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Entries in Vice President (80)

Friday
Dec072012

Vice President Joe Biden: Tax Deal Can Be Done in a Snap

ABC News(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- Vice President Joe Biden took seven middle-class taxpayers to lunch at a diner in suburban northern Virginia Friday, highlighting their concern about the looming tax hike that could hit at the end of the month.

“This is no time to add any additional burden for middle-class people,” Biden said, seated with his guests at a table after the meal had been cleared.

“It would take 15 minutes from the time the decision was made by the speaker of the House to pass and make permanent a middle-class tax cut,” he said. “The president would probably have me sprint up to the Hill to bring the bill down and to sign it.

“It can be done like that,” he said, with a snap of his fingers.

The White House has been pressuring lawmakers to enact a tax-cut extension immediately for 98 percent of Americans – individuals earning less than $200,000 a year and families earning less than $250,000 a year – a move that would refocus the “fiscal cliff” debate on top tax rates, entitlement spending and the debt ceiling.

Republicans oppose decoupling the middle-income tax cuts from the upper-income cuts, however, preferring to negotiate on an entire package deal.

Negotiations to avert the cliff have stalled over the administration’s insistence top rates must rise and power to raise the debt ceiling must shift to the White House.

“There are two irreducible minimum requirements for us,” Biden reiterated today, though he noted how much rates could rise is “negotiable.”

“I’m an optimistic [person], genetically,” Biden said, when asked for his outlook on having a deal by Dec. 31.

Earlier in the lunch, Biden also commented on Friday’s jobs report, saying, “I think we have turned the corner” on the economy.

“It’s undeniable the trajectory is positive,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct092012

Biden to Answer Questions at VP Debate After Months of No National TV Interviews

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When Vice President Joe Biden steps on the stage at Centre College for the Vice Presidential debate in Kentucky Thursday night, it will be the first time the vice president has been on national television airwaves answering questions from a reporter since the May Meet the Press interview when he expressed his comfort with gay marriage.

The vice president has engaged in no national TV interviews and few local and print interviews since May, which forced President Obama to complete his evolution on the issue sooner than expected.

Biden’s lack of subsequent national interviews stands in stark contrast to his Republican counterpart Rep. Paul Ryan, who is creeping towards the 200 interview mark since he entered the race in August.  Ryan conducts interviews with local television stations during many of his campaign stops as well as national interviews, including a recent joint interview with his running mate Mitt Romney with FOX News’ Sean Hannity last week.

In contrast, Biden has only completed one major national interview since Ryan entered the race.  The vice president granted access to New York Magazine’s John Heilemann in August for a cover story that took place over a three day campaign swing through North Carolina and Virginia.  That was the same campaign swing in which Republicans seized on Biden’s suggestion to a predominantly African American audience that the GOP would put people “back in chains” by undoing a Wall Street Reform bill.

By ABC News’ count, Biden has conducted less than a handful of interviews with local television stations and newspapers over the summer and into the Fall months.  In May, Biden took time for an interview with WTOV in Steubenville, Ohio where he was asked about the more than 40 percent of West Virginia voters who cast their ballot for a Texas inmate in the state’s Democratic primary.

Reporters traveling with Biden have had few opportunities to question the candidate.  Last week, he spoke with reporters about his debate prep outside a Hy-Vee supermarket in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Earlier in the month, reporters shouted questions to Biden the day after Romney’s 47 percent video surfaced but only received a response of “I’ll let his words speak for themselves.”

While Biden has engaged in few on-the-record question and answer sessions with reporters, he does take the time to directly answer questions posed to him by voters, whether it’s over the phone while dialing up potential voters at campaign field offices in Iowa or Ohio or taking questions as he sits down to eat lunch at a restaurant.  During a stop last month at Nestor’s Gourmet Deli in Boca Raton, Fla., Biden engaged in a conversation with a voter who had questions about how President Obama’s healthcare plan would lower the amount he pays for healthcare. Biden interspersed answers with slurps from a bowl of soup and bites from a tuna salad platter he had ordered.

The Obama campaign did not respond immediately to a request for comment but previously noted to ABC News that the vice president has maintained a vigorous campaign schedule throughout the election cycle.

“Day after day, event after event, the Vice President has been traveling across the country all year making the case about what’s truly at stake in this election, taking Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan’s agenda head on and making clear why President Obama is the right choice for middle class families.  In more than 100 events this year, the Vice President has been campaigning in states across the country directly connecting with voters in their communities,” a campaign official told ABC News last month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct042012

Vice President Joe Biden Says Accuracy Is Key at Next Week’s Debate

Joe Raedle/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa) -- In his first comments about his debate next week against Rep. Paul Ryan, Vice President Joe Biden said he’s focusing his prep on ensuring he has all his facts straight.

