October 2nd, 2012
04:02 PM ET
9 years ago

Romney camp seizes on 'stunning admission' by Biden

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.

Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Joe Biden • North Carolina
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Yonni

    This means that Romney campaign team is changed by accident again by a gaff from Joe. This clearly tells me that they have no coherent message of there on. Waiting for a gaff just like a bird wait for a seed/grain.

    October 2, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Khaleeshi

    Like the vulture that Romney is, he just waits in the shadows for some small word he can grasp hold of and say "look at them, look at them" – no matter how stupid it makes him look. Ugh, Romney/Ryan are so pathetic. Explain how 5 trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy are going to be paid for Willard and Lyin Ryan – by eliminating deductions the working class counts on like the mortgage interest deduction, child tax credits, eduction credits, and charity? Your numbers don't add up.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 2, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Yes, the middle class has been buried........because Obama made no effort to create jobs, at ALL!

    October 2, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. madnessofjack

    Lets see......who's been president for the last 4 YEARS !
    Ummmm......"Summer of Recovery"......."Stimulus"......how about "Solyndra"......GREEN ENERGY....Current GDP 1.3% THE LOWEST SINCE OBAMA TOOK OFFICE AND THE LOWEST SINCE REAGAN, Lowest labor participation rate since 1980.


    October 2, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Calif Conservative

    Biden admitting the democrats (two years owned a super majority with two ind. caucusing with democrats) with a super majority killing off the middle class.


    October 2, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. ghostriter

    sniffit, I agree. The difference being criticizing a full video vs. taking Romney's "I like firing people" comments for a ride. Though it does seem democrats make a funny commercial and then they let it go. Republicans will run with it till the wheels fall off.....

    October 2, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. once upon a horse

    I think if Obama or Biden had said the sun was shining at turned out it was cloudy the Romney campaign would have jumped on that also. The only ones falling for this stuff are the ones that are going to vote for Romney no matter what ans to this point that group seems to be shrinking.

    October 2, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |

    Meh. Mitt Romney's 47% remarks resonate more than than his campaign's pathetic effort to take a statement out of context. "You didn't build that..." fizzled just as this will. How on earth is anyone voting for this joke of a team? No ideas. No specifics. No substance. I miss Sarah Palin.

    October 2, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Marty, FL

    This unfortunately illustrates again the problem with Romney's campaign, desperately trying to cling onto the news cycle of the day while failing to focus on the bigger issues and giving no specifics.

    October 2, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Squigman

    Burned by a bunch of republicans, elected to congress.

    October 2, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Patrick in Wisconsin

    robby davis, if you really want to play that game of crying yourself asleep over 4 Americans dying on 9/11 this year, where was all your grief when thousands of Americans have died in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars? It's a legitimate question.

    October 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. ghostriter

    Laughable. Republicans haven't given a hoot about immigration, abortion, unemployment, unemployment for minorities, overseas jobs or anything else they have suddenly gained insight on since 2009. The middle class being on the list.

    If so, why do republicans support ending min wage? Why have salaries been stagnant since the 80's? Why have republicans defended excessive CEO pay while decrying the min wage?

    Companies have enjoyed their employees putting more hours with less pay (and sometime without overtime) over the past 20 years. Median household income has been stagnant at best for years. Why act like you guys care now?

    October 2, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. km4candles

    For once can Obama and Biden please make a statement that doesn't have "Bush" in it? I didn't like Bush that much either, but for the love of pete, enough is enough. Man up and admit to at least some of their failures. I'd have much more respect for them if they would just once shut up about Bush!

    October 2, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. e320dq

    Regardless what happens this election, will someone please follow Joe Biden around with a microphone and see what comes out of that guy's mouth – pure classic comedy!

    October 2, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. robert Davis

    I was outraged but there you guys go again.Like Obama never answering the question..you answer a question with another one..Pathetic... COVER UP !!! same as fast and furious

    October 2, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. Sameer Gupta

    Yeah they have been buried by a highly polarized congress, and a deep recession that kept the Obama administration occupied preventing it from turning into a full fledged depression caused by Bush-era policies that caused the United States government go from sub 30% debt to GDP ratio to above 50% and wipe four straight balanced budgets under Clinton completely out.

    October 2, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. Syd

    Ok, so let me get this straight.: reiterating what Romney/Ryan has been saying about Obama/Biden all this time is a gaffe to the Romney/Ryan campaign, yet a full video (in context) of Romney saying "47% of Obama voters don't take responsibility" was just "taken out of context." Wow, talk about a down and out Romney/Ryan campaign.

    October 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. 200 TON HAMMER

    Mittens just scared thats all,its ok mittens you be ok back in the rich private life as a free richman but never President so chilled mittens

    October 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. robert Davis

    Obama has not given a crap about immigration till 3 months prior to the election.He controlled the house and senate for two years and could of gotten anything passed.. He did it to win votes, just like everything else he's said over the past few months..He want's voted because he cant run on his record..How much is the Obama campaign paying you guys to post this stuff..A bunch of complete morons !!!!!!

    October 2, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Calif Conservative

    "I'd feel sorry for democrats if they weren't so stupid" ~JG

    October 2, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. ourjungle

    Some one please duct tape Biden's mouth until after the election.

    October 2, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Woman In California

    Romney and Ryan have no interest in helping those they refer to as "victims" and I have no interest in them either.

    Middle-class for Obama / Biden 2012.

    October 2, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Gordon Thomas Jones

    Get real you Republican idealogues. Middle class burial began on your watch, under then President Bush – you know – the Mission Accomplished guy. Every attempt by President Obama to dig out the middle class and put them on the road to recovery was deliberately blocked by Boehner and crew – that includes Sarah Ryan. Now, time to stop your juvenile rants and link arms with the rest of America to get America going again.

    October 2, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. rla

    Finally he said something that was truthfull– Not that we needed him to say it. Now let's hope the midddle class has the (--) to vote for Romney and Ryan who will actually understand the problem and do something about it! Have not all the democrat inspired minorities gotten worse after billions and decades of LIBERAL?PROGRESSIVE HELP???

    October 2, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "sniffit, I agree. The difference being criticizing a full video vs. taking Romney's "I like firing people" comments for a ride. Though it does seem democrats make a funny commercial and then they let it go. Republicans will run with it till the wheels fall off....."

    Correct. Everyone knew that Mittens "I like firing people" was nothing more than (at most) a freudian slip...something that came out wrong but gave a teeny glimpse into what kind fo thoughts rattle around in his addled mind while engaged in massive doublethink. Joke ads, a little slap and tickle if you will, and liberals move on. Teatrolls on this site will be trying to "hammer" Obama and Biden using this out-of-context quote from Biden until November and might even ressurrect it in 2016. The difference is that they believe their own BS and desperately DESPERATELY believe they can convince others to believe it as well, if only they repeat it often enough and shout it loud enough.

    October 2, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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