Vice President Joe Biden says he understands the financial struggles of working parents with young children because he is “the poorest man in Congress.”
Biden, who earns a $230,700 annual salary, made the remarks before attendees at the first-ever White House summit on working families in Washington, D.C.
The VP’s attempt to highlight his modest upbringing and comparative poverty among high-profile politicians stirred speculation that he may have been deliberately drawing a contrast with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has spoken publicly of her wealth, or lack thereof.
Biden said people may look at him and say he has “a mildly expensive suit on” and that “he’s vice president of the United States of America,” but nevertheless, “this is the poorest man in Congress,” Biden told the crowd. “He still makes a lot of money as vice president of the United States, and I do, by the way, I do.”
“I don’t own a single stock or bond. … I have no savings accounts,” he said. “But I got a great pension and I got a good salary.”
“I’ve been really, really fortunate,” Biden said.
Biden’s net worth is estimated to be between $39,000 and $800,000 according to the Center for Responsive Politics. President Obama is estimated to be worth between $3 million and $8 million.
The median net worth for a member of Congress was $442,000 in 2012, according to Roll Call.
The Capitol Hill newspaper also found that more than four dozen members of Congress are in debt, with liabilities exceeding $500,000.
Clinton, who Biden could challenge for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, recently defended her comments to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that she left the White House “dead broke” and “in debt” while struggling to afford “mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education.”
Clinton has reportedly earned an average $200,000 per speaking appearance since leaving office.