Biden to Students: ‘You All Realize You're Spreading Socialism, Don't You?'

By Melanie Arter | May 10, 2012 | 5:39 PM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden addresses the annual assembly of the Rabbinical Assembly – a body of rabbis representing some 1.5 million Conservative Jews worldwide – in Atlanta, Ga. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bob Andres)

( – Vice President Joe Biden mocked Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) on Thursday for comparing federal student loans to “stage three cancer.”

Without mentioning Akin by name, Biden said, “I don’t want to single somebody out, so rather than tell you his name, I’ll read a quote. He compared federal student loans to ‘stage three cancer of socialism,’ the ‘stage three cancer of socialism.’ You all realize you’re spreading socialism, don’t you? Which is cancerous. I been here a long time, man, but this is--it’s taken on a new dimension.”

During a GOP Senate candidate forum hosted by the College Republicans at the University of Missouri last month, Akin was asked if he would support lowering the rate for student loans.

“America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism, because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in. So first, to answer your question precisely, what the Democrats did to get rid of the private student loans and take it all over by the government was wrong. It was a lousy bill, that’s why I voted no,” Akin said.

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

“The government needs to get its nose out of the education business. Most of this question is about the state of Missouri--it belongs with the governor and the legislators. I don’t want to see the federal government getting into the student loan business. I’d be happy if they got out of it, and it went back to the private sector. The government is in way too many things--more than we can afford and more than we can do well,” Akin added.

On Thursday, Biden credited students with changing the minds of “a lot of folks,” including presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“Now they’re saying they’re willing to keep the rates low but only if we pay for it by taking the money away from preventative health care--things like screenings for breast cancer. This is not a joke. This is real. That’s how they want to pay for it,” Biden said.

“That’s a choice we shouldn’t have to make. We’re committing to working with these guys to find a bipartisan way of paying for this, but we shouldn’t have to choose between keeping college affordable and keeping Americans healthy,” he added.

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

Interest rates for new student loans are set to double in July. Congressional Republicans and Democrats have been debating how to pay for new legislation to keep Stafford loans interest rates at 3.4 percent for one more year.

Please support CNSNews today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)