Republicans seize upon Joe Biden’s ‘buried’ gaffe

Republicans seize upon Joe Biden’s ‘buried’ gaffe

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that the middle class has been “buried” during the past four years, just longer than President Barack Obama’s time in the White House, a statement that Republicans immediately seized upon as an unwitting indictment of the Obama administration.

Discussing what the Obama campaign contends are Romney’s plans to raise taxes on most Americans to fund tax cuts for the wealthy, Biden made his comment in North Carolina.

“How they can justify ... raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years?” he asked. His remarks came before Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney meet in their first presidential debate.

Voters say the struggling U.S. economy is the most important issue in the election. “Biden said that the middle class, over the last four years, has been ‘buried.’ We agree,” Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan said. Obama’s campaign fired back that Romney’s camp was making a “desperate and out-of-context attack.”

“As the vice president has been saying all year and again in his remarks today, the middle class was punished by the failed (former President George W.) Bush policies that crashed our economy - and a vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is a return to those failed policies,” campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement.