Biden to Chair White House Task Force on Middle Class

"He is committed within the context of what he said at the time," Biden said of Obama. "He said he would at the time confer with the military leaders on the ground. We will be out of Iraq in -- in the same -- in the -- in the way in which Barack Obama described his position during the campaign. That will happen."

Biden: We Could Inherit $1 Trillion Deficit

Biden said the Obama administration could inherit a $1 trillion national deficit.

"We're going to inherit a deficit that's probably going to exceed a trillion dollars to begin with if we don't do anything, nothing at all," the vice president-elect told Stephanopoulos.

"If nothing happens between now and the time we take office on January the 20th, we're going to inherit the largest deficit in the history of the country," Biden told Stephanopoulos in his first interview since becoming vice president-elect.

Biden argued the Obama transition team is discussing a "big" and "bold" second stimulus package in the range of $600-$700 billion.

"The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in," Biden said. "Every single person I've spoken to agrees with every major economist. There is going to be real significant investment, whether it's $600 billion or more, or $700 billion, the clear notion is, it's a number no one thought about a year ago."

Biden: 'We Can't Worry About the Deficit'

Biden said the Obama administration can't afford to worry initially about the ballooning national deficit.

"As President-elect Obama said, we can't worry about the deficit in the short run. We can't worry about it right now," Biden said. "There is no short run other than keeping the economy from absolutely tanking. That's the only short run."

The vice president-elect said the Obama team is focused on cutting spending, creating jobs and infrastructure spending including the development of energy and information technology.

"We want to spend a fair amount of money investing in a new smart grid," Biden said.

"The ability to transmit across high-tension wires in the minds of most people in the public, or underground in these wires, wind and solar energy. You can't do that now. That would create tens of thousands of new jobs, high-paying jobs. It needs to be done and it will have a long-range payoff not just for next year and the following year, keeping the economy from nose-diving, begin to turn the nose of that aircraft up, but it will also change our energy picture. It will deal with global warming," he said.

Economy No. 1 Obama Administration Priority

The future vice president said the struggling economy will be the top priority for the Obama Administration next year.

"The whole idea here is the single most important thing we have to do as a new administration, to have -- to be able to have impact on all of the other things we want to do, from foreign policy to domestic policy, is we've got to begin to stem this bleeding here and begin to stop the loss of jobs in the creation of jobs," he said.

When asked what will happen if the automakers do not meet the strict conditions set out this week by the Bush administration for their bridge loan to the auto industry, Biden said, "We're going to do everything we can to help meet those conditions. Look, every stakeholder has to get in this deal. It's clear there's going to have to be some real sacrifices made."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
A Gilchrist county sheriffs car sits at the end of a trailer home where 7 members of a family were slain by their grandfather in Bell, FL, Thursday, Sept., 18, 2014. The grandfather, Don Spirit, pictured, also killed himself.
Phil Sandlin/AP Photo | Gilchrist County Sheriffs Office
PHOTO:
St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church in Ecorse Michigan
PHOTO: Strawberries and cream are a healthy--and delicious--pairing to enjoy after a workout.
EMWestwood Photography/Getty Images