Biden In Ohio Criticizes McCain Economic Plan

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden continued his attack on John McCain's economic plan Thursday as his bus tour traveled through economically troubled northeast Ohio.

Biden, speaking on a turf field outside the Pro Football Hall of Fame, called the Republican presidential nominee out of touch with the problems of average Americans.

"John McCain's answers for the economy - and we're in such desperate shape - is the ultimate bridge to nowhere," Biden said to the crowd in swing Stark County, which President Bush won in 2000 but lost in 2004.

Biden, whose football career didn't last beyond the freshman team at the University of Delaware, said he once dreamed of speaking the hall of fame as an inductee.

"I decided when I couldn't do it, I might as well run for vice president," he quipped.

Biden also had stops scheduled Thursday afternoon at a union hall in Akron and an outdoor rally in downtown Youngstown.

Biden visited suburban Toledo and Wooster on Wednesday, saying it took a crisis on Wall Street for McCain to realize the U.S. economy is in trouble.

The trip includes stops in areas devastated by thousands of job losses in manufacturing and the auto industry. Polls are tight in Ohio and the economy remains a top concern.

Earlier Thursday, in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Biden noted that wealthier Americans would pay more under the economic plan proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: "It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut."

Under Obama's economic plan, people earning more than $250,000 a year would pay more in taxes while those earning less - the vast majority of American taxpayers - would receive a tax cut.

McCain's campaign responded quickly.

"Higher taxes and bigger government is not patriotic, it's a prescription for fewer American jobs and greater economic hardship," said Tucker Bounds, Republican presidential candidate John McCain. "In case there is any confusion, when Barack Obama's campaign describes tax increases as 'patriotic' they plan to raise taxes and slow job growth."