“What I’ve been doing mostly, quite frankly, is studying up on Congressman Ryan’s positions on the issues, and Gov. Romney has embraced at least everything I can see. I don’t want to say anything in the debate that’s not completely accurate,” Biden told reporters outside a Hy-Vee in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“For example,” he added, “I’ve been saying to you all that Gov. Romney has embraced the Ryan budget. Well, he has. He’s gone back and said, no, he agrees with it. I just want to make sure when I say these things that I don’t have the congressman saying, ‘No, no, no, I don’t have that position,’ or, ‘That’s not the governor’s position.’ So it’s mainly getting the factual predicates … on key issues on which Gov. Romney has spoken and Congressman Ryan has acted.”

Biden has held two mock debate sessions with Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who is playing Ryan, R-Wis., in debate prep.

The vice president praised President Obama’s performance at the first presidential debate Wednesday in Denver and noted that it’s difficult to anticipate what position Mitt Romney will take on certain issues.

“I thought the president did well,” Biden said. “He was presidential. I think that you just never know what game, what position Gov. Romney’s going to come with. I mean, you know, the centerpiece of their economic policy so far has been their tax cut, and last night we found out he doesn’t have a $5 trillion tax cut, and I guess he outsourced that to China or something. I don’t know if that’s off-shored. … But it’s hard to figure out what Gov. Romney’s position is on a number of issues."

“But I think as time goes on, meaning days, it’s going to become pretty clear that Gov. Romney has either changed a number of his positions or didn’t remember some of his positions,” Biden said. “And I think at the end of the day, we have two more debates coming up, the president does, and I feel really good about it.”

Asked if Wednesday’s debate raised expectations for his own match-up with Ryan next week, the vice president said he’s looking forward to sparring with Ryan, but suggested such situations are not easy.

“All debates are tough,” he said. “You can sit there and say, ‘You know, I would have done that and I would have done this.’ You hear people saying that. Well, it is nothing like standing up before 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-, 70 million people."

“All debates are tough, but I am looking forward to it. I really am,” he said. “The thing about Congressman Ryan is he has been straightforward up to now about everything -- all the significant changes he wants to make. We have a fundamentally different view on a whole range of issues. So I hope it will be a good debate.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug222012

Romney to Rubio on VP Pick: ‘You’re Going to Be Excited’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- It was just hours before Mitt Romney would unveil Paul Ryan as his running mate, but Florida Senator Marco Rubio didn’t know anything about it. Rubio spent the evening out on a boat with his children, away from his phone, which showed four missed calls from Romney when the group returned.

When Rubio finally did get in touch with the candidate, Romney said -- according to remarks Rubio made Wednesday, first reported by the Palm Beach Post’s George Bennett -- “We’re going to be announcing our VP tomorrow and you’re going to be excited about the pick I’ve made.”

That pick, of course, was Ryan. But Rubio took the decision in stride, telling Romney, “Well, that’s really good news because I just bought a four-day cruise. ”

Rubio is the second vice presidential also-ran to tell his story this week. On Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gathered reporters on the Asbury Park boardwalk to recount his exchange with Romney.

Christie was headed home after raising money for the ticket out west, he said, when Romney emailed, asking to speak when the governor’s plane landed.

When they finally connected over the phone, "[Romney] told me that he decided to go in a different direction for vice president, asked me if I would be willing to do the keynote address [at the Republican convention]. I told him that I would be.”

Christie had flirted with a primary run of his own, but eventually demurred. Once Romney emerged as the presumptive nominee, he denied having any interest in joining the ballot.

But even then, Christie admitted the decision stung a bit.

“It’s like being asked out on a date. If you’re asked, you don’t have to say yes,” he said. “I don’t know what I would have done if he had asked me.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug222012

Poll: Paul Ryan Stalls on Popularity But Joe Biden Does No Better

Joe Raedle/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An early advance in Paul Ryan’s popularity fell flat in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with views of the presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee stabilizing at essentially an even split.  Ryan’s consolation: Vice President Joe Biden does no better overall -- and worse among potentially swing-voting independents.

The public divides by 41-37 percent in favorable vs. unfavorable views of Ryan.  He had gained 15 percentage points in popularity immediately after Mitt Romney announced his selection on Aug. 11.  That’s slowed to a standstill since, +3 more points in the ensuing week.

Biden, though, with more time in the spotlight, has no better results.  Americans divide exactly evenly, 43-43 percent, in their basic assessments of the vice president, a far cry from his much better ratings in the surge of optimism that accompanied the start of the Obama administration.

