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.
Smart people know why and when the middle class started eroding and that it has been Republicans that have done everything they can to hurt the middle class for the past several decades
Republican just cry about everything, bush and the Republican made this great country suffer. I hope Americans kick out these tea party Republicans they are no good for American
I really wish both sides would end this word play game. As much as I enjoy hearing everyone have fun with this, it is really demeaning to the people to take these snipets and make them campaign themes.
This is news? We are in trouble as a nation.
Very lame, desperate move by repugnicans. Wow, how transparent can that be!
Do they really think that Americans forgot how they got buried in the first place.?
Of course the middle class has been buried the last four years! As previously noted by many, the Bush years were going to linger for a while. Many are just now seeing the sun shine thanks to the work done by President Obama. That's why a Romney/Ryan administration would be so devastating. It would just be a return to the Bush policies that caused so much damage.
GOP reaching for anything yes buried the last 4 years, by the bush tax cut and mitch mcconnell comments, I see no game changer here.
That would be funny if it wasn't already common knowledge. Obama = fail. Biden = fail squared.
We have not dug ourselves out of the hole we fell into in late 2007/ early 2008, when the recession began. Republicans will bury the middle class deeper into the hole by taking away government assistance to middle class families, effectively raising their taxes. What is the gaffe?
Republicans cry about a terror attack that left 4 dead americans..Where is the outcry for this. I'm sure you liberals will say ,just you republicans whining..Media and Dems should be ashamed
"Buried" as in being at the receiving end of Repubs who have done everything in their power to offshore jobs, obstruct everything the President has tried to do and believes, along with Mittens, that 47% of our country are blood-sucking ticks.
President Obama's policies are HELPING our country – and we'd be doing a lot better if teabaggers weren't in Congress, Repub governors weren't laying off public employees (the unemployment rate would be closer to 7%), Repub Congresspeople and Senators hadn't sworn allegiance uber alles to Grover Norquist, and if the GOP didn't put power and money ahead of our nation.
Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice
Yea, we've been buried. Bush and the Republicans buried us and President Obama is still trying to dig us out, while at the same time the Republicans keep trying to throw more dirt on us. WE'RE NOT STUPID!!!
Romney is pathetic! If Obama or Biden f art, the GOP will pounce! LOL! I can see the headlines now: "GOP Pounces on Biden's F art"! lmao!
Is that the best the GOP can do... alter the meaning by taking something out of context. Here's my latest Romney quote taken out of context, "We .... will ... lose!"
Romney and the Republicans want to take this country back to the dark days of the Great Recession. Here is what their Policies will do for the Middle-Class. Their Policies from 2001 to 2008 brought this great nation to its knees, their policies caused the Great Recession, their policies wiped out almost 10,000,000 jobs as a direct result of the Great Recession, their policies wiped out retirement savings for tens of millions of Americans as a direct result to the Great Recession, their policies took a $1 trillion surplus to a $13 trillion deficit, their policies resulted in the decline in the percentage of Americans that are in the middle class, their policies resulted in tens of millions of Americans without healthcare, their policies resulted in millions of Americans losing their homes, and the list goes on. Romney’s idea of caring for those that are struggling is the implement the same Republican policies that were in place that decimated those that are struggling today.
How can any Americans think that Romney/Ryan policies would be better for the Economy. The only way for anyone to think that is if they are suffering from total amnesia. Have people forgotten what happened in 2007/2008 and the years leading up to the Great Recession. It was the exact same policies that Romney is advocating now that caused the Great Recession. Are we that dumb to think that these same policies that caused the Great Recession will somehow magically make the economy better.
I guess Romney/Ryan think we are all stupid and don’t know the truth and can’t remember the dark days of the great recession of 2007 and 2008 and the years leading up to it.
The choice is clear. Do we want to go back to the exact same policies (Romney/Ryan current policies) that brought America (this great Nation) to its knees or do we want to continue to build on the recovery.
President Obama's policy helping america- O.K He's helping people get on food stamps,free cell phones. He will go down as the worst President in history..It's funny that he was suppose to bring this country together.. We are now more divided than ever and america has never been weaker .. You liberals embrace for how bad it will get under another 4 years of Obama. Especially when he can do whatever he wants because he no longer needs your votes. Cover up after cover up. You blame congress and bush for all the problems.Remember Dems controlled the house and senate under Bush.. Oh,it's different..I forgot
Joe was referring to how long it has taken us to dig out of the near disaster of our economy by the Bush administration in Sept of 2007. I MEAN, OUR ECONOMY WAS ALMOST OVER and President Obama, WITHOUT THE HELP OF REPUBLICAN LOSERS IN CONGRESS, has steadily been bringing us back over the past 4 years..THAT'S WHAT HE MEANT. REPUBLICANS--LOSERS THAT KEEP ON LOSING.
All I can say is
"I really wish both sides would end this word play game."
There is a major substantive difference between people criticizing the video of Mittens talking about the 47%, which showed everything VERSUS Mittens' campaign yet again pulling this nonsense with latching onto 304 words out of context.
When the repugs in Congress ( mcconnell: "our number one goal is to make Obama a one-term President" ) are blocking every effort by Obama to move the economy forward, no one should be surprised that the middle income is suffering. It's much easier to stop bills from passing than to pass them.
Ask mitts how he has done under Obama's term.
Thank you, Mr. Biden! The truth may be a bitter , hard pill to swallow, but it will set you free. To bad the President is using Chicago style of politics, when he told Locheed-Martin not to follow the rules of the WARN BILL, by notifing their work of a lay off, 60 days before it happens and then unethically will use taxpayers money to pay their legal fines for not doing so. Another reason not to re-elect Obama!!!
'latching onto 304 words out of context."
Obviously meant "3-4"
Of course we have been buried the last four years. Only Republicans refusing to vote outside of their party affiliation would purposely or foolishly forget that Republican policies created this crisis. Do people really think that we only need 4 years to recoup from those policies? If so then they are either stupid, stubborn, or have short memories.
Tax Evasion.I guarantee he paid more in taxes in one year then you did your entire life..I forgot,you don't pay taxes..I can also promise that he gave more in charity in one year then obama,biden and all the dems in the senate..
I guess no one is going to reply about the cover up on the embassy attacks..Go figure..Like Obama he can't run on his record so he goes after his opponent..