VP Biden Tells Unemployed Americans to “Hang in There” (Yahoo! News interview)

By Eliza

Jan 28, 2011 3:48pm

ABC News' Karen Travers reports: As part of the Obama Administration’s social media outreach this week, Vice President Biden sat down with Yahoo! News’ Anna Robertson for a wide-ranging interview that included questions from sent in from internet users

You can view the interview clips on Yahoo! News by clicking HEREand click on Newsmakers.

Biden said that while the economy is starting to grow, he understands there it is still painful for the millions of Americans still looking for work.

“The message is hang in there,” he said. “Things are coming back.”

Biden had an interesting answer for a questioner who wanted to know what the best “nonpolitical” thing someone can do to help turn around the economy.

He first noted that Americans can be more conscious about their energy consumption but then said they can also be more aware about their own physical health and well being.

“One of the major drivers of the deficit and the cost are health care costs, particularly as it relates to Medicare and Medicaid,” he said. “So one of the ways to impact, as strange as it sounds, on the federal debt, on economic growth, on the cost of maintaining health care in America is don't smoke, eat healthy, do not consume junk foods.

Biden was coy when asked what he said to House Speaker John Boehner during Tuesday’s State of the Union that had the Ohio lawmaker smiling. 

“The essence of what I was saying was, ‘John, we got a lot of work to do.  Did you hear that — that’s a good idea the President just had there’ — you know, joking back and forth a little bit about how we had to make things work,” he said.

Noting that there could be “terrible and really hard fights” on policy between Republicans and Democrats, Biden said “you don’t have to be disagreeable when you disagree.”

“I think that part of changing the mood here is have a healthy debate about our differences, but not personalize it,” he said.

Biden admitted to seeing The Onion spoof article that describes him washing a 1981 Trans Am – shirtless – in the White House driveway and called it “hilarious.”

“I am flattered that they acknowledge the skits on me are totally inconsistent with my personality, which I think, thank god, instead of the things that really are going on,” he said. “By the way, I have a Corvette, a ’67 Corvette, not a Trans Am. 

“I think it’s hilarious, the stuff that I’ve seen about me,” the vice president said. “I just, I guess you’re not supposed to encourage it by laughing at yourself.”

Biden said that he uses his iPad six to seven times a day for “almost everything,” including downloading speech material and reading news.

The vice president does not have any games loaded on the iPad – he said he would waste too much time playing Solitaire and Scrabble is out because he “can’t spell at all.”

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