Vice President Joe Biden defended President Barack Obama’s State of the Union message calling for greater economic fairness, saying that statements by Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich accusing Obama of promoting food stamps are “ridiculous.”
Following the president’s speech last night, in which he called for greater economic fairness on taxes between the wealthy and middle class, Gingrich released a statement saying, “He will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair.”
“It’s hard to respond to Newt with those kind of ridiculous statements,” Vice President Biden told me on “GMA.” “Do they actually think that President Barack Obama wants to put everybody on food stamps? I don’t know what they mean by it quite frankly… There must be some base they’re trying to appeal to. I just don’t know.”
“We have a different priority set than Newt Gingrich and apparently… and our Republican colleagues have,” Biden added.
Biden also pushed initiatives promoted by Obama in his address, including incentives for businesses to return to the U.S. from overseas and calling for extending middle class tax cuts, which he said “should be done now, should be done immediately.”
“The president talked about what we do think is fair,” Biden told me. “It’s fair to give the middle class a fighting shot here, to bring home jobs, to incentivize companies to come home and manufacture here.”
And he expressed optimism that Congress is “going to get a lot more done” in the coming year, even during an election year, while following the president’s call for more executive authority to pass measures on his own.
“The American public is sick and tired,” Biden said. “It’s one thing to have a do-nothing Congress, it’s another thing to [have a] stop everything Congress. And I think they got the message. So I think we may get more done than people think this year.”