HANOVER, N.H. -- Vice President Joe Biden took the stage to the cheers of roughly 1,300 students and local residents at Dartmouth College on Friday to deliver a stump speech aimed directly at the young voters who could prove crucial to the Obama campaign.
Underscoring the importance of this year's presidential contest to young people, Biden told the crowd, "There is no group of Americans to which, quite frankly, this should matter more than to all of you on this campus and on campuses all across America."
Calling the assembled students representative "of an incredible generation," the vice president highlighted the Obama administration's support for Pell grants and student loan forgiveness programs.
"I know the average student in America, as they walk across the platform to receive their diploma this May, will also get a bill for $25,000 on average," Biden said, before pivoting to criticize cuts in education spending supported by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Biden did not shy from drawing a stark contrast with Romney on broader ideological issues, pointing to the Republican candidate's disparaging comments about Americans who pay no federal income tax and receive government benefits as evidence of a fundamentally flawed view of society.
"How could he be so profoundly wrong about America? How is that possible?" Biden asked to rising cheers from the crowd. "Not in my neighborhood. Not where I grew up. Not the people I know."
Perhaps the most important part of his speech to a friendly college-town crowd in a swing state, however, was Biden's response to his listeners' vocalized dislike for Romney.
"I don't need your boos," the vice president reminded them. "I need your help."