RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Appearing at the final rally of the 2012 campaign, Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that the nation was hungry for bipartisan solutions, such as those demonstrated by governors and mayors of both parties during Superstorm Sandy.

“Now it’s time for our politics to be as good and as noble as our people,” Biden told a crowd of about 1,200 at an outdoor rally Monday evening in Richmond, where he wound up a campaign blitz that took him to eight states in two weeks.

Biden repeated familiar themes in defending President Barack Obama and challenging his opponent, GOP challenger Mitt Romney. He said Romney and running mate Paul Ryan have run away from their records.

“He’s got a backbone like a ramrod,” Biden said of Obama. “It’s not close on the character question.”

The rally at the historic Tredagar Iron Works, featured a free concert by musician John Mellencamp, who urged Biden to “give ’em hell, Joe.”

Earlier, Mellencamp said the election was a chance for the middle class to continue the progress made under Obama and Biden after being hurt by eight years of the Bush administration.

“The middle class is going to rise up again, and the rich are going to pay their fair share,” Mellencamps said. “Let there be no haves and have-nots — just a level playing-field that makes everything possible, and that we can still believe in the American dream.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., warmed up the crowd by reminding them of the importance of the vote in Virginia, saying: “If we do our jobs, this election will be over before Ohio votes.”

Polls close at 7 p.m. in Virginia, 30 minutes before Ohio, a crucial battleground in the 2012 election.

Biden started the day with a Sterling campaign event before heading to Roanoke. He repeated his prediction that Democrats will win the battleground states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Hampshire. Florida will be close, he predicted, and of Virginia he said: “in this state we got a great shot.”

He quoted his grandfather and said, “By the grace of God and the good will of neighbors.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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