Biden: In D.C., 'Being Middle Class...Means You’re Not Sophisticated'

By Ali Meyer | March 12, 2015 | 8:37 AM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

( - "In this town, being middle class is not viewed as a compliment -- it means you’re not sophisticated," Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering in Washington on Wednesday.

He was touting the virtues of middle-class economics when he made the comment at the National Press Club.

"Today, not only have we walked the long road back, but we’ve built the foundations, in my view, on which our economic futures continue to be built and that has to be a future where the middle class is dealt back into the deal, where there’s really opportunity and jobs you can raise a family on,” Biden said. "Now I know I'm always referred to as always focusing on the middle class, and I know in this town being middle class is not viewed as a compliment -- it means you're not sophisticated.

"But the truth of the matter is, the reason I constantly talk about the middle class is not just in terms of fairness and economic growth, but the middle class has provided, I would respectfully suggest, the political and social stability this country has enjoyed for well over the past 100 years."

Biden, rumored to be considering a presidential run in 2016, said the "middle class economics" implemented by the Obama administration six years ago "is working," and he said it would be dangerous to "veer off the course we're on now."

But that's where Republicans want to take the country, Biden said:

"Our Republican colleagues have made it clear that they seek to undo everything they can, and until very recently, quite frankly, not all Democrats were willing to embrace what the president and I were proud to have endorsed and done, none of it being very popular and easy at the outset.

“The country has made too much progress, the American people have suffered too much pain for us to walk away from what's now working," Biden said.

President Obama says his 2016 Budget "is designed to bring middle class economics into the 21st Century."

He envisions an economy that "rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the prosperity of a growing America." That means raising taxes on wealthy Americans, spending money on infrastructure improvements and education (including "free" community college), and giving millions of illegal aliens work permits and Social Security numbers.

The Republican jobs plan includes building the Keystone XL pipeline -- something the Obama administration refuses to do -- and expanding college savings accounts.

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