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Joe Biden says GOP stymied 'progress' in boosting economy

May 22, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Keene State College in Keene, N.H.
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Keene State College in Keene, N.H. (Jim Cole / Associated Press )

It's come to this: Joe Biden compared Mitt Romney to a horse.

The vice president, campaigning in New Hampshire on Tuesday, argued that Romney has it wrong when he tells voters that things "have gotten much worse" and that Obama administration policies are to blame.

Biden was armed with a chart that showed monthly job losses that grew in the final months of the George W. Bush administration began to diminish after President Obama took office, and eventually turned into job growth.

"Things have markedly changed. We climbed out of the God-awful hole this economy was thrown in," he said.

Biden listed the stimulus bill, tax cuts for the middle class and businesses, and the auto industry recovery as reasons why, and he blamed the new Republican majority in the House for blocking further action.

"Imagine where we would be if the Republicans in Congress hadn't played brinksmanship with the national debt," he said. "Imagine where we'd be if the tea party had not taken control of the House of Representatives."

Biden also said Romney would be party to GOP efforts to return to the Bush policies that the vice president argued led to the economic collapse.

"The governor's philosophy seems to be, whatever the last administration does, let's do it and do more," Biden said. "They begin to sound like the horse that just won the Derby and the Preakness -- I'll Have Another. Except the horse is a real winner!"

Again and again, Biden used the word "progress" when discussing the economy, a message that may have more resonance in the Granite State, where the 5% unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation, than in Ohio, where he campaigned last week.

But as in Ohio, Biden defended the Obama campaign's strategy of questioning whether Romney's tenure as the head of venture capital firm Bain Capital qualified him to be president.

Acknowledging the approach has its critics, even within the Democratic Party, Biden repeated Obama's comments Monday that the job of a president is different than someone in private equity, whose focus is simply to create wealth for investors.

"Making money for your investors, which Romney did very well, is not the president's job. The president has a different job," he said. "That no more qualifies you to be president than being a plumber."

When companies managed by Bain shed workers, it cost taxpayers money in the form of unemployment benefits and pension guarantees, Biden added.

Speaking before Biden's event, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu criticized the Bain Capital offensive as an attack on free enterprise, and said it was "embarrassing, nauseating, and disappointing Democrats."

"When you attack free enterprise, you're attacking the American way of life," he said. "The very things that the Obama administration would like to have happen -- private equity invest to create jobs -- they are now going out and attacking. It doesn't make sense."

Sununu said Bain's full track record in creating jobs compares favorably to Obama administration efforts to invest in clean-energy companies such as Solyndra: "If you want to talk about Bain as a whole, that is fair. If you want to talk about Bain on a cherry-picking basis, that's a distortion."

Original source: Joe Biden says GOP stymied 'progress' in boosting economy 

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