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. Larry

    I "m with STAN!!!!Most of these people BELIEVE THE DEMOCRAT LIES !

    September 18, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. lawyerlady

    I agree with him. My husband and I are in the $250,000 above income range, and we are both voting for he and Obama. At least our tax dollars won't be going to war and other failed Republican policies. The thought that we may be helping some of the bigots and idiots in this country is disturbing, however, after reading some of these posts. But we say, truthfully, unlike McCain, "Country First." Prosperity, rebulid international allegiances, focus on alternative energy and energy conservation and dependence. I am willing to shell out a few bucks for that. Obama/Biden.

    September 18, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Mark

    The Republican ticket is finished.....they're circling the drain.

    September 18, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  4. zg

    Joe, I know that you like to speak your mind which I believe is a honorable thing to do. These republicans will distort the facts every chance that they get. We just cannot afford to give them the weapons that they need to do so. I for one cannot take four more years of these losers. We need change and I dont think that JM and SP are candidates of change. They are more of the same. It's that simple.

    September 18, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. lol election

    well since 1/4 of your taxes go into defense spending while the other 1/4 goes into Social Security that pays for retired americans, yea, taxes are patriotic.

    September 18, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  6. Tom

    Finally, something Democrats, Republicans, Independents and even racists on all sides can agree on – Biden is a total, undeniable idiot.

    September 18, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Giselle, Atlanta

    Taxes go up, prices go up? More GREED at the top!!!

    If HP could afford a $42 million dollar golden parachute package for one mere executive, they could afford to pay a bit more in taxes without raising the price of their products.

    Failure to value the workers and the consumers of your products.

    Definitely NOT Country First.

    September 18, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. Jim

    Nobody has liked income and capital gain taxes for the past century, but we must owe up to two facts: 1) we have a misguided $1 trillion Iraq war not paid for by taxes; 2) we have the largest deficit in history under Bush's administration.

    I am a middle income professional. I've struggled all my life to provide for my family, own my home, have a retirement. I have few tax breaks beyond my mortgage intertest. MJy father fought in World War II. I'm patriotic and willing to pay my fair share of taxes, if we Americans together can help America get out of this Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin mess!

    September 18, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. OMG!


    September 18, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Remember the Boston tea Party

    Joe Biden should remember how this nation was started - I believe it had something to do about taxation without representation and I remember something about Boston Tea Party. When 40% of Americans today pay no taxes, and another 10,000,000 illegal aliens do not pay any taxes, Joe and the democratic party need to wake up. Obama cannot tax his way into the White House - Go through with his tax plan and forget about recession – this country will sink into a Depression

    September 18, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. Please shut up, Joe

    Biden, this might actually be the dumbest thing I have ever heard a politician say.

    Engle and Marx are laughing all the way to wealth redistribution nirvana.

    September 18, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. mike

    so what u people are saying that paying taxes isnt partriotic??? well, what am i paying taxes for then???? as a single person i pay more taxes than you married people. I get no break on my dollars.

    These people making 25000 and above is only paying taxes on the first 91000 dollars, everything else is free money. u mean to tell me they cant afford to pay a little more ??? to help the country out. yes it is patriotic if u were to do that. because u been getting by for a long time.

    and all u peopole talking bout joe is stupid. no its more like u are stupid.

    September 18, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  13. Biff Biffington RETURNS...

    the IGNORACE of these comments are nothing short of STAGGERING.

    YES... THE TOP 2% PAY 50% OF THE TAXES....


    D U H !!!




    September 18, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Tom

    Nice quote of Kennedy there, does that mean that you're willing to pay higher taxes??? Yeah, that's what I thought. "......ask what you can do for your country" – as long as you include Cecil as part of the "country" and not part of the "doing".

    September 18, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. ENE M DIAZ


    September 18, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. cara

    Biden is right!! McCain will ask people to die but not pay higher taxes? Come on!!

    September 18, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Sarah L., Fayetteville, AR

    My Grandma tells me frequently about WWII and how much people gave up for the good of the country. Joe's right, it is patriotic to pay taxes. It's also patriotic for people to use less gas, preserve natural resources and spend less on goods made in foreign countries even if it means you don't go to Old Navy every weekend.

    It's time for all of us to give a little more.

    September 18, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Matt

    Palin might want to be careful about using the phrase "just plain dumb."

    September 18, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. Greg

    Taxes are like membership dues - I am honored to pay them to belong to the most amazing club in the world - United States Citizens. If you don't want to pay, then move somewhere else.

    September 18, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. pat-georgia

    I am a democrat, but Obama made a bad mistake when he overlooked Hillary Clinton for a running mate.He needs to find a way to get rid of Biden.

    September 18, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. John in Gig Harbor

    I don't mind paying higher taxes if it means that this nation will once again be loved by the world, and that I can travel around the globe and enjoy my vacations in countries where I don't need to worry about being hated simply because I'm an American. I love this country. I make $450,000 a year, and I will vote for OBAMA/BIDEN. We don't need to support the top 2% in this country, because they have proven that they don't have any trouble with making big bucks, don't worry, they will NEVER worry about health care or where their next meal is coming from.

    September 18, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. Republican Mama for Obama

    Everyone needs to watch Obama's 'plan for a change' ad on youtube and on tv. He is what every American needs!

    -Obama '08

    September 18, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. Jacob

    Notice how John McCain looks more and more confused?

    September 18, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Baffled

    So ... let's review: 8 years of tax cuts because it is better for the economy have given us:
    – The highest national debt ever ($9.5 trillion)
    – The highest budget deficit ever
    – 46 million Americans w/o health insurance and a healthcare system that is falling apart
    – Thousands of lost jobs
    – Millions of foreclosures
    – Imploding retirement savings
    – Underfunded social security
    – Unaffordable heating bills
    – Companies going bankrupt left and right

    Whoever believes we can get ourselves out of this hole without paying for it, either is not paying attention or is lying.

    September 18, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  25. J.W.

    The Geezer and Gidget are circling the drain.

    September 18, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
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