Vice Presidet Joe Biden reacted with a bit of sniping sarcasm to House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-Ohio) suggestion on Tuesday that the president hit the reset button and fire his top two economic advisers.
"After months of promising a look at his party agenda for his plans for America," Biden said, "his chief proposal, when you look at it, apparently was that the president should fire his economic team. Very constructive advice and we thank the leader for that."
Speaking at an event touting the impact of the stimulus on the fields of science and technology, the vice president tailored the first portions of his remarks into a comprehensive rebuttal to Boehner's speech earlier in the day.
"Mr. Boehner and his party ran the economy and the middle class literally into the ground," Biden said at one point. "I'm still waiting for what it is that they are for... I know what they are against. What I don't know, other than a tax cut for the top two percent of the taxpayers in America, I don't know what they are for."
The critiques echoed those offered by others in the Democratic Party, including several members of the House, who hosted a pre-buttal conference call mocking Boehner for a lack of substantive ideas for economic recovery.
"John Boehner and the Republican leadership wouldn't know a new idea if they tripped on it," Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) told reporters on a Monday conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee.
But it was not anticipated that Boehner would call for the firing of both Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and chief economic adviser Larry Summers. And with hopes of drowning out the Ohio Republican's much-publicized address, the White House re-calibrated Biden's remarks and alerted reporters to tune into the speech minutes before it happened.
UPDATE: Here are some more excerpts from Biden's remarks in which he goes after not only Boehner but also the Minority Leader's deputy, NRCC Chair Pete Session (R-Tex.).
Let's just review a little history here: For eight years before we arrived, Mr. Boehner and his party ran this economy and the middle class into the ground. They took the $237 billion surplus they inherited from the Clinton Administration and left us with a $1.3 trillion deficit, and, in the process, quadrupled the national debt - all before we had turned on the lights in the West Wing. They gave free rein to the special interests to write their own rules at the expense of everybody else. And the sum total of it was the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression--a crisis that wreaked havoc on families and businesses across this country--a crisis from which we are still digging out.
The head of their campaign committee, Representative Pete Sessions, said that if they were to take control of Congress this fall--which, by the way, they won't--that they would go back to "the exact same agenda" they were pushing before President Obama took office. They think the policies they had in place during the Bush years--the ones Mr. Boehner helped craft and sell--were the right ones. Well, let me tell you, there are millions and millions of Americans who saw their paychecks shrink or their jobs, houses, and savings vanish. Mr. Boehner is nostalgic for those good old days... the American people are not. They don't want to go back. They want to move forward.