Asheville, North Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney's campaign seized on what Republicans called a "stunning admission" made Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden when he said the middle class "has been buried" the last four years, putting the Obama campaign on defense.
During a campaign event in Charlotte, North Carolina, the vice president reiterated recent attacks against his Republican opponents: claiming that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's economic plans would raise taxes on middle class families.
Tune to CNN for Wednesday's presidential debate coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV, CNN.com and via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Web users can become video editors with a new clip-and-share feature that allows them to share favorite debate moments on Facebook and Twitter.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
"This is deadly earnest," Biden said. "How they can justify, how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years? How in the Lord's name can they justify raising their taxes? We've seen this movie before."
At a separate event hours later, Biden used slightly different language to make his point. While he argued middle income earners have been "buried," he attributed their struggles to Republican policies.
"The middle class was buried by the polices of Romney and that Ryan supported," Biden said. "What they're proposing is Bush economic policies on steroids- that’s what this is. But folks, the middle class is coming back. It's coming back like Americans always do."
Republicans, however, took off on part of Biden's original comments.
A tweet from Romney's account read: "Agree with @JoeBiden, the middle class has been buried the last 4 years, which is why we need a change in November."
A spokesman for his campaign went further.
"Vice President Biden made a stunning admission today and we couldn't agree more: the middle class has been 'buried' under the last four years of this President's policies," wrote Curt Cashour, the Virginia Communications Director for the Romney campaign.
"Under President Obama, the middle class has suffered from crushing unemployment, rising prices and falling incomes. They can't afford to be 'buried' for four more years. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will take our nation in a new direction and are offering exactly what hardworking families need – real reforms for a real recovery."
At a campaign event in Iowa, Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, also pounced on his counterpart's comments.
"Of course the middle class has been buried. They are being buried by regulations, they are being buried by taxes…they are being buried by borrowing, they are being buried by the Obama administration's economic failures," Ryan said. "You see the Obama economic agenda failed not because it was stopped, it failed because it was passed."
Though Biden's comments seemed intended to echo past comments – that middle class families have been hit hard in the trouble economy – they nonetheless forced the Obama campaign to go on defense.
"As the Vice President has been saying all year and again in his remarks today, the middle class was punished by the failed Bush policies that crashed our economy - and a vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is a return to those failed policies," an Obama campaign official said. "With more than five million private-sector jobs created since 2010, the Vice President and President Obama will continue to help the middle class recover and move the nation forward."
– CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.
Spin, Republicans, Spin.
The middle class *is* buried by Republican policies that brought on the recession. And the traction we had going to dig it out was thwarted by Republicans' who took office in 2010.
We do need a change in November. We need to get those Republicans removed from the House so the recovery can get back on track.
I will proudly NOT vote for Hussein Obama
The GOP is pathetic. This is what they do, sit around waiting for someone to say ANYTHING that they can use. The middle class has been buried thanks to the treasonous, traitorous GOP Congress. They are the ones that decided making President Obama a one term POTUS was their main priority. Not the jobs they promised. Do they really think Americans are that dumb? We know who put us in this mess, and we know who is working diligently to get us out and none of those names has an R behind it.
oh PLEASE!! Of course Biden was being truthful, but he was talking about the RECESSION!! I'd rather have a VP that recognizes the plight of the middle class than someone who would deny the suffering.
This is not an insult like the 47% comment!! not even close.
Biden tells audience middle class has been 'buried' last four years
By Amie Parnes – 10/02/12 01:33 PM ET
Keep telling the truth Biden. Obamacare alone killed the middle class.
Gordon Jones–Hey idiot..Obama's first two years he controlled the house and senate..R U that STUPID.. Go play dungeons and dragons some more..
gop care about the middle class yea right trying to use this to score points is there only thing they have
Yes...he said exactly how the Bush policies buried middle America and why it will take a decade of digging ourselves out of his mess....of two unfunded wars, tax breaks for the 2%, the unfunded drug benefit, and TARP signed in October 2008.
Forward not back to the failed policies of trickle down under Bush!
A Romney/ Ryan administration will be the best thing that can happen for the American middle class. The 12 million new jobs will not be for millionaires. Millionaires are not who will eventually have to pay off the huge national debt or the interest burden until it is paid down. High national debt absolutely falls on the middle class in several different ways. Certainly you will not hear this from Obama/ Biden 2012 but their objective is not to be forthright and honest... they are doing whatever they can to be reelected. The only hope they have is to mislead the middle class. Or try, anyway.
Vice President Biden said today (Tuesday Oct 2, 2012) that the middle class has been "buried the last four years". Biden made the remark at a campaign stop in Charlotte, N.C.
LOL, bite me Biden can’t open his mouth without sticking his foot in it.
I'm sick and tired of this Administration blaming everyone else. They had control for 2 years and could have done anything that they wanted. The proof is in their actions – not their words.... During those 2 years – they could have passed whatever immigration reform they wanted, they could have passed anything relating to LGBT rights – anything. But they didn't.... Doesn't that tell you something – they never supported any of it to begin with. Now – latinos, gay/lesbians are just political pawns – this Administration just tells you want you want to hear so you'll vote for them. This Administration mishandled the economy, foreign policy and healthcare. They were irresponsible and do not care 1 iota for the American citizen. They have the classic victim mentality – it's not me, it's everyone else.
And the kicker – now this Administration is telling our defense contractors not to follow the WARN law and give 60 day notification to the thousands of employees that are going to be laid off. And in exchange for not following the law – our WH has offered to cover any legal costs that result from this failure. Wow – the layoffs are expected on January 2 – the 60 day notification would be right around Nov 2 or 3. Gee, right before the election...? And for those of you who question whether the WARN law is applicable or not – why would the WH agree to cover the legal costs for compliance if it wasn't? The Administration knows this is wrong. Yet – they are putting their own political agenda ahead of thousands of Americans who are going to lose their jobs. And this Administration is all about the Middle Class. Give me a break.
And now – it's all Romney and Ryan's fault. Wonderful words from our VP plagurist.
And gostriter – do your homework. Salaries have absolutely not been stagnant since the 80's. No Republicans are supporting ending minimum wage.
Under Bush The Dems controlled the house and the senate.. You cant have it both ways..You blame congress now what happened under the Bush years.. One word, Democrats
Bush left half of TARP to Hussein Obama ($350 Billion).
Nice cover for Biden CNN: "Though Biden's comments seemed intended to echo past comments – that middle class families have been hit hard in the trouble economy – they nonetheless forced the Obama campaign to go on defense."
It takes 3-5 years for any government law or legislative policy to be implemented so decisions made and enacted in 2002-2005 kicked in 2007-2009 when the economy went off the cliff. Those years 2001-2005 are when the Republicans ran the House and Senate.