room. "We've got to get the news out that people do not need a photo ID," she said, referencing the decision last week by a Commonwealth Court judge blocking implementation of the voter identification law.

As a result, voters will be asked for, but do not have to produce, state-approved identification cards at polling places.

Volunteer Tom Atkins of LeMoyne said Democrats are not resting on positive poll numbers and will work for votes until Election Day.

"The Pennsylvania race is still in our corner, but we're going to keep doing what we're doing," said Atkins, who attended with his 13-year-old son, Gaven.

Biden also stopped by Obama campaign offices in Hazleton, Allentown, and her husband's hometown of Scranton before heading to Reading, Lancaster, and Philadelphia on Tuesday.

GOP challenger Mitt Romney had no one stumping in Pennsylvania Monday. On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.) is scheduled to make appearances in Lancaster and Philadelphia to take advantage of Romney's postdebate momentum, rally volunteers, and stress the differences between the candidates, the campaign said.

"When Mitt Romney is president, our nation will have pro-growth policies that foster upward mobility and lift people out of poverty," Black said in a statement. "And we will ensure peace through American leadership and strength."

Contact Amy Worden at 717-783-2584 or aworden@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @inkyamy.

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