MR. SMITH: One of the telling moments in the debate was when John McCain turned back to Barack Obama and said, "If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have done that four years ago." Just after the debate, I asked Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden about McCain's statement.
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SEN. BIDEN: Well, I thought that was a cute phrase. But the truth of the matter is, it leaves unsettled this notion that how did we get in this spot in the first place, Harry? I mean, where was John the last eight years? Didn't John know that his party controlled the House and the Senate for six of them? His president was there, the guy he brags about agreeing with 90 percent of the time. How did we get in this hole?
MR. SMITH: Let me ask you this, because one of the points that it seemed to me that John McCain was trying to make during this debate was this notion that during these very difficult economic times, we don't need to be spending more money now. People need not to be taxed more now. This is a time when people should be dialing back.
SEN. BIDEN: Well, he's absolutely dead right. But why is he proposing $300 billion in new tax cuts for the Fortune 500 corporations and the wealthiest people in America, Harry? We think we should give that to the real Joe the plumbers who make 65,000, 70,000, 80,000 bucks a year.
MR. SMITH: So many people are feeling, I mean, beyond depressed, just looking at their 401(k)s, looking at whatever little they might have in stocks and bonds; another day of triple-digit losses. Is Hank Paulson doing the right stuff?
SEN. BIDEN: He's doing some of the right stuff, but not nearly fast enough, Harry. Look, the president has resisted and Paulson has resisted infusing capital into the major banks so there's liquidity and people start to, in fact -- the big banks can start to lend money.
And a second thing that's going on here, Harry, is there is no stimulus package attached to this. You have 28 of the states in real difficult trouble. If we can lend the major banks $250 billion, we ought to be able to lend the states another $25 billion to keep them from going under.
MR. SMITH: Senator Joe Biden, thanks very much for your time this evening. We do appreciate it.
SEN. BIDEN: Thanks a lot, Harry.