ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:
As the economy teeters on the brink of a double-dip recession and the campaign season gets underway, the political blame game has kicked off ahead of this fall’s mid-term elections.
With President Obama enjoying a week-long vacation at Martha’s Vineyard and Republicans on the stump criticizing the administration’s solution to the financial crisis, Vice President Joe Biden was on the defensive today, taking dead aim at the House Minority Leader, John Boehner.
“Mr. Boehner is nostalgic for those good old days, but the American people are not, they don’t want to go back, they want to move forward, and so folks, I’m still waiting for what it is that they are for,” Biden said. “[Republicans] think that the policies that they had in place during the eight years of the Bush administration, the ones that Mr. Boehner and his party helped craft themselves were the right ones.”
During a speech earlier today in Cleveland, Boehner, R-Ohio, said Democrats’ policies have failed to stimulate job creation and called on President Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers, chairman of the National Economic Council.
“We do not have the luxury of waiting months for the president to pick scapegoats for his failing ‘stimulus’ policies,” Boehner said. “We’ve tried 19 months of government-as-community organizer. It hasn’t worked. Our fresh start needs to begin now.”
Biden said that despite the high anticipation surrounding the announcement of the GOP’s economic agenda, the plan that Boehner laid out this morning does not declare specific policies that Republicans favor, but rather spells out the party’s opposition to economic policies Democrats have enacted and is merely a list of economic items Republicans believe President Obama should not do.
“After months of promising a look at his party’s agenda for their plans for America – their economic agenda … his chief proposal when you look at it, apparently was that the president should fire his economic team. Very constructive advice and we thank the leader for that,” Biden quipped.
The vice president also emphasized his belief that Democrats will hold onto their majorities in the House and Senate this November.
“I tell you they will not, they won’t take control,” Biden said.
Biden said that Republican control of Washington during the Bush administration led to greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and predicted a Republican-controlled Congress would only reinstitute the same policies that led to the financial crisis.
“For eight years before we arrived in the West Wing, Mr. Boehner’s and his party ran economy and the middle class literally into the ground,” Biden said. “We’ve seen this move before, Mr. Boehner. We’ve seen it before and we know how it ends. The American people deserve something different and something better.
The vice president also unveiled a new report today analyzing the impact of Recovery Act investments in innovation, science and technology. Biden said the Recovery Act invested more than $100 billion in innovative and transformative programs that span industries from energy to health information technology.
“We’re planting the seeds of innovation, but private companies and the nation’s top researchers are helping them grow, launching entire new industries, transforming our economy and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the process,” Biden said.
The vice president was joined today by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who said investments in science and technology are building the country’s infrastructure to spur economic growth and job creation.
“Thanks to investments made possible by the Recovery Act, we are unleashing the American innovation machine to change the way we use and produce energy in this country,” Chu said. “Just as importantly, these breakthroughs are helping create tens of thousands of new jobs, allowing the U.S. to continue as a leader in the global economy and helping to provide a better future for generations to come.”
– John R. Parkinson