Vice President Joe Biden kicked off the Obama administration’s 2012 general election campaign on Sunday by attacking Mitt Romney’s record on job creation and his positions on social and foreign policy.
“What is Romney proposing?” Biden asked on NBC’s Meet the Press. “How is he going to create jobs? He talks about another 2 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy, is that how he's’ going to create jobs? What is the plan?”
The Obama campaign launched officially on Saturday, with the president speaking in Ohio and Virginia to promote his own record on job creation and slow-but-steady growth in the economy. Biden’s appearance on Sunday continued the effort.
Biden questioned Romney’s success as a business leader and said that Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 states in job creation during Romney’s tenure as governor. Biden said Romney is committed to an economic plan that stands in the way of recovery, favoring tax cuts for the rich and a conservative budget plan offered by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis..
“The good news is these guys aren’t hiding the ball this time. They are saying exactly what they believe,” he said. “They say they want the Ryan budget....which emasculates the very things that are going to allow us to grow this economy.”
But on foreign policy, Biden said it was Romney’s lack of experience, rather than his record, that was troubling. He pointed to Romney’s statements that he would not have pursued Osama Bin Laden to the degree that President Obama did, but stopped short of alleging that Romney would not have given the assassination order.
“I don’t know what he would do,” Biden said. “You don’t know until you’re in that position.”
Romney's campaign struck back, in an emailed statement. “Joe Biden and Barack Obama are desperate to distract from their own record of skyrocketing gas prices, high unemployment, and exploding budget deficits," wrote Romney spokesman Ryan Williams. "They are willing to do and say anything to shift attention from their failed economic policies and inability to create jobs. Middle class families are disappointed by President Obama’s broken promises and they are eager to replace him with a fiscally responsible businessman like Mitt Romney who understands how to turnaround our economy.”
Beyond Romney, Biden also said that the Republican Party as a whole has been weakened by the influence of the tea party. He defended the Obama administration in their ongoing battle with Congressional Republicans on everything from the debt limit to jobs bills, and argued that Republican leaders cannot tame their own caucus to reach agreements. He used the battle over the payroll tax cut as an example.
“On several occasions [Republican leaders have] been prepared to make some real compromise and had to call back and say ‘I can’t do it I can’t get it done,’” he said, adding that “they couldn’t get it done until The Wall Street Journal came in and began beating up—I mean drum beat—beating up on the tea party types.”