DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Vice President Joe Biden is using a Labor Day rally in Detroit to portray President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign as a battle to defend the interest of working people from a Republican attack.

Thousands of union supporters marched under sunny skies Monday in the annual Metro Detroit AFL-CIO Labor Day parade, leading up to the rally.

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Biden said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is out of touch with working people and says Democrats seek to replace “outsourcing with insourcing” to retain U.S. jobs.

He told throngs of automotive workers that gathered for event that they are the real reason that General Motors and Chrysler are doing well.

“You’re the reason … you’re the reason that the automobile industry is back,” Biden said to cheers from the crowd. “Whether it was the plant closures or the wage freezes and cuts you took, the elimination of dental and vision that you had to undertake … your sacrifices — you sacrificed, you sacrificed to keep your companies open.”

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The Vice President touted the Obama administration’s bailout of the auto industry, and criticized Mitt Romney’s call for automakers to go through bankruptcy.

“I mean, it’s just kind of amazing, it sort of came upon them (the GOP) in the night — the plight of the middle class,” said Biden. “Well, what you didn’t hear him talk about was his position to, quote, let Detroit go bankrupt. You didn’t hear him repeat that if we stepped in, and I quote, General Motors would be the living dead.”

Biden’s Labor Day speech was the latest of several in Michigan this summer. He addressed the American Federation of Teachers’ Detroit national convention July 29 and spoke at a rally at Detroit Renaissance High School on  Aug. 22. Obama attended at last year’s Detroit Labor Day observance.

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