The partisan and ideological divisions are as profound as would be expected in an election year -- but with better results for Ryan among independents.  They tilt positively on Ryan, 43-32 percent, favorable-unfavorable, in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.  Biden is underwater among independents -- 36 percent see him positively, 49 percent negatively.

Biden pushes back, though, among political moderates.  He’s +12 points on the favorable side in this group, while Ryan is -11.

Ryan’s trajectory among partisan groups is telling: Among Republicans, he’s gone from 48 percent favorable views before his selection to 62 percent right after it and 80 percent now -- steady growth in his base.  Among Democrats, though, it’s his unfavorable rating that’s grown, from 50 percent, to 58, and now to 72 percent.  He showed initial improvement among independents; that flattened in the past week.

Divisions among other groups on Biden and Ryan largely reflect those on Obama and Romney at the top of the tickets.  Ryan has a 15-point positive margin in favorability among seniors, apparently unperturbed by his proposal to restructure Medicare, vs. an even split among young adults.  Biden, by contrast, is +17 points among young adults, -11 among seniors.

Ryan is more popular among men (+11 points in favorability) than among women (-3), while Biden’s ratings are similar in both groups.  Among whites Ryan is +13 points in favorable vs. unfavorable ratings, while Biden is -11; among nonwhites, Ryan is -15 points, Biden +26.

There also are regional differences, largely reflecting partisan and ideological distributions.  Ryan does much better (50-28 percent, favorable-unfavorable) in the more conservative and more Republican South than in his native Midwest (37-42 percent); Biden, in turn, is weakest in the South, and exceeds Ryan by 17 points in favorability in the Northeast.

Ryan has more room to move: Twenty-two percent are undecided about him, compared with 14 percent on Biden.  But that’s a shrinking difference; indecision on Ryan has been halved since his selection for the GOP ticket.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug222012

Joe Biden Likens Republicans to ‘Squealing Pigs’

ABC News(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday suggested a new image to associate with Republicans who opposed Democratic efforts to toughen regulations on Wall Street, characterizing them as “squealing pigs.”

“Over the objections where they sound like squealing pigs, over the objections of Romney and all his allies, we passed some of the toughest Wall Street regulations in history, turning Wall Street back into the allocator of capital it always has been and no longer a casino. And they want to repeal it,” Biden said at an event in Minneapolis.

Biden, who was in Minnesota for two events on Tuesday followed by a stop in Detroit Wednesday, is on his first campaign swing since last week’s controversial “chains” comment.  In Minneapolis, he rallied a crowd of over 1,500, according to campaign officials, trying to draw a contrast between the future he and President Obama offer and that which the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket has put forth.

“I’ve never run across a presidential candidate who’s a decent guy but more out of touch than Mr. Romney is right now,” Biden said.

Biden, who said he’s “so damn proud to be vice president with President Barack Obama,” touted the efforts of the Obama administration to improve access to healthcare and education and boost the status of the middle class.

“Folks, the middle class is coming back.  They have been ravaged.  They have been ravaged.  But they’re starting to come back,” Biden said.  “We’ve helped them keep their homes and their health care, keep their child in college, protect them from predatory lending to make sure the big banks don’t threaten the economy with those risky financial schemes of credit default swaps, collateral debt obligations and all this other funny stuff that brought the economy down.”

Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, responded with this statement:

“Vice President Biden’s claim that the middle class is ‘coming back’ couldn’t be more out of touch with the reality.  Whether it’s high unemployment, falling incomes, soaring tuition costs, or rising prices, middle-class families are struggling in the worst economic recovery America has ever had.  Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will deliver 12 million new jobs, grow our economy, and give the middle class hope once again.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug172012

Rep. Chris Van Hollen to Play Paul Ryan for Joe Biden Debate Prep

vanhollen.house.gov(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland has been tapped to play his congressional archrival, Rep. Paul Ryan, in upcoming rehearsals to prepare Vice President Joe Biden for his single televised election-year debate, Obama campaign officials confirmed to ABC News.

Van Hollen, the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, which Ryan chairs, is the party’s leading voice on budget policy in the Congress.  He has studied Ryan’s signature plan and arguably knows it better than most on Capitol Hill.

An articulate and aggressive debater, he is also a regular on the TV cable news circuit and on the Sunday morning talk shows.

“I’ve said that Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan to the ticket has definitely sharpened the debate and made even more clear the choice for the American people,” Van Hollen told reporters Thursday on a conference call to discuss competing plans for Medicare.

