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. Clueless Lib

    Borrowing from Peter (China) to pay Paul (Iraq war) got us into this mess. Step up and pay your fair share OR convince YOUR president to quit spending all of our hard earned money in the middle east. Better yet, vote Democrat.

    September 18, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. will ny

    This is perfect steal and grab of and old GOP theme: Patriotism.

    and its true and I have actually heard people say I can afford it if I have to pay more taxes as long as it goes to the services and people its supposed to."... To me its about caring about your neighbor....

    September 18, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. WENDY

    How has trickle down been working so far? Even George Bush the first called it voodoo economics.

    September 18, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Karl vs Rove

    Poor and middle income do community organisation.
    So, the rich can pay taxes. I agree- that is patriotism.
    Go Obama / Biden

    September 18, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Time to sacrifice....

    I make $60k a year and I'd gladly have my taxes raised if it means our bridges wouldn't fall down, our kids would get a decent education and everyone had access to quality healthcare.

    I'm willing to make that sacrifice for the greater good of our country.

    I'm different from McCain because to me putting "country first" is more than a lame bumper sticker.

    September 18, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. John from LA

    Dumb Joe-disengage foot from mouth-typical Joe B-looking forward to more of these comments from the 30 yr. vetern from the Senate over the next month and a half.


    September 18, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Obvious

    Palin avoids the point yet again, brilliant!

    September 18, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Freedom Lovin Patriot

    18 Million people VOTED for Obama to lead this country!!! Not based on his experience but based on his VISION.

    September 18, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. CM

    I don't know how many fact checks and financial experts have to verify that the Obama tax plan cuts taxes for over 85% of Americans. Specifically those making less than $250k before the mcCain supporters get it.

    Of course there is McCain's plan, written by Gramm, architect of deregulation that toppled the banks this year. The same plan Greenspan (a republican) says America can't afford.

    it looks like the GOP is destroying America to foster their own greed.

    September 18, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Freedom Lovin Patriot

    18 Million people VOTED for Obama to lead this country. Not based on his experience but based on his VISION.

    So for all you Palin supporters trying to compare experience–stop using the logic of a drunken teenager. So off you trot to your proctologist for a Palinectomy

    September 18, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Ben

    Whare does McDumb get hie campaign staff.
    they all are spin masters, bumbbells, big fat liers.

    September 18, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. case

    Bush: cut taxes for the wealthy and started a the same time. Never done before in history. How many people on this post make more that 250,000 per year? Well it's less than 5% of the country so not many. McCain hasn't forgotten who his true constituency is, that 5%.

    September 18, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Andy

    As someone who makes more the $250,000, I'm willing to pay more taxes than someone who makes significantly less.

    I would rather that money weren't spent on a stupid, endless, expensive war in Iraq, or spent bailing out the financial industry, or paying of the enormous deficit Bush has racked up, but those are cards this country has dealt itself.

    Paying my fair share of taxes to get this country back on its feet is far more patriotic, in my opinion, than wearing a flag pin.

    September 18, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. glory b

    Biden finally said what was needed to be heard. Yes , people including Kate Snow the reporter, needs to step up to the plate and pay a little something extra than you have been in taxes because you make over $250,000. People whats wrong with that. Nothing. Biden was also honest when he said that voters weren't sure that obama or any of the candidates can deliver on change. It will take all of us to work and sacrifice to get us out of these messes, that the guy everyone wanted to have a beer gt us into. Yes we have to blame Bush because the buck stops with him God better bless us because we have some deep and serious problems – AND WE BETTER START FACING THEM STOP THE LIES OR WE'LL DESERVE WHAT WE GET

    September 18, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. Okie lady for Obama

    With the plans Senator Obama has for our country, energy, health care, rebuilding infrastructure, jobs and a fair tax burden for everyone, I'm sure, when people are working and can afford to pay taxes, they will be more then happy to do thier fair share.

    September 18, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. Lesley

    When Kennedy was in office, our economy was not in the dire straits it is in now, we were not mired in a ten billion dollar a month war that we are paying for with borrowed funds, and our financial institutions were not failing all over the place. What would he say today? Too bad we can't ask him.

    September 18, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. tony

    Talk about a complete baffoon -
    OLd Joe's mouth strikes again–
    The top 2% pays 50% of the Fed Taxes already-Joe u know that–
    So you must be referring to all those stiffs that don't pay much ar any taxes at all as being unpatriotic-
    He's right Hillary should have been the VP

    September 18, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. dollorbil

    Wow a patriotic rich man that is novel. Why should the rich have to give up a trip to Europe or a new Lexus just so a lower income person can pay for their childs braces.

    September 18, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. RR in AZ

    Go on Joe and keep telling the TRUTH!!

    September 18, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  20. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Why would anyone making over 250K support the candidate that will make them pay more taxes? Roschild Trump have the SAME good reason for switching to McCain.
    ASK the question the OTHER way!!! Is it patriotic to avoid paying taxes.
    Oh, the lug nuts NEED the rich heroes to be tax free, so they can create a minimum wage job for you!

    September 18, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  21. Pat-San Jose CA

    To Debbie Joyner Re: "...the top 1% pay 40% of the entire income tax burden in this country! The bottom 50% pay less than 3% – stop talking about fairness – it's socialism." Listen up Debbie – We in the 51-99% bracket are almost half of wage earners and we bear the brunt of it. Income taxes aren't the only taxes we pay. What percentage of the top 1% income goes toward taxes in general? What percentage does the top 1% have left after taxes and basic necessities? It's not socialism, it is fairness.

    September 18, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  22. peakarack



    September 18, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  23. Glenn

    Biden is a complete idiot......enough said. Obama missed his chance with Hilary. She will be smiling all the way to 2012. McCain-Palin......get use to it.

    September 18, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. Debbie Joyner

    Gorbashov – learn your history 1986 – top bracket 28%

    September 18, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  25. DMM


    September 18, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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