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. Jean

    How DARE you say hard working Americans making smaller wages are not Patriotic!!

    Paying taxes has nothing to do with loving your country!

    September 18, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. Christine

    Obama supporters are Socialists.

    September 18, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Patrick

    Do people realize that those making over $250,000 a year already pay the vast majority of taxes in our country. Those making over $250,000 a year create most of the jobs that the rest of us work? Yeah let's tax the business owners into oblivion so they take their jobs overseas and let us all become jobless. We can find balance. Let's keep taxes where they are at, and start eliminating government programs and balance the budget. Once the government gets bigger by even a small percentage it will never go back down; no matter what party is in power.

    September 18, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. Republi-Con

    HEy Debbie Joyner;
    U must think the world is dumb. You forced me to do some quick research and realize that JFK was correct. It was imperative to lower the tax burden on the individual taxpayer from the top rate of 90% as it was under Republican Eisenhower. JFK Lowered it to 70%. JFK also proposed for corporate taxes to be reduced from 52% to 48%..

    Don't twist JFK quotes to try to gain support for McCain's rubbish and bounce.
    Republicans are like a bacteria. The ideal condition necessary for Exponential republican growth is .. Public ignorance

    September 18, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Patty, Big Bear, CA

    I absolutely is time to think about America rather than just thinking of yourself....being Patriotic is more than just supporting troops and the's about doing what's best for the country and the citizens of this country.

    September 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Can we all really be this dumb?

    Lemme see, McCain says that something Vice President-elect Biden said was "just plain dumb". But the economy is "strong". I hope McCain doesn't win, or Canada will have an immigration problem.

    September 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. Dana from NY

    Biden is absolutely right!

    September 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. FreeNLovIt

    If we love America, we should ask what we can do for this Country, to get it back on its feet.

    We've have had 8 years of Republicanomic, it's time for change.

    No more peanuts for fat elephants. Bring in the kicking donkeys!!!

    September 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. women4obama

    McCain and Palin = Country "Club" First

    September 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. Beverly, NYC

    I agree with Biden, to whom much is given, much is expected. Cry me a river, so what ,some trust fund snot won't be able to get a new Bentley or Maybach every year and will be reduced to buying a 200 foot yacht, even with Obama's tax plan they will not have to sell pencils on the corner. John McCain, Lady Rothchild & others like them will still have more than one home, private planes to jet from continent to continent and a clothing budget that could save a third world country. Most of their millions were made on the backs of their workers. Why should their maids, gardners, nannies pay more taxes than these idle rich? I don't begrudge anyone whose ideas have made them million, making your circunstances better is what this country was about, it's thinking your $ makes you better and above everyone is what I have an issue with.

    September 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Emily

    Middle American taxpayers are paying for bailouts, the wrong war, and corruptions. We are all very patriotic. We will support whatever costs to help the country. That's why we are so angry. So rich who caused all these issues, of course, should pay more tax. Joe is right. While I wish to see Clinton, Biden is also a great guy.

    September 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. mia

    get them Joe! Slime balls won't show their taxes, won't talk to press, won't let an investigation go on. McCain and Palin are going down.

    September 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. dennise

    Isn't that the truth! THe only reason why John is scared and detests the idea of more taxes is because John and Cindy make a lot of money which means more taxes. Please spare us!

    September 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  14. jr california

    Wal-Mart Mom September 18th, 2008 6:41 pm ET
    Sarah's here to stay—only 44 years old she'll be a powerhouse in U.S. politics for the next 25 years—Joe Biden will long be in a nursing home and she'll still be President—-

    And Joe, you are going to get your lunch eaten in the debate—-BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID–

    Fans of Sarah Barracuda


    i was going to ask this person "what do you base all of this on?" but then i saw their name was "wal-mart mom" and all of a sudden everything made perfect sense to me.

    September 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Kim

    Bidens right. The greedy filthy Corporate CEO's are milking this nation dry. They run their companies into the dirt. Leave the tax payers with the bill. And they walk away with multi million dollar golden parachutes. The GOP / CEO / BUSH axis of evil are long overdue to be swept out the door. We need a voter Surge to end this nightmare.

    September 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. No plan, No future.

    Greed is unpatriotic, it's why we're in this mess, and we're currently being told by one side that greed should continue?

    It's time to pay your dues for breaking the back of the little man.

    September 18, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. Harrison

    How about making it patriotic to get a job, get citizenship, and get off welfare.

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

    It's time for the wealthy to kick in, in America?? The top five percent of earners are paying 70% of the taxes. 40 million people in this country pay no taxes. I am already paying 38% in taxes.

    September 18, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Paying Attention

    The Repubs wanted to go to war now they can pay for it. Do your fair share. You bought it and now you can pay for it.

    September 18, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Is it okay for the McCain Campaign to copy Obama's color scheme???

    September 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. Dan in Waukegan

    In my view when Mc Cain says he wants government off the backs of the people, I just substitute the word corporations for the word people. Then you get the real message. What's better, paying more taxes and having it returned to the people in the form of better infrastructure, health care, etc. or borrowing money from China to bail out AIG and their corpoate cronies. One of these days China's going to want their money back, then what?

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

    McCain-Palin is a spam/Fraud is 'Politics first' NOT' Country first' ticket.

    September 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse NY

    People making over $250K already pay the lion's share of taxes you moron. Unenployment is up over 6%. How about stopping illegal aliens from taking US jobs? That would be patriotic! How about stopping welfare queens from pumping out babies we all pay for. That would be patriotic. How about helping business create jobs by lowering taxes, rather than encouraging them to go offshore by raising taxes. That's patriotic.

    September 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. Giselle, Atlanta

    Now people, you know that an increase in taxes will result in decreased job opportunities!!! I mean, CM must have her $300,000 dresses. "The Donald" must have his jets, etc., so if their tax bill goes up - layoffs must follow or even worse, they'll just pick up their marbles and go elsewhere!!

    Is that COUNTRY FIRST?!!!

    No, that's me first, last and only. And if you haven't gotten a clue by now, they just absolutely love you, "my friends."

    September 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |





    September 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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