September 3rd, 2012
01:34 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden not hesitant on 'better off' question

(CNN) – His fellow Democrats may have struggled over the weekend to answer the question "are Americans better off now than they were four years ago," but Vice President Joe Biden addressed the query head on at a rally in Detroit Monday, saying it was clear President Barack Obama's accomplishments have put Americans in a better place.

"Folks, let me make something clear," Biden said at the Labor Day event. "I'll say it to the press. America is better off today than they left us when they left."

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Biden's remarks came after a day of clean-up for Democrats, some of whom struggled to answer the "four year" question on television Sunday. Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said on CBS the answer was "no" before suggesting it was the wrong question to ask.

O'Malley, along with spokesmen for the Democratic National Committee and Obama's campaign, both appeared again Monday to say the economy was doing better today than it was in 2008, pointing to accomplishments made by the president in staunching job losses.

In Detroit Monday, Biden also pointed to Obama's singular foreign policy achievement, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the successful recovery of the American auto industry, as examples of how the country was now in a better place than 2008.

"You want to know whether we are better off? I've got a better off. Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!" Biden proclaimed, using a favorite campaign line.

Mitt Romney's campaign disputed Biden's claim, writing "the truth is that the middle class has been crushed in the Obama economy."

"Americans aren't better off than they were four years ago, and they deserve a president who recognizes that," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote.

Filed under: Economy • Joe Biden
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Jamie

    Labor Day has been canceled due to a lack of jobs. Today is now Empty Chair Day. Put an empty chair in your front yard. Thank you Clint, for bringing this to our attention!

    September 3, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Italmn

    We are absolutely better off and more secure. The Bush Administration destroyed this country and it wil be felt for years to come. And it should not be forgotten for many years to come eighter. This President has put his Policies and people in place for the better of this country, not to mention the Obama Care aka: A.C.A. Ended the war, ended Bin Ladin ect. Yes we all are better now than we were 4 years ago. He has done an unbelieveable job putting us on the right track to a better, safer, stronger, united in standing for equality & human rights, protecting the working class and the poor and unfortunate people of this country. He's the Best POTUS we have ever had in History.

    September 3, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. bcarreiro

    America will be "WORSE OFF" with another george bush for president. It is congressional republicans that have blocked we (the 98%) from a level of stability as the 2% haven't taken the hit.

    September 3, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. independent, in Texas

    I agree with you Joe and Gurgyl, we are much much better off now then at the end of the GOP's last reign of economic terrorism...........Obama/Biden 2012.

    September 3, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. T'sah From Virginia

    Joe, you are absolutely right. We are lot better off now than four years ago. No wars, no looting. We are 100000000 times better off now than GOP idiotic rule.◄…

    No terrorist attacks, job creation and not losing jobs, no depression, the market is doing great and according to RobME, the BIG Corps are doing good and that’s because they're sitting on trillions of dollars and NOT hiring and the good part about that, jobs are still being created under President Obama; we have universal health care – YES, we are BETTER OFF than 4 years ago when jobs were being lost at 800,000 a month, the auto industry was DEAD and the housing market has tumbled. But get this, my neighbor just bought a house and my sons are "carpeting their ashes off" on new homes being built – so YES, we are better off than we were 4 years ago...

    The Republicans have opened up a can of "whoop-ass" by bringing this question to the front and it’s going to slap them in the face because we have MANY positive ways of answering it!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward and YES, We Know You Built That, We ALL Did!!

    September 3, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Gloria in NW

    People who don't understand what this president has accomplished (health care, saving auto industry, stopping catastrophic job loss, to name a bare few) in spite of constant GOP obstruction are simply not interested in facts. They hate any person of color in the Whitehouse, and want him out, even if it means voting against their own interests. I fear for our future if they gain complete control of the Government. And for those of you having tantrums because you didn't get all you expected from President Obama right away, get real. What exactly did you expect when the GOP answer to everything has been NO. No one is perfect, but this man has shown the most grace under the most pressure of anyone I have seen lately. Oh, and just for the record, I am a 69 year old lily-white woman who recodnizes the GOP lies when I see them. For all you seniors willing to support Romney and Co., shame on you. You will help to bring us all down.

    September 3, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Jerubbaal

    Welcome to my parlor said the spider to the fly. The Dems can now remind all where we actually were 4 years ago and where we are now as remind people that it was the repubs who caused all that hurt and pain.

    September 3, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Solus5

    "Folks, let me make something clear," Biden said at the Labor Day event. "I'll say it to the press. America is better off today than they left us when they left." What is that suppose to mean..

    Oh.. Auto bailout..- GM did file for bankruptcy one week after getting the money.. Dealerships closed down but the unions got thier money..

    Bin Laden is dead.. Thanks to the interrogation tactics approved by Bush.. Not to mention that BO had at least one other confirmed opportunity to kill Bin Laden in which he didn't pull the trigger.. Clinton has many..

    I can't wait for Biden's speech.. Slow down the teleprompter so he can get it right!

    September 3, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Nena

    Better Off=100%

    September 3, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Four Years Ago?

    I'm better off than I was four years ago – and I'm far more optimistic than I was four years ago.

    Four years ago this country was in a nose dive.

    September 3, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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