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Biden makes Wisconsin campaign stop as local company announces layoffs

Vice President Joe Biden smiles as he speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Marion Harding High School Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in Marion, Ohio. Credit: AP

Oshkosh Corporation designs and builds the world's toughest specialty trucks and truck bodies and access equipment -- one of it's biggest customers being the Pentagon.  But President Obama's cuts to Defense spending mean less business for Oshkosh and yesterday the company announced 450 layoffs as a result.

Just one day later, Vice President Joe Biden is using the Wisconsin town as a backdrop for an Obama-Biden campaign stop at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

"As Oshkosh and others in the defense industry have discussed on numerous occasions, domestic military vehicle production volumes will decline significantly in 2013 due to the reduction in U.S. defense budgets and the fact that military spending is returning to peacetime levels," the company announced in a statement. "Unfortunately, these economic factors require Oshkosh to rebalance its defense production workforce starting in January 2013."

President Obama carried Winnebago County in 2008, but Republicans believe support for Mitt Romney will make it competitive on Nov. 6.  Statewide tracking polls show that Obama's lead has slipped, but he still leads with a slight advantage over Romney.

The timing of Biden's visit was not missed by the Romney campaign. The Republican challenger has proposed increasing military spending, including the purchase of more ships for the Navy.  Both campaigns will have more Wisconsin stops on their itinerary next week.

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