ABC News’ Karen Travers reports:
Did Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) save the nation from an economic depression?
Vice President Joe Biden seems to think so.
At a Democratic Party fundraiser tonight in Pittsburgh, Biden credited Specter with casting a key vote for the Obama Administration’s stimulus package and convincing two Republican senators to join him.
“Without Arlen having convinced two of his Republican colleagues to change their vote and vote for the stimulus package, we would probably be in a depression,” Biden said. “Now, that counts for something.”
When Specter voted for the Recovery Act in February he was a Republican. He switched parties on April 28, after considerable nudging from his good friend, the vice president.
Biden has said before that the stimulus package was the key to pulling the economy back from the brink and preventing a depression.
“The Recovery Act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy, in changing the conversation about the economy in this country. Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we're talking about the end of a recession eight months after taking office,” the vice president said in a speech at the Brookings Institution on Sept.3.
Today, Biden said that for the millions of Americans without a job, “it’s a depression.”
Biden’s remarks about Specter came at the Allegheny County (PA) Democratic Committee’s annual Kennedy Lawrence Dinner, held at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Earlier in the night, Biden spoke at a fundraiser for Specter’s re-election campaign.