US Government

Biden: “We need a strong Republican Party.”

November 1, 2011  • Sacha Scoblic

At the third annual Washington Ideas Forum, held by the Institute and The Atlantic at the Newseum, Vice President Joe Biden talked to NBC’s David Gregory, host of “Meet the Press,” about jobs, the economy, and the Wall Street occupation. And he talked about Republicans:

“I think the president does have a partner in the bulk of the Republican leadership, but they are seriously hamstrung. I think John Boehner would tell you, I think Eric Cantor would tell you, we had a much bigger proposal that I was personally negotiating with them as to how to deal with the debt crisis. And they could not sell it. I truly believe, if Eric Cantor, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and John Boehner were allowed to settle a deal in the room, we would have had a deal. My view is that their party is not the Republican Party that we all know. … In my view, we need a strong Republican Party. We need a Republican Party that’s united. …

There are limits as to how fast government can make up for eight years of profligate spending, no oversight, putting two wars on a credit card, a health care bill on a credit card, the prescription-drug bill with a tax cut of several trillion dollars on a credit card. It takes time to get that done. There are limits on how rapidly government can work. There are also limits on what government can do when one party decides to do nothing. Let me say it again, to do nothing. What have they proposed to stimulate economic growth? The same exact things that [supposedly] “liberated the economy before”: Get rid of Dodd-Frank, let Wall Street go back to its old ways, increase tax cuts for the wealthy. That has not worked. So it’s very difficult in an environment where one team says, Not only are we not going to compromise on moving it forward, we just think the old method that got us here works.

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