Vice President Joe Biden struck a sympathetic tone when asked about the Occupy Wall Street protests at The Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum.
“The core is the bargain has been breached with the American people…The banks are not paying their fair share,” he said.
Asked if he was worried about being perceived as anti-business, Biden said “99% of the American people won’t believe that,” adding he’s not too concerned with what the banks think.
Biden also piled onto the administration’s criticism of Bank of America’s checking account fee, saying “At a minimum they are incredibly tone deaf.”
He added that “there’s a lot in common with the Tea Party,” in that they are both populist movements angry with banks.
Biden says the economy is recovering, but not at the pace the administration would like. “The car is out of the ditch…but it is only chugging along at 25mph when they are used to going 60,” he said.
Biden says he believes the Republican leadership is “seriously hamstrung” by a divided party saying, “I truly believe if Eric Cantor, Joe Biden, John Boehner, Barack Obama,” were in a room, they could have worked out a jobs and deficit deal ‘grand bargain.’
Acknowledging that he and Obama face political headwinds because of the bad economy, Biden said “that is never a good place to be going into a re-election.”
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