Local Politics

Biden in Chapel Hill: Republicans 'wildly out of step'

Posted July 22, 2010 10:21 p.m. EDT
Updated July 22, 2010 10:25 p.m. EDT

Editor's note: The White House provided this report from The News & Observer, which was the pool reporter at the vice president's event in Chapel Hill.

Vice President Joe Biden continued to deliver a vigorous defense of the administration's record at a Democratic fund raising reception Thursday night in Chapel Hill North Carolina.

Biden said now that administration had passed a major part of its legislative agenda, it was time to step up efforts to sell it to the public and explain why Republican proposals would made things worse.

“Now that the heavy lifting is over, we can go out and make our case,” Biden said.

The vice president said that the Republicans “are wildly out of step” with popular opinion on a broad range of issues from holding oil companies responsible for cleaning up the spill in the gulf to supporting basic regulations to prevent another meltdown on Wall Street.

“They say they want to put on the brakes,” Biden said. “But they really want to do is throw us in reverse. As the president said, they drove the car in the ditch.

About 200 people gathered at the Carolina Inn on the campus of the University of North Carolina campus where they paid a minimum of $500 a person to raise money for the Democratic National Committee. They grazed on Hors d'oeuvres such as beef tenderloin on crispy wonton, crab crostini, and spinach and local goat cheese profiteroles.

Biden later held a separate fund raising event for Democratic Senate candidate Elaine Marshall, who is challenging Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Marshall said the event was quickly put together and was limited to 15 people.

“There is a clear choice in this North Carolina election between a women who knows what drive (forward) means and somebody who clearly is continuing to be backwards,” Biden said.

Biden was introduced by North Carolina Gov Bev Perdue. She drew broad laughter when she said “I want you to know that it is a big bleeckin deal” to have the vice president him in the state, referring to the vice president's now famous overheard comments at the health care bill signing.

Biden said he “thanked God” that his mother was not around to have heard him whisper the off color comment when he didn't know the microphone was working.

Other leading Democratic figures present were state House Speaker Joe Hackney, state Senate Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt, and Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. 

Biden says that sometimes people forget how bad things were in the country when Obama was sworn into office.

“We stabilized the financial system,” Biden said. We were on the brink of a depression...We avoided a total economic meltdown.”

He said the Obama administration's economic plans were having a positive impact.

“There are three million (more) Americans working today than there were before we took office,” Biden said.

Biden said that during last six months of the Bush administration, the country lost three million jobs. During the first six months of the Obama admistration, the country lost 3.7 million jobs But during the past six months country had gained 600,000 jobs

“That is more jobs than were created in the entire eight years of the Bush administration,” Biden said.

Biden said there are limits to what government can do.

“Barack and I are realists. Government is not the answer. But we also know we can plant seeds. These seeds that have been planted have generated whole new industries.”