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Biden's Provocative Interview

- February 19, 2016

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH POLITICO, VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN ATTACKED CLINTON FOR SOUNDING "SO GLOOMY ABOUT THE OBAMA ECONOMY," BACKING AWAY FROM SINGLE PAYER, AND SPLIT WITH HER ON REINSTATING GLASS-STEAGALL

Though She Has Tried To Tie Herself To Obama, Biden Openly Expressed Disappointment That Clinton Hasn't Embraced Obama's Economic Legacy

In His Interview Yesterday, Biden Questioned "Why Both [Democrat] Candidates Sound So Gloomy About The Obama Economy." "The vice president spoke most extensively and passionately about the Democratic race between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, questioning why both candidates sound so gloomy about the Obama economy." (Michael Grunwald, "Biden Hints At Centrist Supreme Court Pick," Politico, 2/19/16)

Biden "Expressed Disappointment" That Clinton Won't Fully Embrace The Obama Administration's Economy Legacy. "The vice president spoke most extensively and passionately about the Democratic race between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, questioning why both candidates sound so gloomy about the Obama economy. He spent the last two days on a public-relations tour celebrating the seventh anniversary of the Obama stimulus bill that helped end the Great Recession, and with his usual flair for hyperbole, he expressed disappointment on Thursday that the Democrats haven't focused more on the progress the U.S. has made in reducing unemployment, cutting deficits, and reshaping the economy since those dark days." (Michael Grunwald, "Biden Hints At Centrist Supreme Court Pick," Politico, 2/19/16)

Biden Said He Was "Surprised" At Clinton's "Whole Focus," Explaining Those Who Won Previous Elections "Stuck With The Administration." POLITICO'S MICHAEL GRUNWALD: "Now you're talking about how things could be better, too. Are you surprised that's the whole focus on the Democratic side?" BIDEN: "I am surprised. Take a look at all the campaigns in the last cycle. The only Democrats who won close races were the ones that stuck with the administration, talked about the record…My generic point is, you get behind the curve. Even my own folks say, 'jeez, Joe, you got 60-70% of the American people think we're going in the wrong direction. Don't try to buck it.' What do you mean, don't try to buck it? If everybody doesn't buck it, guess what, it's gospel. We must be in deep trouble. We must have really screwed the pooch." (Michael Grunwald, "Q&A With Vice President Joe Biden," Politico, 2/19/16)

Biden Publicly Split With Clinton And Called For The Reinstatement Of Glass-Steagall

When Asked About Glass-Steagall Biden Replied: "If I Could Just Snap My Fingers, Yeah, I'd Reinstate Glass-Steagall." GRUNWALD: "Do you think Glass-Steagall should be reinstated?" BIDEN: "If I could just snap my fingers, yeah, I'd reinstate Glass Steagall, or update it. But I think [the] Dodd-Frank [financial reform] went a long, long way. I think it's good. I think it's strong." (Michael Grunwald, "Q&A With Vice President Joe Biden," Politico, 2/19/16)

Biden Added That One Of His Few Regrets As A Senator Was Supporting Bill Clinton's Repeal Of Glass-Steagall, Calling The Decision "Wrong." BIDEN: "There are half a dozen votes I regret, out of about 18,000. One of them is the repeal of Glass-Steagall. It was part of a big package. But it was wrong…There are still significant elements of the way the banks do business that should be clipped. For example, we should be putting an extra tax on banks that are taking risk. That's just rational." (Michael Grunwald, "Q&A With Vice President Joe Biden," Politico, 2/19/16)

Clinton Has Stated She Is Against Reinstating Glass-Steagall. CLINTON: "It's fine for you to say what you're going to say, but I looked very carefully at your proposal, reinstating Glass-Steagall is a part of what very well could help, but it is nowhere near enough. My proposal is tougher, more effective, and more comprehensive because I go after all of Wall Street not just the big banks." (Hillary Clinton, Democratic Primary Debate, Des Moines, IA, 11/14/15)

Biden Was Also Quick To Highlight That Clinton, Sanders And Obama Were All In Agreement On Single-Payer Healthcare

Biden Was Quick To Highlight That Clinton's Initial Position On Healthcare Was Support Of A "Single-Payer" System, Similar To The One Sanders Is Proposing. GRUNWALD: "But he's a socialist. Do you think a socialist can win a general election?" CLINTON: "Look, what Bernie is talking about now is mainstream. The mainstream is saying wait a minute, the concentration of wealth is a disaster, and it's unfair. Full-blown capitalists are saying that's true, that's not right. I haven't heard him lay out in detail what the socialist part of his agenda is." GRUNWALD: "Health care, right? Single-payer?" BIDEN: "That was the president's position, initially. That was Hillary's position. I assume that was to get to the left of Hillary. But that was Hillary's position on health care." (Michael Grunwald, "Q&A With Vice President Joe Biden," Politico, 2/19/16)

Clinton Has Condemned Sanders' Single-Payer Health Care Plan, Calling It A "Risky Deal." "'His plan would take Medicare and Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act health-care insurance and private employer health insurance and he would take that all together and send health insurance to the states, turning over your and my health insurance to governors,' Clinton said, naming the state's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad. 'I don't believe number one we should be starting over. We had enough of a fight to get to the Affordable Care Act. So I don't want to rip it up and start over.' Clinton called Sanders's plan a 'risky deal.'" (Abby Phillip and Philip Rucker, "Clinton In Iowa Attacks Sanders Health-Care Plan As A 'Risky Deal,'" The Washington Post, 1/11/16)

BIDEN ALSO ADMITTED THE MIDDLE-CLASS IS "STILL GETTING CRUSHED" AND THAT "60-70%" OF AMERICANS THINK THE NATION IS "GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION"

Biden Admitted That Middle-Class Americans Are "Still Getting Crushed" And That Middle-Class Anxiety Was "Legitimate." GRUNWALD: "You said yesterday, the middle class is still getting crushed." BIDEN: "Yes." GRUNWALD: "Donald Trump supporters, Bernie Sanders supporters, are reflecting, the polls tell us, a lot of middle-class anxiety in this country. How much of that is your fault?" BIDEN: "It's legitimate criticism. But it begs the question, because of the dysfunction in Congress. If you take a look at what we proposed in those four years, if we had done what we proposed, I believe the middle class would be back again. So it's not that we didn't focus on it. We just couldn't get it done." (Michael Grunwald, "Q&A With Vice President Joe Biden," Politico, 2/19/16)

Biden's Also Admitted His Own Staff Doesn't Think He Should Ignore That "60-70% Of The American People" Feel The United States Is "Going In The Wrong Direction." GRUNWALD: "Now you're talking about how things could be better, too. Are you surprised that's the whole focus on the Democratic side?" BIDEN: "I am surprised. Take a look at all the campaigns in the last cycle. The only Democrats who won close races were the ones that stuck with the administration, talked about the record…My generic point is, you get behind the curve. Even my own folks say, 'jeez, Joe, you got 60-70% of the American people think we're going in the wrong direction. Don't try to buck it.' What do you mean, don't try to buck it? If everybody doesn't buck it, guess what, it's gospel. We must be in deep trouble. We must have really screwed the pooch." (Michael Grunwald, "Q&A With Vice President Joe Biden," Politico, 2/19/16)


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