September 18th, 2008
06:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden defends the link between patriotism and higher taxes

Sen. Biden is sticking by his recent comments on taxes.

Sen. Biden is sticking by his recent comments on taxes.

AKRON, Ohio (CNN) – Hours after drawing Republican fire over a comment that those making more $250,000 per year will be expected to pay higher taxes because “it’s time to be patriotic,” Joe Biden told supporters in a small union hall Thursday afternoon that the wealthy are patriotic but “we have not asked anything of them.”

Earlier, John McCain and Sarah Palin seized on the original remark from Barack Obama’s running mate. “To the rest of America that's not patriotism,” said Palin at an Iowa rally. “Raising taxes is about killing jobs and hurting small businesses and making things worse." McCain called the comment “just plain dumb.”

Biden said both Obama and McCain are in favor of tax cuts - but the decision over who gets them is a question of values.

“Is it a higher value that [those making more than $250,000] get that tax cut?” Biden asked. “Or should we take that $130 billion and give it to families making less than $150,000 all the way down the ladder? What do you value? Tell me what you value.”

“The point I want to make to you,” Biden added, “is wealthy people are just as patriotic as poor people. We just have not asked anything of them.”

After repeating “it’s a time to be patriotic,” Biden argued that the county has “no problem sending our kids to war” and hit McCain for not supporting the recent GI Bill.

“I tell you Democrats,” Biden said angrily, “don't you step down from anybody telling you that we don't value, we don't have American values. I have had it up to here. I have had enough. Tell me what you value!”

Biden also jabbed McCain and Palin for not holding press conferences. The Republican nominee hasn’t had one in over a month, and Palin hasn’t since being named to the GOP ticket. Biden said he was asked by a reporter what he thought of Palin but replied he didn’t know because she doesn’t talk to the press.

“I don’t have any idea. I don’t know!” exclaimed Biden. “It’s not just Sarah Palin. When’s the last time John had a press conference?”

Looking over at Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, he added, “Ted, you and I know, when elected officials stop holding press conferences, it ain’t because he’s found a new way to communicate, it’s because he doesn’t want to communicate.”

McCain spokesman Ben Porritt responded that in the midst of a troubled economy and a presidential election, “Why on earth does Barack Obama’s running mate worry so much about our media relations strategy?”

Filed under: Economy • Joe Biden
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. conny

    Those crooks knew what you were saying! They want to protect the RICH


    September 18, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. cecil

    John F. Kennedy On Patriotism;

    Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Your Country.

    Obama / Biden 08

    September 18, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Tiffany

    Last Honest Man September 18th, 2008 6:42 pm ET
    Why doesn't anybody question Biden on the illegal activities of his son?
    This guy is not clean!!!!


    September 18, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Len in Washington

    You go Joe!

    September 18, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. Nevada Mom

    True patriots give of themselves to better the whole of our nation.

    Some people give service. Some give money.
    Seems like everyone is being asked by Obama to give of themselves... and yes, sometimes that means you must give a little more than others.

    Right now, our nation is in serious need of infrastructure investments (including the facilitation of new energy sources that are readily available) and that costs money. Perhaps those who have been made wealthy while our nation has begun to suffocate under a mounting debt ought to now pay back a little of what this administration gave to them.

    September 18, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Brock Landers


    September 18, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. Lie-a-day Failin' Palin & Inane McCain Ain't Ready for Primetime

    Is anyone else thinking that McCain and Palin look more and more like
    Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall than a couple of running mates? Just wonderin' ...

    September 18, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. Angela

    Biden is right on!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. The Independent

    Why are some of us, not just McCane-Palin what have you, but others so much concentrated on petty things (ala pig, lipstick, Paris Hilton, Spears, who are real Christians, etc.) while our economy is tanking, our citizens are losing jobs, are losing homes, and are suffering, our brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq. Aren't these people not reading the news? They are the real elitist!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  10. Joe Regis

    We have roads, high way, schools, hospitals to build, we have the arm forces, security to provide et cetera, of course a certain marginal tax rate is necessary under any administration. The problem is in the management of public finances and the public affair in general that make all the difference in the world.

