Vice President Joe Biden says the Republican Party doesn't understand firefighters and that government should be helping cities and states maintain fire services -- not threatening to cut their funding.
Biden spoke Wednesday to more than 3,000 firefighters at a meeting in Philadelphia of the International Association of Fire Fighters. He said firefighters are "heroes" who work out of a sense of duty -- not a desire for money.
Biden, however, did not comment on a dispute between the city's firefighters and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, a Democrat and outspoken supporter of re-electing President Barack Obama.
Firefighters are planning to protest at City Hall on Thursday.
In the speech, the vice president said Republicans look at firefighters and see an easy place to cut the budget.