Biden Rips McCain for Saying Fundamentals of Economy are "Strong'

ABC News' Matt Jaffe reports: Barack Obama's vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden ripped into Republican candidate John McCain Monday for saying that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Arguing that McCain is "divorced" from the economic realities of the country, Biden used McCain's own words earlier in the day Jacksonville against the GOP nominee.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that’s why John McCain could say with a straight face as recently as this morning and this is a quote, 'the fundamentals of the economy are strong.' That’s what John said. He says that 'We’ve made great progress economically in the Bush years",' Biden said in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

"Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, I could walk from here to Lansing, and I wouldn’t run into a single person who thought our economy was doing well, unless I ran into John McCain."   Biden frequently uses similar language on the stump, but Monday he blamed the current state of the nation's economy on American voters' faith eight years ago in a Republican candidate's promises, urging them not to make the same mistake again.

"Remember those promises. Remember what he said," Biden said about President George W. Bush. "Remember the promise to reach across the aisle? To change the way things were done in Washington, to change the tone? To restore honor and dignity to the White House? You know, we saw how that story ends. A number, a record number of home foreclosures. Home values tumbling. And the disturbing news that the crisis that you've been facing on Main Street is now hitting Wall Street, taking down Lehman Brothers and threatening other large financial institutions. We have seen eight straight months of job loss in America. Nearly 46 million Americans without any health insurance. Average incomes down, while the price of everything from gas to groceries is going up and up."

The Delaware senator also accused McCain of making American workers into "economic scapegoats."

"Don’t tell me those people, the people who played by the rules, who are the heart and soul of this country, don’t tell me they deserve to be treated as the economic scapegoats that the McCain campaign is treating them - these people worked hard, these people did everything they were supposed to do, these people are ready to work hard again, our job is to give them jobs so they can work hard again," Biden said. 

Biden noted that McCain had surrounded himself with advisers like his former Phil Gramm, who said months ago that America had become a "nation of whiners."

"They’re the people John McCain chose himself, chose to be surrounded with getting economic advice on the subject he says he doesn’t know much about. Well let me tell you, tell that to my friend, tell that to my friend Billy who flew jets in the Navy, worked 20 years for the major airlines, they went bankrupt, wiped out his pension. The CEO got a golden parachute. Don’t tell me he’s a whiner. And by the way, if you knew Billy, don’t dare tell him because he’ll knock you on your know what if you tell him he’s a whiner," Biden said. 

The McCain campaign hit back Monday, arguing the Democratic ticket is the "most partisan ticket" in presidential politics.

"This is the most partisan ticket in modern presidential politics attempting to repackage outdated and failed policies of the past," said McCain spokesman Ben Porritt. "Barack Obama and his running mate are insistent upon raising taxes which would kill jobs and continue to refuse responsible energy legislation that would reduce gas prices."

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