    We need a change in new direction to stop the reckless management of the country, to stop jobs from flying overseas and to renew the Americam dream.

    Obama/Biden 08/12.

    September 18, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. Jen

    So McCain and Palin think we should all be willing to die for our country, but god forbid we give it a cent.

    September 18, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. Opiner

    The rich do need to start contributing much more than they have in the last 8 years (which was virtually nothing)

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 18, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. Marie in California

    Keep your hands out of MY pockets, Biden! My money money! Not yours or anyone else's.

    McCain-Palin – 2008

    September 18, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Chuck

    To heck with taxes.

    Open the "O B A M A and B A B S Show" in Vegas and charge $25,000.00 per ticket like he did at their wonderful fund raiser last week.

    The Democratic Congress has led the country into this mess, why are they now pointing fingers?


    September 18, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. Sylvia

    Biden is talking about people exactly like McCain and Palin and they are offended. The Mccain and Palin is a problem to the problem instead of a solution. I have not heard one word about how McCain/Palin will help the low income people. Biden is our fearless leader hitting the McCain camp head on.
    Biden has my vote!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. George Bernard

    Taxes are a fact of life in America and the rest of the World,for far to long the GOP,has seen taxes and government as Bad,yet the GOP supporters on Wall Street and Main Street have their hands out regularly for hand outs,while at the same time condemning any relief for the average American WORKER.The GOP claim they will use this government(tax)money for all America,when in fact it goes to Wall Street Free-Loaders (see Wall Street Crisis-CEO pay packages).It Is TIME that those who benefit so much from the US Government,show respect to the America Worker and Pay A Larger Share for the large profits,that go to them and Wall Street Insiders.Yes TAXES are Patriotic ,one of our Founding Fathers thought it was and HONOR and proof that America was working. Thanks gb

    September 18, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. Mike, St. Louis

    It is however unpatriotic to waste the tax money by spending it on huge government programs that won't work.

    September 18, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Ex-Republican for Obama

    It is not only patriotic, but it's only fair. Small and large salaries alike must put into our tax base proportianately the same. For every dollar I earn, I should pay no more and no less then every dollar you earn. Or vice versa.

    It is their american DUTY to pay as much per dollar as I do. They are fortunate enough to live in a country that gives them the opportunity to make that much, they must match it cents on the dollar that I do.

    If not, then they are actually endorsing a social system in which the government takes care of the wealthy and big business.

    September 18, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Minimal Government

    Do whatever you want Joe. I will still find a loophole in the tax code and keep my money thank you! The democratic ticket reeks of Socialism and I want no part of it. vote McCain/Palin.

    September 18, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. Neal

    Wow, this many people who approve of Biden's echo of the karl Marx philosophy ??? when did these dirtbags get computers from the hardworking to spew their pea-brained drivel ??
    want money ?/ GO WORK !!

    September 18, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  21. peakarack


    September 18, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  22. Joyce in Florida

    You rock Senator Biden. I just heard you on the news regarding this and it sounds like a fantastic plan to me. Can't wait to see you in the White House in January. OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. Rose

    I can't hear the Palin/McCain lying phrase anymore! Over and over it has been said that OBAMA is going to CUT taxes for 95% of Americans (those making less than 250K). So go Obama/Biden!!! McCain/Palin are such liars – over and over and over again ! And today Palin as one of the world's leading experts on energy (according to McSame) couldn't even give an answer that made any remote sense once again showing that if she's off script she's absolutely clueless, clumsy, hesitant, and unable to give a straight answer!


    September 18, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  24. WI Voter

    I've supported this idea since I learned the difference between "trickle up" and "trickle down" in 9th grade.

    Obama Biden 08'

    September 18, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Liviu

    To Debbie Joyner:

    It would also be interesting to know how much the top 1% earns!

    September 18, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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