Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Staffilino Chevrolet, Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Martins Ferry, Ohio.
Vice President Joe Biden toned down his attack on Mitt Romney’s record in private equity at Bain Capital today, taking pains to distinguish between the industry and the man running for office.
After the Obama campaign came under fire this week from allies that the Bain attacks were hypocritical and unfair given that they are raising money from those who work in private equity, Biden said “it’s fine” for executives to try to deliver values for their shareholders, even if sometimes people get laid off.
“But that’s not the job of the President of the United States of America,” Biden said.
“To look out for the entire nation, not just one segment of the nation, that’s the President’s job,” Biden said. “That’s what good Republican presidents have done, and what good Democratic presidents have done.”
“We’re not anti-capitalists, for godsakes — it’s the system that built this country,” Biden said, adding “You can’t build an economy when only the investors do well and everyone else pays the price.”
Biden again questioned what the wealthy think of the middle class — albeit in a slightly more subdued fashion.
“I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it more calmly today. I don’t think these guys understand us,” he said.
“What do they think we think? What do they think we think in our houses,” Biden asked. “We’re like the rich guys — we have dreams, we have aspirations.”