Biden: McCain Has Had an ‘Epiphany’

By Julia Hoppock

Sep 16, 2008 11:04am

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden Tuesday blamed the nation’s current economic problems on the Bush administration and urged voters not to give another Republican like John McCain a chance to fix them.

"Who got us in this hole, whose policies?" Biden said on CBS’s ‘The Early Show.’   "This has been a Republican philosophy of letting Wall Street do what they want and the middle class be damned. It’s about time we change it.  If I sound like I’m angry, I am fighting mad for middle class people who have been the scapegoat of this economy because of the policies of the McCains and the Bushes."

Biden continued to lambast McCain for his comment Monday in Jacksonville that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" but then later releasing an ad noting that "the economy is in crisis."

"It seems like John’s had an epiphany," Biden told CBS’s Maggie Rodriguez. "9 o’clock yesterday morning John thought the economy was going great guns and the Bush administration is doing well and today he thinks it’s in crisis."

In another Tuesday morning appearance on NBC’s ‘Today’ show, Biden spoke out against a government bailout of embattled insurance giant AIG, instead arguing that the government should look at the source of the problems.

"We should try to correct the problems that caused this," he said. "And what’s caused this? The profligate tax cuts to the very, very wealthy that John wants to continue."

When NBC’s Meredith Vieira pointed out that "many economists" believe that tax increases for the wealthy would hurt the struggling economy, Biden replied, "I don’t know any economists who are saying that."

The Delaware lawmaker said the money from these taxes should be distributed among the middle-class, allowing people to "stay in their homes, to buy food, to take care of the gas, to fill up their tank, to be able to go out and buy a toaster."

Republicans responded by arguing that the the Democratic running mates should worry less about toasters and more about jobs.

"John McCain’s economic plan is focused on adding jobs, and the Obama-Biden plan is focused on adding ‘toasters’ – it’s revealing," said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant. "The irony is that Obama’s agenda would make it harder for Americans to buy household appliances like toasters."

When asked by NBC’s Meredith Vieira why the Democratic ticket’s lead in the polls has dwindled, Biden predicted that the Obama-Biden advantage would grow "now that people are starting to focus again," while blaming the recent losses on "scurrilous" Republican ads that are "simply not true".

"It’s because they had a great convention," Biden told Vieira. "It’s because they misled people and said we’re going to raise taxes on middle-class people — which every econometric model, everyone acknowledges is not true. It’s because of the scurrilous ads they’ve been running against Barack Obama that are just simply not true."

"It’s about time we get a life here and look at who’s been in charge," he said.

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