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Biden’s visits to western Virginia produced memorable moments

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 7:14 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Candidate Joe Biden didn’t visit western Virginia during the 2020 presidential campaign, but he’s been here many times.

Especially in 2012, when he and President Barack Obama were running for re-election.

The visits were memorable for controversial comments that generated national headlines, minor gaffes, colorful campaign stops and a poignant visit to the April 16th Memorial at Virginia Tech.

August 14, 2012 in Danville, Biden criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s fiscal policy with a reference to slavery.

“They’re going to put ya’ll back in chains,” Biden told the audience.

Republicans responded with outrage.

Biden’s visits to western Virginia also included some amusing mistakes.

“With you we can win North Carolina again,” Biden said in Danville.

“I’m a big Tom Kaine fan, a big Tom Kaine fan,” Biden told a Lynchburg audience in October, speaking of US Senator Tim Kaine.

But he also made personal connections during visits to the Floyd Country Store, and the River City Grill in Radford.

He fired up Democrats with a pizza delivery in Roanoke on election eve.

And the time he spent in Blacksburg included not a just a raucous rally, but a quiet visit to the April 16th Memorial on the Virginia Tech campus.

“I think of those kids, but I also think of their parents,” Biden told reporters. “It brings back memories, that call out of the blue you get. It’s like, how could this happen?”

In 2012, Biden visited at least seven communities in western Virginia during three visits to the area.

Wednesday, many of the people he met along the way were remembering those moments.

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