CBS "Early Show" - Transcript
MR. SMITH: Joining us now is Senator Joe Biden, Barack Obama's running mate. We also invited Governor Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate, but the McCain campaign declined.
Good morning, Senator.
SEN. BIDEN: Hey, Harry. How are you?
MR. SMITH: Pretty good. We just get this news early this morning about this half-percent rate cut by the Fed. After all of the bailout money, after all these billions of dollars, do you think this is finally going to maybe put a little grease on these credit markets?
SEN. BIDEN: Well, I hope so. It's going to take a little time. It took eight years to get here, Harry, and I think it's going to take a little while to get out. Paulson has a lot of authority. He's just beginning to exercise it now, including the very authority that John McCain talked about, him suggesting last night, which is already there, to go buy up mortgages, et cetera. And I think it's going to take a little while.
But I do think, Harry, we're going to need to move in the direction that Barack and I have been arguing about. You really need a major jobs program. You need a rebate program to the cities and to individuals, $1,500 apiece. They have to be able to make it day to day. And thirdly, you have to have extended unemployment insurance out there.
MR. SMITH: Senator, do we just borrow that money? I mean, do we just print a bunch more paper?
SEN. BIDEN: No, no, no --
MR. SMITH: Where does that come from?
SEN. BIDEN: Well, look, it comes from the taxpayers, Harry. I mean, it comes from the taxpayers. And what we're trying to do is stanch the bleeding here. Everybody's finally figured it out. I don't mean to imply that you didn't figure it out from the beginning. You did. But here we're talking about people not being able to -- look, you have municipalities in real trouble. So what are they doing? They're laying off people. They're laying off services. It goes on and on and on. So you've got to stanch the bleeding. I think that is -- I think we're going to be able to do that. I think Paulson has the authority now to do that. But it's going to take a little bit of time.
If there was ever a need for a final verdict on the policies of whether or not our economy is best run by the policies of the last eight years, I just think any objective -- anybody watching would say, "Look, these policies have got to change."
MR. SMITH: Let me ask you this real quickly. The Wall Street Journal this morning -- one in six U.S. mortgages now, the home is worth less than the mortgage is --
SEN. BIDEN: Yeah, I know.
MR. SMITH: -- which increases the possibility of defaults. John McCain talked about this $300 billion to help -- that's what really needs to be shored up. Hillary Clinton suggested that to us a couple of weeks ago. Should both campaigns embrace that idea?
SEN. BIDEN: Well, they've basically been embraced. That authority exists within the $700 billion that is available over the time, the phased time, for Paulson to be able to use it. I think that's the key.
Now, look, the vast majority of those people are not going to have to sell their homes. Their homes are going to come back, God willing. But the people who are in real trouble are the people who planned on having to sell those homes for their retirement or to borrow against them to send their kids to school. And it's a frightening thing.
MR. SMITH: Let me ask you about Sarah Palin on the other side of the aisle. She's been going to these rallies, tens of thousands of people showing up, talking about a friend of your running mate's as a domestic terrorist. Does your campaign have an answer for that?
SEN. BIDEN: Yeah. It's just malarkey, flat malarkey. Barack Obama was eight years old when this guy was engaged in the activities he was engaged in. He is no part of our campaign. He would be no part of anything having to do with the White House. The guy Barack Obama is going to turn and ask opinions to is me, not that guy.
You know, the idea here that somehow these guys are once again injecting fear and loathing into this campaign is -- I think it's mildly dangerous. I mean, here you have out there these kinds of, you know, incitements out there, a guy introducing Barack using his middle name as if it's some epitaph or something. This is over the top.
MR. SMITH: All right, Senator Joe Biden, we thank you for your time. And we're sorry for your family's loss.
SEN. BIDEN: Thanks, Harry; appreciate it.
MR. SMITH: Thank you very, very much.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you for mentioning that. Thank you.