August 22nd, 2012
06:40 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden: Republicans have 'discovered the middle class'

Detroit (CNN) – In front of a friendly audience, Vice President Joe Biden repeated a crowd-pleasing political attack against Republicans on Wednesday – with a new level of sarcasm.

"It's amazing, they discovered the middle class," the vice president said mockingly against his rivals. "And they care about it. They're running to save the middle class."

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Biden began the swipe by referencing the tough economic conditions the Obama administration inherited when it took office – a situation brought on by Republican policies, Biden claimed.

It was one of many seemingly ready-made applause lines Biden laid out for an audience of over 1,100 supporters – mostly African Americans - at Renaissance High School in inner city Detroit. It was the second of a two-day campaign swing that began in Minnesota on Tuesday.

Those at the Detroit event expressed their agreement with several of the vice president's points. At the beginning of his remarks, the crowd even booed the first mention of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"No, no, no," Biden said, attempting to tamp down the jeers. "I disagree with him on almost everything, politically. But he's a decent man."

Yet, Biden stoked the audience displeasure with political attacks.

At one point, he repeated his fresh assessment of the man who wants his job, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.

"Congressman Ryan, who is again a good man and a good family man, he has given definition to Gov. Romney's vague commitments…up to now," Biden said. "Now we know Congressman Ryan and…the Republicans in the Congress, they–as one person said–they have already passed in the Republican House what Gov. Romney is promising to pass for the whole nation."

"They call their new economic plan, what they're talking about, they call their plan new, they call it bold and they call it gutsy. But the neighborhood I come from, there's nothing gutsy about giving a millionaire another tax break. There's nothing bold about cutting Medicare, Medicaid and education and research and development in order to pay for that tax cut."

At another turn, Biden lumped his opponents together as sort of political bogeymen who would throw the country into deeper economic misfortune.

"Their theme is, 'Restore the dreams and greatness of this country.' But what I'm telling you, is that the very plans the congressman voted for over the last 14 years, the very economic policies the governor supported over this period of time – as governor and as a businessman – they are the very same policies that put America's greatness in jeopardy."

Biden also tailored his remarks to play up the administration's actions to bail out Detroit's automobile industry in 2008–actions that are popular in Michigan but derided by many conservatives.

"In spite of Gov. Romney's insistence that we, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," we rescued the automobile industry - saving 1 million jobs," Biden said, referencing a now famous newspaper piece from Romney. Since then, Romney has argued that he deserves some credit for his proposal to save the auto industry.

"I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back," he said in May. "My own view is that the auto companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help. And frankly, that's finally what the president did. He finally took them through bankruptcy."

Romney's campaign responded to Biden's speech.

"For millions of middle-class families, Vice President Biden couldn't be more out of touch with the state of the economy," spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement.

"After claiming yesterday 'the middle class is coming back,' the Vice President is now claiming that 'Detroit is getting back up.' But after nearly four years, middle-class families are struggling with lower income, fewer jobs, and increasing unemployment. The Romney-Ryan plan will provide 12 million new jobs, higher take-home pay and a brighter future for the middle class."


Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Minnesota
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Carol191

    I came to this (eww) CNN (eww) site to read what Gov. Romney said about how President Obama is replacing the Freedoms of the American people with big Government, but I could not register a comment any longer on that article. so I will enter my words on the article about this lame Minstrel.

    Romney's analysis of our president's misguidedness is spot on, and indeed, Bless Obama's heart, he is soooo wrong.

    The profoundly anti-Romney comments on that article prove to me that either CNN is rabidly ideological into Hate of anything not Leftist, and that is all the comments they get, and/Or the Citadel in Chicago is paying many hands to type keystrokes on this site.

    In any case, I declare myself a Free American, and I agree Romney is absolutely correct, the Democratic Leadership has led us all astray, has lied to EVERY ONE of us, including you, dear reader - think clearly about it and how you have been betrayed by the Pelosicrats of the nation - they only want to make beggars of all of us.

    I am a Pro-choice Woman Proud to vote for Romney and Ryan and for a Future of Free People that tells their government what to do, rather than the other way around.

    Godspeed, Gov. Romney and the Good Congressman from Wisconsin.

