August 22nd, 2012
06:40 PM ET
11 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. charlesName

    All I can say to romney is your a lier,con and will take from the middle class for your gain. So go back to your fantasy land and tell your lies to tinker bell. She mite believe u. LIER!!

    August 23, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Larry L


    And actually, the Middle Class is continuing to weaken and diminish in numbers, thanks to the Obama administration.
    It's not the Obama Administration that's serving as lap-dogs for the rich, preventing the closing of tax loopholes for the wealthy, planning to kill Medicare and Social Security, destroying Planned Parenthood, workng to kill labor unions, sending their money offshore, or declaring a war on women's rights. The recession started by the Bush Adminsitration is still felt because of the Republican plan (from the first day since the President took office) to obstruct all progress.

    Anybody who considers the Democrats anything but an advocate for the middle class and the poor is complely delusional. You've really got to get your information from an actual news source and stop logging hours and hourslistening to the lies and distortions of Rush, Sean and Glenn. They are rich, evil entertainers – nothing more.

    August 23, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Fair is Fair


    My question for the Romney/Ryan ticket, and all of it's supporters, would be how can their plan provide for 12 Million jobs when they keep telling us that the government doesn't create jobs?
    The only jobs the government can create are government jobs. The government can only create an environment conducive for a free market economy to prosper and expand, which results in the creation of jobs.

    August 23, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. Puddin

    Sorry, Joe, it ain't so......No one who obviously, knowingly deny the terrible economy was caused by the prior GOP administration and distorts the truth as Romney and Ryan do, are certainly not decent men. I can still hear the jaw-dropping statement by Mitch McConnell after the Repubs. won the House...."now let's not do anything to help Obama win a second term," and they haven't. They are so ignorant they don't take into consideration the amount of suffering they have caused millions of Americans who've lost their homes and jobs. It's unforgiveable, and a pox on them!!!

    August 23, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. ART

    Seems to me Keeping it real lives in an alternate universe just like old decrepit Texan.

    August 23, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Let's face it, the GOP led by P/Todd Ryan controlled both the House and Senate and the Executive branch during the previous administration and they squandered a surplus with the end result being record unemployment, high inflation, a housing crisis, a broken banking system, a middle class that's been outsourced, leaving the Obama administration to deal with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Now all of a sudden they say they want another at bat to strike us all out again? let's face it, the American people aint a game you can play with. You teapublicans want something to play with? Try Rafalca!

    August 23, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  7. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Romney is too chicken to speak in front of a Detroit audience because ever since he ran from combat during the Vietnam War under the Mormon Church's Draft Dodger Protection Program that allowed Willard to hide in France to avoid being exposed to potential injury and death, he's been running from battle ever since. Make no mistake; Romney is a yellow-bellied, chicken and coward. He proved he is unfit for combat and military duty (as are his cowardly, spoiled brat, rich sons) and for sure as hell doesn't deserve the respect of any American active member or U.S. Veteran, nor does he deserve to ever be considered to serve as Commander-in-Chief. Romney is the Supreme Liar and Coward-in-Chief.

    August 23, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. TY


    You are not telling the real just like your party. You sound like a REP, tea party queen. You just did not think of this 24 hours ago, this is who you are. So get real, anyone can read will know that you are a FAKE....

    August 23, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    Lies,ignorance, hate, greed, and racism is all the GOP and their minions excel in. Bunch of despicable sub-human sociopaths that aren't fit to dwell in society. I wish the worst upon them.

    August 23, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. Paul_I

    The Republicans see the middle class as those who pay more taxes so the upper class doesn't have to pay as much.

    August 23, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. bcrunner

    Here is the difference between the two parties: President Obama's policies are trying to help the middle class. Romney's policies so far are only intended for the rich. Please tell me one or two of his policies that target the middle class.

    August 23, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. Sniffit

    Biden's wrong. The GOP has know about the middle-class for decades. They consider it a nuisance and an inconvenience and that is why you can see their policies aimed directly at killing the middle-class for the past several decades. How dare we demand hiher salaries or a fair atx burden? How dare we vote en masse for programs like SS and Medicare? How dare we criticize policies that clearly and demonstrably redistribute the country's wealth upwards? No no no...the middle-class has to go...and the GOP has been trying to make that happen for DECADES.

    August 23, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. lolo

    Not a word about eight years of being run into the ground and you expect it to be cleaned up in four. Give me a break. You severly conservatives are really pathetic. Tell the truth and quit hiding behind GOD. The only reason you are voting for Romney is because he is rich and white. Romneyhood has not a clue about running government, but he can tell you how to get over on the government. He is just like the rest of you conservatives, don't want anyone else getting a piece of the pie. Quit using fox news to repeat that liberals are on welfare and don't want to work. What you fail to understand is that your manufacturing jobs were shipped to China by the Texan named Bush. and you will never see them again. If you do I want you to explain to me how you are going to take care of your family on minimum wages. Just like Bush (with China), Romney has sold his soul to the devil which is the Tea Party to become president by any means neccesary. Now that they are running the show he does not know how to extract himself from the situation, but the rest of America does. Romneyhood will not be able to hoodwink us so easily because he has so called business experience. That experience is stealing from the poor and giving to the rich period, you can bet $10,000.00 on that.

    August 23, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Joe's A-OK in my book. Fact is though, GOPers have rather strange ideas about the middle class and it's function in society. It's more of a "who should and who shouldn't" be allowed to live the American dream in all it's glory ideology. Reminds me of middle school, actually. The whole picking sides thingy, and who gets to tell who what to do.

    August 23, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Cynical Vet

    "I personally hate Obama on a level that makes me physically tremble"
    I would also urge you to seek help, and I would also add that you "disconnect" yourself from so-calld news sources and sites that promote division amongst us in order to increase their bottom line. That would include this site.

    August 23, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. Ed1

    I guess that's why the middle class has gone down the past three years of Obama why not just blame Bush that's all any of you can do blame and do nothing about jobs and the economy.

    Since Obama has been in office we are still down 316,000 less people employed so where are the 4.5 million jobs Obama says he has created the math doesn't add up just like you and Obama you can't add and nothing but lies.

    August 23, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. colleen

    Disagreement, Dislike does NOT = racism...

    again – to pretend that one party has the corner market on love and understanding while the OTHER party is full of hate and racism....

    Come on folks – don't you see how easily you are being manipulated? There are bad people on both sides; as well, there are good people on BOTH sides...

    we are all bought with a price..

    August 23, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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