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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

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