    August 23, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  2. John/kc

    Romney plan will provide 12 million new American jobs? Is Romney going to close down China?

    August 23, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  3. Tom

    Romney and Ryan are dull and boring. Together, they have the personality of a dial tone.

    August 23, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  4. Tom

    Romney and Ryan are dull and boring. Together, they have the personality of a dial tone. In my opinion Romney and Ryan stink.

    August 23, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  5. Taylor

    Twelve million new jobs? Twelve MILLION? Are they kidding? Big tax breaks for the rich – I'm sorry, the "job creators" – don't create jobs. Those greedy rich people take those breaks and put them into an overseas bank account and ship jobs overseas. I swear they tried this during Bush Jr.'s presidency...and it didn't work. In fact, I'm almost certain it made things worse. You can destroy a building in a matter of seconds, but rebuilding it takes years. Same applies to the economy. If you're middle and lower class and you vote Republican, you're voting against your own interests. When you vote against your own interests and are essentially brainwashed and tricked, that's no longer democracy.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    August 23, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  6. george of the jungle

    Joe always speaks the truth even when he srcrews up people know he is out there fighting for them, He is a good family man who is an open book unlike secret mittens.

    August 23, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  7. Kory Porporino

    I want to see this plan Romney and Ryan keep treading around. So secretive. No elaboration. They, or Romney mostly, keeps insisting that his word is good. How are they going to clear 775,000 job increases per quarter, when Obama's administration is just clearing 300,000 in a great quarter? I want to see documents, numbers, and statistics.

    August 23, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  8. vdrummin

    Joe is right on the money Republicans are for the Rich what don't you get ? How do you think we got in this financial
    mess in the first place – through a Republican president not a democratic one. Anyone middleclass that's left needs a
    history lesson.

    August 23, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  9. Glenn

    I wonder what Joe knows about the middle class. Wearing his $250 silk shirt and $100 tie.

    August 23, 2012 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  10. AgrippaMT

    Bravo, Joe. Keep it up. These Republican and tea bagging swine need a lesson in politics.

    August 23, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  11. Ricardo Martinez

    The Republicans are now promising millions of jobs, a great economy. What happened when George Bush was in, where were they then. This Ryan sidekick of Rommy, he really likes to see himeself there, to bad, he doesn't even know what Rape is, what a Rape.

    August 23, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  12. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Just what is the middle class the Republicans are trying to save? As near as I can see, their idea of the middle class are folks who only make between $3,000,000 and $10,000,000 a year as a family. Those would be lower middle class, follwed by families that only make between $10,000,001 and $50,000,000. You know-average middle class families. And finally the upper middle class families, those who make between $50,000,001 and $100,000,000.

    Just average middle class Americans. Not quite rich enough to beong to the best clubs and such, but still well of enough to associate with during an election year.

    August 23, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  13. ValarMorghulis

    The GOP ticket is for the rich make no mistake about it. They really believe the millionaires and billions that stash their money in off shore account are the job creators. They really believe trickle down works – it works to their advantage.

    No need to talk about their obsession with sticking their noses in everyone's bedroom or telling women what is best for them.

    Vulture/Voucher 2012 THE LOSING TEAM

    August 23, 2012 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  14. chedar888

    Hah? Romney Ryan will provide 12 Million jobs? This team is hallucinating. Didn't the republican under Bush lost 24 Million jobs. How are they going to add jobs is beyond me.

    August 23, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  15. canchange

    Joe Biden is to late for trainings now,you got only few months left;the GOP got their vice president on training and he is more ready than you that have almost four year and dont learn anything good to give to the middle class,you are the ones that one to erase the middle class;the American people just wake up and they know Paul Ryan is their next vice president and MItt the President.Evrybody going to be in shackels thats what you got for the hard working people of America ,Dont talk any more,go vacation your time is over,thanks .GOD BLESS AMERICA AND MARK LEVIN <THASNKS

