Vice President Biden Stumps for Sen. Reid in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Vice President Biden Stumps for Sen. Reid in Reno

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Vice President Joe Biden came back in Reno for the first time since last year's presidential election.

Hundreds of backers and a handful of protesters gathered at the University of Nevada, Reno, where Biden and Sen. Harry Reid spoke after a $2,400-a-plate invitation-only fundraising breakfast.

The former U.S. senator from Delaware touted the progress of the federal stimulus package as well as help raise money for Democratic Sen. Reid's re-election campaign.

The visit comes at a time Nevada continues to suffer more than other states from the recession. The unemployment rate continues to increase. Taxable sales are down, and gaming revenue continues to drop.

To highlight why he feels the stimulus package Sen. Reid got through the Senate is so important, Biden made a point of emphasizing the human struggle caused by the down economy. He said millions of people losing their jobs and homes aren't just losing money, they're also losing their dignity. "The longest walk a parent ever has to make is up a short flight of stairs to his child's bedroom to say, 'honey, I'm sorry. Mommy lost her job, Daddy lost his job. I gotta go find another one. Or, 'honey, I know you think we own the house, but the bank owns the house.'"

Helping those people is just one of many things Biden says the stimulus did. And while there's been no shortage of criticism of the stimulus, Biden says not many of the critics have alternatives. "What are you gonna do? You gonna let those unemployed people not have unemployment insurance? You gonna say to the state of Nevada, state of Delaware, state of Montana, we're not gonna help you with your Medicaid. Dropping people off the rolls?"

Sen. Reid shared what economic advisors told them before they worked on the stimulus. "They said the only money in the world is in Washington and you better spend a lot of it or you're gonna have our world in a depression."

Biden says the recovery package is just the foundation, but you can see the results. "It kept a whole lot of barber shops, beauty salons, sandwich shops, gas stations open."

A newspaper poll earlier this month showed Reid trailing two Republicans who are running to unseat him: former state GOP chairwoman Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian, son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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