CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the middle class has been "buried" during the past four years, a statement that Republicans immediately seized upon as an unwitting indictment of the Obama administration.
Biden tried to clarify his comments later in the day, declaring that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan would hurt middle-class voters.
"The middle class was buried by the policies that Romney and Ryan supported," Biden said, attempting to squelch the controversy before it could provide momentum to the GOP heading into the first presidential debate, a session on economic policy scheduled Wednesday night in Denver.
Romney pounced on Biden's initial comment, saying on Twitter that he agrees with the Democratic vice president: "the middle class has been buried the last 4 years, which is why we need a change in November."
Biden told about 1,000 people in Charlotte that Romney would cut taxes for millionaires and raise them for middle-class families.
"This is deadly earnest," Biden said. "How they can justify raising taxes on a middle class that has been buried the last four years? How in Lord's name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts?"
Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, said a Romney presidency is a solution for middle-class families who feel "buried" by taxes or government policies.
"We need to stop digging by electing Mitt Romney the next president of the United States. Of course the middle class has been buried," Ryan said in Burlington, Iowa. "They're being buried by regulations; they're being buried by taxes; they're being buried by borrowing. They're being buried by the Obama administration's economic failures." ...Full Story...