CBS "Early Show" - Transcript
MS. RODRIGUEZ: Joining us now from Washington is Senator Joe Biden, Barack Obama's running mate on the Democratic ticket.
Good morning, Senator.
SEN. BIDEN: Good morning, Maggie. How are you?
MS. RODRIGUEZ: I'm fine, thank you. Senator McCain just named some of the same culprits that you and Senator Obama blamed for this crisis yesterday -- Wall Street greed and excess. And he called for a restructuring of oversight and regulation. You seem to be on the same page.
SEN. BIDEN: Well, it seems like John's had an epiphany. Nine o'clock yesterday morning, John thought the economy was going great guns and the Bush administration was doing well, and today he thinks it's in crisis.
And, you know, I heard John say that the American people are strong. John ought to come to my old neighborhood and find out that foreclosures are sky-high, find out gas and grocery prices are up, find out that middle-class people made 2,000 bucks less over this term of the president than they did before this president; find out that, in fact, they're in real trouble in terms of their ability to stay in their homes.
I mean, I don't understand this. John, quite frankly, confuses me. He was --
MS. RODRIGUEZ: But he said that the American worker is what's strong; that's what he meant, and that's what --
SEN. BIDEN: The American worker is not strong. The American worker is strong. They've been betrayed. They've been betrayed by a tax policy that absolutely screws them; that, in fact, gives the money to the very wealthiest among us. They've been betrayed by a policy of laissez faire that lets the big do what they want; don't regulate them. They've been betrayed not only by Wall Street but by this administration's policies and the policies John has supported. They've been betrayed --
MS. RODRIGUEZ: I think that this morning, Senator, people don't want to look back. They want to look ahead to the next four years.
SEN. BIDEN: Sure, they do.
MS. RODRIGUEZ: Will you take this opportunity to say specifically and clearly what you and Senator Obama will do to fix this? Give me two or three solutions. I know you've been working on them.
SEN. BIDEN: Unlike our opponents, there are clear solutions. One, do not keep this tax hemorrhaging going. Give the middle-class taxpayers a tax break like we're suggesting. Do not continue the Bush tax cuts that cause us to have to finance our debt through the Chinese to go buy Saudi oil, number one.
Number two, invest in infrastructure immediately; spend $70 billion out there rebuilding bridges and infrastructure, roads and the rest. Put people to work. Get jobs going.
Three, change the way in which we have bankruptcy work so that a bankruptcy judge can say to a creditor, "You know what? We're going to renegotiate. We're going to restate the principal of the mortgage here so this person can stay in their house." Give people a fighting chance instead of the tax policy and the spending policy and the policies of this administration.
MS. RODRIGUEZ: Let me ask you finally, Senator Biden, what do you say to voters who wonder if, given the severity of this crisis right now, whether it's the right time to put their faith in a president that has no executive experience and just a handful of years in the Senate.
SEN. BIDEN: I'd say take a look at who they put their -- who, in fact, has had their hand on the wheel the last eight years. Take a look at that. Do you want four more years of George W. Bush and the laissez faire policies of John McCain, with no regulation over the very people he's now calling predators? Then, in fact, continue it.
My lord, take a look at who got us in this hole, whose policies. This has been a Republican philosophy of letting Wall Street do what they want and the middle class be damned. It's about time we change it. And if I sound like I'm angry, I am fighting mad for middle-class people who have been the scapegoat of this economy because of the policies of the McCains and the Bushes.
MS. RODRIGUEZ: Senator Joe Biden, thank you.