On the Campaign Trail, Biden Makes Unplanned Stop at Sarasota Diner
Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in Sarasota and Ocala today, lashing the Republicans on their plans with regard to taxes and Medicare and telling the crowds that the new health care law will lower health insurance prices in the future.
After finishing his speech at Municipal Auditorium in Sarasota, Biden made an unplanned stop at Station 400, a diner off Lemon Avenue in downtown Sarasota.
“Holy mackerel,” Biden said as he looked at the baked goods display cabinet at the front of the restaurant.
Biden ordered up a strawberry lavender muffin and a cup of coffee to go at the train-station themed diner with a toy train that moves along the rafters.
He then turned and greeted a customer Fred Magnusen who was eating breakfast at a window seat a few feet from the front counter.
“Hey man,” Biden said enthusiastically as he shook hands with Magnusen, a Syracuse, N.Y. transplant who has lived in Sarasota for the last 11 years.
“I’m a big fan of yours,” Magnusen said as they struck up a conversation about Syracuse, where Biden earned his law degree.
“You don’t miss the snow,” Biden said.
Biden then turned and said “I met a Syracuse guy.”
Biden also struck up conversation with Audrey O’Connell, a New Hampshire native, who had just come from the rally where Biden spoke. She told him he gave a great speech and told him that she has a brother who is a Republican.
“Get your brother on the phone,” Biden said.
Biden spoke to her brother who lives in California for almost two minutes explaining to him how the health care law will lower health insurance prices in the future.
“I’m not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say hi to you,” Biden could be heard saying.
Biden also spoke with Diana Daffner, a Sarasota resident who put her mother 90-year-old mother Ruth Weinberg on the phone to talk to Biden.
Biden said hello and then could be heard saying, “No, I’m not kidding. No, I’m with your daughter down in Sarasota,” at a “really cool” restaurant.
Biden then paid for his muffin and coffee and started exiting the store.
Biden continued to chat with customers for several more minutes in the restaurant and outfront before getting back into his motorcade at about 1:29 p.m.
Eric Bein, chef and owner of Station 400, said the visit was a complete surprise and didn’t even know Biden had been speaking at the Municipal Auditorium until he was told about 15 minutes before the motorcade pulled up.