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.
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"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.
Yes, Joe, the American people know they have been crushed by you, Obama and the Democrats the last 4 years. It is why we are sending ALL of you on permanent leave in November. Only then can a true recovery begin. Start packing your bags.
Joe Botox Biden, the gift that just keeps on giving.
Wow, refreshingly honest candor from Joe Biden. Finally someone admits within the Obama administration that they failed the middle class.
Joes right.. His only shortcoming was in not going a lot further back than 4 years.
Nice try Curt Cashour. Dream on if you think this is cause for Romney the Puppet Liar to gain voters.
Middle Class has been suffering not because of Obama but because the Rethugs refuse to pass anything that will help the middle class. Guys like Ryan made a pact with other Repubs on Jan 20, 2009 to not passing anything if it meant Obama was too fail and the Rethugs got control all chambers of government.
Nice try Repubs to spin and deflect.
This won't help republicans win middle class voters. This is why republicans can't win they are back to reacting instead of being proactive. We have already started voting for Obama/Biden and for all Democrats. We know who has our best interest at heart and cares about all Americans and it is not Romney/Ryan.
""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 . . ."
Can you believe this? The Obama team blames Joe Biden remarks on Bush. Like: "Hey, everybody, it's Bush fault that Joe is telling the truth about the failed four years of Obama-Biden."
I am sure he meant the do nothing congress...which is really stunning!
Wow the GOP took only half the quote (again) and is trying to lay blame based on a partial statement. Just think of the revisionist history if they win...
There's no admission about it. Checkt he congressional scorecard on the approval ratings for each party. Both abysmal, but the GOP comes out worse AND the Dems score higher on who is trusted to handle the economy. This is just more rope the Mittens campaign is latching onto. Do they REALLY want to have a debate about who over the past 4 years has caused the recession to linger, the recovery to stall and prevented the work of the people to be done in the House and Senate? Do they REALLY want us to start trotting out commercials with the facts an figures about the record-setting filibuster rate the GOP/Teatrolls have set, the record setting delays in nomination hearings, the record-setting secret holds and other procedural shenanigans they've engaged in to prevent congress from doing anything to help improve the economy?
Brass tacks: We can show pretty convincingly that the GOP/Teatroll strategy of the past 4 years has been to set themselves up for being able to claim forevermore "well, look what happened last time you elected one of "them"."
Republicans are the kind of people who after breaking a chair, will rig it so that the next person who sits in it will appear to have broken it, and they can point the finger at them.
Even biden knows the uhbama is a disaster.
Hay romney the tax cheat , ago grasping at straws and go home , you already lost and the middle class is hurting because of gop obstruction on jobs bills and any other bill that would help the economy , and guess what ,every body in the country knows it, except the gop fox dope channel watchers and the braindead gop idiot party diehard voters .that's why you will. Lose !!!!!
Can we please send Biden on a foreign trip until November 7th???
Yeah. Take that one and run with it, irrelevant Party of the nation's past.
Just goes to show how pathetic Willard's campaign has become. They'll wait for anything the President or Vice President says just to have a sound bite. Whereas on the other hand, the President doesn't need a sound bite. He actually has footage of Willard stating "“there are 47 percent of people who believe that they are victims.” Must we show the tape again Willard?
Why does the Obama camp have to go defense? Anybody with a brain knows what's ture it's no the POTUS its Congress ask the house or lying Ryan or mitch McConnell oh how about. Grover norquist was pledge is much more important than a vow to we the people of the USA.
OBAMA /BIDEN 2012
I bet any Romney supporter $10,000, Mitt Romney try to campaign as the Republican moderate he pretended to be in when running for Governor.
Is that all Repubs. got; Gotcha Crap ? They sound like a bunch of Fifth-Graders.
What is so new in this statement. WE all know that the middle class has been hurt during this decline. Mr. Romney has been harping on that and Mr. Obama states we need a strong middle class but do not have one right now.
Give me a break Mr. Romney. Stop jumping on statements and start telling us how you would make changes and what you would do. In some cases you might have a good solution but in others, such as foreign policy, you have no experience. Give us names of people who will advise you.
"House GOP wants State Dept. to answer for Libya security"
Translation: This is the GOP/Teatroll strategy for finding some tenuous excuse for impeachment hearings and to avoid working on any legislation to help the economy and jobs for the next 4 years. They already know they've lost the WH.
simply put ! Buried by the recession ! I guess Romney wants me to believe that Obama caused the banks to fail ,
The housing market to burst and Bush to break us with trillion dollar wars and trillions in tax cuts to the rich!
The middle class was Buried and OBAMA has been getting us out !
Maybe a new slogan for you Joe : Binladen is dead and the middle class is buried alive under the last 4 years of this administration. Kinda rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?
Here they go again, small minded attacks! President Obama and VP Biden are busy doing bigs things for USofA. I trust Biden and PresObama! Not these two clowns!