Biden on U.S. Economy: ‘We Have Turned It Around’

By | October 6, 2011 | 5:42 PM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden said at an Oct. 6, 2011 event in Washington, D.C. that most Americans blame George W. Bush for their current financial difficulties. ( Starr)

( – When pressed by NBC Meet the Press moderator David Gregory about the Obama administration’s role in the current state of the U.S. economy, Vice President Joe Biden said, “We have turned it around,” adding that Americans believe the Bush administration “got us in this trouble.”

Biden was interviewed as part of The Atlantic magazine and the Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Forum on Thursday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Gregory asked:  “Let me ask you about accountability when it comes to the economy. The president’s job approval rating stands at 42 percent -- the view of his, and by extension your, handling of the economy is pretty low. Now, either the big efforts that you have made as an administration turned the economy around or they didn’t -- and they appeared to not have done that. Either you’re accountable or there’s only so much government can do.”

Biden responded by saying that “a clear majority” of the American people blame their financial straights on the last administration.

“They understand what got us in this trouble,” Biden said.

He acknowledged that the Obama administration is now “in charge.”

“We are in charge,” Biden said. “We have turned it [the economy] around.”

President Barack Obama smiles during his news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct., 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

He then said, “We’ve created 1.7 million jobs – not nearly enough --- and it’s been offset by the failure of the Republicans to support the stimulus we had.”

Americans “understand that we’ve kept it [the economy] from getting extremely worse,” said the vice president. “We’ve made it better, but not good enough.”

He further said that Obama’s 42 percent approval rating represents the frustration people feel about the slow progress.

“It’s like the car’s out of the ditch,” he said. “It’s moving along, but it’s only chugging along at 25 miles an hour and they’re used to going 60.”