Biden: GOP ‘Ran the Economy Literally Into the Ground’

Posted August 24, 2010 at 12:23pm

Updated: 1:42 p.m.

Vice President Joseph Biden and other White House officials pounced on House Minority Leader John Boehner on Tuesday for calling on President Barack Obama to fire his economic team and extend Bush-era tax cuts as a way to bolster the economy.

During remarks at a White House event on stimulus legislation, Biden mocked the Ohio Republican’s speech earlier in the day in Columbus, where he touted GOP economic policies and called for the resignations of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House economic adviser Larry Summers.

The Minority Leader’s suggestions are “very constructive advice, and we thank the leader for that,” Biden said.

But the reality is that Boehner and other Republicans “ran the economy literally into the ground” with a $1.3 trillion deficit before the Obama administration took over, Biden said. “Mr. Boehner is nostalgic for those good old days, but the American people are not.”

The vice president also demanded “truth in advertising” from Boehner on the issue of tax cuts for small businesses. He said the Minority Leader is falsely equating a tax cut for the top 2 percent of income earners with helping small-business owners. In the meantime, Biden said, Senate Republicans continue to block a small-business jobs bill.

“After all this buildup and hype, all we know is what John Boehner and his Republican colleagues are against,” Biden said. “Other than a tax cut for [the top 2 percent], I don’t know what they are for.”

Other White House officials laid into Boehner on similar grounds.

“Boehner today embraces the return of policies that helped create the worst [economic] downturn since the Great Depression,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted on Tuesday.

During a briefing in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where Obama is on vacation for the week, White House spokesman Bill Burton said it was ironic that “Boehner would fire the very people who helped to make the tough decisions, who helped to do the hard work, to get our economy moving in the right direction again.”

But the most “surprising” part of Boehner’s speech was his “full-throated defense of what is indefensible, and that is tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas,” Burton said.