DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – While Vice President Joe Biden addressed the American Federation of Teachers in Detroit Sunday afternoon, some members of the Republican party picketed in front of Cobo Center.

Professor Lomer Pierre-Phillip of Miami Dade College told WWJ’s Beth Fisher what he wanted to hear from Vice President Biden.

“I want to know that they are standing firm on the progressive principles that they are advocates for,” he said.

Pierre-Phillip says the Republicans want to shut down the Department of Education.
Some AFT members say Republicans in Congress blocked President Obama’s efforts.

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bob Schostak, was there to protest the appearance of Biden and he said President Obama is not helping the middle class.

“I want to remind the Vice President of what’s going on in Michigan, (and) what’s happening to the middle class,” said Schostak. “The jobs plan they put out hasn’t created jobs – it’s not helping out the middle class.”

“First of all I’d ask are they any better off then they were three and a half years ago? Did this hope and change work for them? We have more unemployment … we have more people looking for jobs,” said Schostak.

The AFT has endorsed the re-election of President Obama and Vice President Biden.

The AFT represents teachers in the Detroit Public Schools. It bargains for 1.5 million teachers and is the nation’s second-largest teachers union behind the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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