    August 23, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  16. BeverlyNC

    VP Biden is telling the truth about the Republicans. Over the past 3 years they have created nor passed ZERO jobs bills, ZERO economic recovery bills and obstructed every single People program. Republicans set a Senate record for the most filibusters in our nation's history. However they did manage to put up 68 bills against abortion and hundreds of others all on social issues and not one on the economic crisis their Party created under Bush.
    Romney's plan is corporate welfare where all EPA regulations on polluter industries are gone, all bank regulations are gone again (since it worked so well when Bush did it), and ended corporate taxes in addition to lower the tax rates on the wealthy even more. The Ryan budget destroys Medicare, does NOT save it in any shape or form, destroys Medicaid, Social Security and every program the middle class worked for or relies on. Not one dime from the Ryan budget goes to reduce the deficit. It ALL goes to pay for the corporate welfare. However that still cannot cover all the tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy so Romney increases taxes on the middle class and the poor to make up the difference.
    Let's also not forget Ryan is the most extreme VP Republican candidate in decades. He and Akin co-authored the anti-abortion bill that laid out various definition of rape Akin made the mistake of publically telling everyone about. Why are Republicans going after Akin when Ryan believes and wrote the same bill with Akin on this very issue? In fact the two of them have voted on anti-women, anti-abortion bills more than 38 times in their time in office together and are friends.
    Romney cannot hide Ryan's Congressional record. Even the Republican Party just announced a party platform exactly in line wiith what Akin says he believes.
    Republicans have abandoned the middle class, women, Latinos, seniors, and are spending hundreds of millions of dollrars lying about Medicare, President Obama' true record, and hoping no one will notice all of their ads are called out by Fact Check orgs as " totally false" and "pants on fire lies".
    I stand with President Obama because he stands up and works consistently for ALL Americans, stands up for and respects the rights of women, and is a good man with innate values of character, honor, integrity, and a proven record of true leadership. The middle class is safest with President Obama looking out for us.

    August 23, 2012 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  17. Cynical Vet

    Biden mocks......anything? Letting Joe "Hair Club" Biden even open his mouth is like giving a monkey a loaded gun...and leaving it in the room with your campaign staff. He could do permanent damage to a campaign.

    Now, I personally hate Obama on a level that makes me physically tremble, so mock away, Joe you ole plagiarist!!!

    August 23, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  18. fernace

    Yeah, I've noticed a lot of "we must save the middle class" rhetoric from the Romney/GOTP camp of late! How sweet of them to remember us! However, where were y'all when you were watching Dubya drive us into the ditch? What ever happened to jobs, jobs, & more jobs? How can y'all defend the obstruction, filibustering & blocking of progress, that has been biz as usual on your watch? How do you reconcile the cutting/blocking/banning y'all have perpetrated in the name of education, womens healthcare, peoples jobs & pensions, civil rights.....I could go on, but suffice to say–Forward Obama-2012!

    August 23, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  19. Jerry

    How the 'Biggest Clowns" (Obamboozzeler/The Mouth Biden) can mock anyone is beyond me. Oh well...

    August 23, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  20. Joey

    Is it me or do Romney campaign team say the samething to their response to everything Obama/Biden say, besides the fact Romney never been to the inner city area/more ghetto of any city, which why he pole so low with African Americans, I guess that Romney for Poland gonna help someday!

    August 23, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  21. FedUp

    HI Joe. I'm the middle class. I vote for the best person, not a party. Since I don't like plagiarists, guess who I will be voting for. I like a strong defense. Guess who I will be voting for. I like to have a job. Guess who I will be voting for.

    August 23, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  22. Southeast

    Bush all over, wake up people. We can't let the republicans back in office ever.

    August 23, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  23. J.V.Hodgson

    Boy 12 mn new jobs ( 4 years) and Higher average pay for the middle class!!
    You will be hoist on a petard so high if you win you will put the Republican party into a decades long decline.
    because you also promise debt reduction to go with it. Nonsense.
    My god the genius that could pull that off would not just be able to walk on water... he/she could walk on thin air!!
    And an awful lot of us dont like your god like religious doctrine becoming law! we like FREEEEEDOM!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    August 23, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  24. GI Joe

    Yep – and they promise more, bigger, and better - and it won't cost a dime.

    August 23, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  25. justme

    HOW... ? how are "you people" just gonna make 12 million new jobs appear? ?? out of nowhere ..... tell us exactly what your going to do mr. Romney ...oh and no more fibbing please.

    August 23, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
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