Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press
Vice President Joe Biden walks with Sister Simone Campbell, right, before the kickoff of the Nuns on the Bus tour, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Vice President Joe Biden is preaching a populist theme during a visit to Iowa — an important early-voting state in the presidential nominating calendar.

He's telling voters to elect Democrats who support raising taxes on companies.

Biden is hitting an election-year theme of restoring what he calls "basic fairness."

The vice president spoke to about 200 Democratic activists on the steps of the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. Bide joined a group of a dozen or so nuns who are beginning a nationwide bus tour to urge people to vote.

Biden's considering running for the top job in 2016, and his trip to Iowa follows Hillary Rodham Clinton's high-profile appearance Sunday at retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's big annual fundraiser.