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VP Biden raises money and promotes Obama agenda during Atlanta visit

Vice President Joe Biden visited Atlanta on Tuesday to discuss the Obama administration’s health care law, promote a higher minimum wage, support early childhood education and raise money for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn.

Biden dined with people affected by the health care law at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, thanked a small business owner for his support of the minimum wage hike and played with young children.

He also held a private fundraiser at a 11,760-square-foot Buckhead home for Nunn, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. A crowded field of Republican candidates are also running for the seat.

The fundraiser for Nunn was held in the Buckhead home of attorney Nancy Field and Michael Schulder, according to Fulton County property records. Field has donated thousands of dollars to President Barack Obama, Democratic congressional candidates and the Democratic Party in various states.

During Biden’s restaurant visit, a waitress kissed him on the cheek as he sat with six people who have either benefited from the law or are working to sign people up for health coverage before the March 31 enrollment deadline.

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He said he wanted to hear from people directly affected by the law, saying about 100,000 Georgians had signed up.

“That’s pretty darn good,” Biden said. “Insurance is a complicated thing.”

At the Cobb County office of BG Ad Group Inc., Biden said “thank you” to company President Darien Southerland, who wrote a letter to Obama in support of raising the minimum wage.

Southerland has increased his employees’ pay to at least $10.10 an hour, the amount Obama asked Congress to raise the minimum wage to during his State of the Union address.

“With leadership and help from guys like you, we’re going to break through,” Biden told Southerland.

Southerland gave Biden a football, and Biden signed his name on the wall of the business.

Biden also stopped at the East Lake Family YMCA in eastern Atlanta, where he visited children ages 3 and 4.

Biden said early education gives children an advantage as they build their vocabularies.

He praised Republican governors for early childhood education efforts in their states, and he said he hoped other members of their party would support early childhood education.

“I think some of our Republican colleagues would come around,” he said. “I’m hoping this is the beginning.”

Biden met privately with Nunn’s father, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, before joining a classroom of children who were playing with shapes, animals and puzzles.

One boy told Biden he was building a bridge out of his plastic shapes.

“I wish we were making more bridges,” Biden said.

From a cardboard box, Biden pulled out stuffed animal puppies that he handed out to the delighted children.

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