Joe Biden to firefighters: Romney doesn't 'get' you

Vice President Joe Biden Vice President Joe Biden Brynn Anderson/AP

PHILADELPHIA – Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday gave an audience of firefighters his view of GOP rival Mitt Romney: “I don’t think he just gets you.”

Biden offered the assessment in the context of the White House’s support of allowing the George W. Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest Americans while pushing the “Buffett rule” calling for those in that income bracket to pay a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes.

“Wealthy people are just as patriotic as poor folks. They’re just as decent as any middle-class folk I know. The difference here is, no one asked them to do anything,” Biden told the 3,200 workers gathered for International Association of Fire Fighters convention. “This is about shared responsibility.”

In the next breath, Biden added that Republicans push for “top-down” policies because “they have to make room for more benefits and more opportunities for the very wealthy.”

Biden characterized Romney as “a good family man, a guy who means well,” echoing the approach that the former Massachusetts governor often takes before describing President Obama as clueless on the economy.

“Part of the problem is,” Biden said, “I don’t think he just gets you, I don’t think he really understands. I mean this sincerely—I don’t think he understands what you’re all about, what makes you tick, what makes you decide to go into this profession that you couldn’t pay enough to 90 percent of the population, including me, to do what you do every day."

Biden thanked the firefighters for their service, especially in the wake of last week’s deadly theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. “The American public is reminded once in a while nationally just what you do,” Biden said.

The former Delaware senator also got personal when talking about what first responders mean to him and the country. He made an apparent reference to a 1972 car accident in which his wife and infant daughter were killed and his two sons were critically injured.

“Who shows up, like you did for my family, with the jaws of life?” Biden asked.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.