The crowd after Vice President Joe Biden's speech Wednesday in Youngstown was abuzz over one word he kept repeating: jobs.
Biden, who spoke at M7 Technologies on Ohio Works Drive, said repeatedly that the administration headed up by President Barack Obama is responsible for an increase in manufacturing jobs in the region and the country, and that by re-electing Obama, the trend will continue.
He said this election will offer voters a sharp contrast with the man who is presumed to be the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, and what Biden termed his philosophy of taking care of the people on top and letting everyone else fend for themselves.
Vice President Joe Biden speaks on Wednesday afternoon at M7 Technologies in Youngstown.
Biden, who was on day one of a two-day swing through eastern Ohio, said the Mahoning Valley has fallen victim to that in the past.
''Nobody knows better than the people of the Valley the consequences of that philosophy,'' Biden said.
Republicans said in a response that Biden was misrepresenting the record of the administration.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Vice President Joe Biden makes a point Wednesday afternoon during his speech at M7 Technologies in Youngstown.
''Vice President Biden and President Obama would like to gloss over their economic record but the fact remains that we've lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs under their watch and labor force participation has sunk to the lowest level in 30 years,'' said Republican National Committee spokesman Ryan Mahoney in a statement.
''The only way to get our country back on track is to elect Mitt Romney president so we can reverse the Obama-Biden failed policies that have saddled Ohioans with more debt and higher costs on gas, groceries, tuition and health care.''
Biden said that Romney is a decent man but his economic policies will only benefit a few and not the wide majority of American workers.
''He doesn't get it,'' Biden said. ''It's about people's dignity.''
Under an Obama administration, Biden said ''everyone gets a fair shot, a fair shake and everyone plays by the same rules.'' He said the economy is now turning around to the point where the talk is no longer of outsourcing jobs but ''insourcing,'' or bringing jobs back to America.
Clifford Stargell of Warren said he was pleased with the speech because Biden kept mentioning the jobs that have returned and more jobs to come.
''It was excellent,'' Stargell said. ''Jobs coming back. Jobs coming back. I like the insourcing.''
Matthew Cardona of Youngstown said he was pleased because of the efforts the Obama administration made to help out the auto industry shortly after the president took office, especially because his father had lost his job at the General Motors Lordstown plant.
''I relate to that,'' Cardona said.
Biden said if it was not Obama, the domestic auto makers would not exist as they do today, and because of his actions, they are growing and adding products and jobs.
The administration's policies which have increased manufacturing jobs will also create jobs in other parts of the economy because it will bolster the middle class and allow them to have the money to spend on luxury items, which will increase jobs, Biden said.
''It's a ripple effect,'' Biden said.
Matthew Pritchett of Youngstown said he was excited to hear the vice president talk about jobs.
''We're going to be coming back,'' Pritchett said.
Scott Williams of Austintown, 17, said he met the vice president two years ago when he visited Astro Shapes in Struthers and said he supports the administration.
''They're doing a whole lot of work to bring back our community and our country,'' Williams said.
Elaine Price of Warren said the country has moved forward under Obama and will continue that trend if the president is reelected.
''We are nowhere near where we were in 2008,'' Price said. ''I look forward to continuing to move on.''
After Youngstown, Biden headed south to Salem, where he met with firefighters.