While lambasting Republican nominee Mitt Romney for a plan that he said would raise taxes on most middle-class Americans, Vice President Joe Biden gaffed and said that same middle class has been “buried the last four years.”That’s just about as long as President Barack Obama has been in office.
Romney and Republicans pounced immediately, gleefully saying they couldn’t agree more with Biden’s “stunning admission” to a North Carolina crowd. The Obama campaign, meanwhile, decried it as “another desperate and out-of-context attack.”
“This is deadly earnest, man,” Biden said, urging on a crowd in Charlotte. “How they can justify — how they can justify — raising taxes on the middle class that’s been buried the last four years? How in Lord’s name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts?” he asked.
The Republican National Committee and Romney campaign immediately blasted out the video to reporters, and Mitt Romney’s Twitter account quickly follow with this tweet:
“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,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in an email. “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.”
The Romney campaign also held a conference call with former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu. But Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said Biden was simply relaying a point he frequently makes on the campaign — that the middle class was “punished by the failed policies” of President George W. Bush.
Here’s her statement:
“Another day, another desperate and out-of-context attack from the Romney campaign. 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. 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.”
Biden altered the line at a subsequent campaign stop in Asheville, N.C.
“The middle class was buried by the policies that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney supported,” Biden said.
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