Vice President Joe Biden is sounding quite a bit like a candidate for president.
In a Thursday speech at Drake University in Iowa, Biden directly addressed the 2016 race and the economic vision he feels a Democrat should embrace to win.
“In my view those seeking to lead the nation should protect and defend and run — yes, run — on what we’ve done. Own what we’ve done,” he said. “And be judged on what we have done if we are to have any chance of continuing the resurgence in 2016.”
Biden’s speech touted a flurry of different policies to improve Iowa’s economy, and he decried the influence of money in politics. Striking a populist note and letting his voice dramatically rise and fall, the vice president advocated taxing “millionaires and billionaires” in order to deliver tax cuts for middle class families.
“I know I’m always referred to as ‘Middle Class Joe.’ In Washington, that’s not a compliment. That means supposedly I’m not sophisticated if I’m middle class. But I know what thing: The middle class built this country. The middle class built this country,” Biden said.
Hillary Clinton is by far the front-runner in the 2016 Democratic primary and she has long list of endorsements even though she claims she has yet to decide whether or not to run. Biden, in contrast, has not yet taken any of the tangible steps serious candidates typically do, such as hiring potential campaign staff. He said in January that he’ll decide whether to launch a White House bid later this year.
However, Biden’s Thursday speech certainly appeared to test potential campaign themes. For example, Republicans often accuse Clinton of running to be President Barack Obama’s “third term.” Biden argued Democratic candidates shouldn’t run from that attempted insult.
“It wasn’t that long ago that even members of my own party were saying that our economic path hasn’t worked. And they were looking to distance themselves. I think that would be a terrible mistake,” Biden said. “Some say that would amount to a ‘third term’ for the president. I call it ‘sticking with what works and what we ought to do.'”
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