“At its core, the Ryan-Romney budget provides huge tax cuts to the very wealthy, like Mitt Romney, at the expense of everyone and everything else,” he said, before launching into a 10-minute prosecution of the plan that demonstrated his handle on the issues and eagerness to debate.

Democrats believe Van Hollen will be an able stand-in for the Republican vice presidential nominee.  It’s unclear, however, when Biden, 69, will begin debate preparations in earnest.  He and Ryan, 42, will face-off in Danville, Ky., on Oct. 11.

Meanwhile, President Obama will be preparing for his two televised debates with Mitt Romney by sparring behind closed doors with former presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.  Obama and Romney will debate three times in October.

Van Hollen will appear Sunday on a special edition of ABC’s This Week for a roundtable debate on U.S. fiscal policy coordinated in partnership with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug112012

Mitt Romney Selects Rep. Paul Ryan as VP Running Mate

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NORFOLK, Va.) -- Mitt Romney rolled out his vice presidential running mate for the first time in the critical swing state of Virginia on Saturday.

Early Saturday morning, Romney's campaign announced the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House Budget Committee chairman who has energized fiscal conservatives with his budget proposals and sweeping plans for entitlement reform.

Romney and Ryan appeared together as running mates for the first time in Norfolk, Va., at a morning rally in front of the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin.

WATCH: Mitt Romney Selects Paul Ryan as Running Mate
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"I am deeply excited and honored to join you as your running mate," Ryan said.

"Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history. Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country," Ryan said.

WATCH: Paul Ryan 'Deeply Honored' to Join Mitt Romney as Running Mate
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Ryan is already viewed as a high-risk, high-reward pick for Romney, who had also considered former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, for the ticket. Romney notified Portman personally on Friday that he was not the choice for VP, ABC's Gregory Simmons reported. Pawlenty spent time with Romney's son Tagg on Friday, ABC's Shushannah Walsh reported, and had learned by early Saturday morning that Ryan had been selected.

The Wisconsin congressman has made waves in national politics with his proposal to drastically alter the federal Medicare program--a suggestion that has been roundly attacked by Democrats including President Obama. Ryan's plan would nearly voucherize the program, ending Medicare's fee-for-service model and replacing payments to doctors with "premium-support payments" made directly to Medicare beneficiaries, with more money given to beneficiaries who can afford less.

The changes are projected to reduce Medicare spending significantly compared to projections of what taxpayers will have to pay for under current law, and the Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that beneficiaries will be saddled with a greater cost burden over time.

The Norfolk rally kicks off a bus tour for Romney through the swing state of Virginia, which Obama carried in 2008. On Saturday, Romney (and presumably Ryan) will continue on to Ashland and Manassas for a day of rallies that will last into the evening.

WATCH: Why Did Mitt Romney Choose Paul Ryan?
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For months, Ryan, a seven-term Republican from Janesville, Wis., has danced around the VP question, refusing to comment on the vetting process and insisting that his focus is on his responsibilities in the House of Representatives.

Ryan has appeared publicly on the campaign trail alongside Romney multiple times, including an event in Janesville on June 18. He also attended a Romney fundraising weekend retreat in Utah last month and stumped on Romney's behalf more recently in Normal, Ill., on July 13.

"What I see in Mitt Romney are the kinds of skills, tools, character attributes that you need in a leader. He makes decisions. He doesn't pander," Ryan said at the Reagan Library in May.

Ryan is a popular pick inside the Republican Party, where he's often praised as an ideas man after drafting the GOP's budget known as the Path to Prosperity, which overhauls entitlements and cuts spending in an effort to reduce the deficit.

But across the aisle, Democrats have been sizing up Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, as an easy target for his controversial ideas to address the deficit. Still, Ryan has not shied away from his budget blueprint. He recently told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the election will turn on the economy and health care.

"This election is a choice of two futures: Do you want a government-centered society and a government-driven economy and government-rationed health care? Or do you want the American opportunity society with a safety net, a free economy, economic freedom, personal liberty?" Ryan said on This Week July 1. "That's what we want. That's the American idea. We have one more chance as a people to get that back, and that chance is going to come on November the 6th."

Ryan and his wife Janna have three children, Elizabeth, Charles and Samuel. He earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio. Before running for Congress, he was an aide to Republican senators Robert Kasten Jr. and Sam Brownback, as well as to former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, and was also a speechwriter for education secretary William Bennett.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug092012

Wikipedia Locks Down Potential VP Pages

Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation)(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney’s campaign might be asking supporters to download “Mitt’s VP” app to get the first notification of his running mate, but tea leaf readers were turning to Wikipedia for clues.

The thinking was that a flurry of Wikipedia edits indicated a potential running mate’s online persona was being scrubbed.

The popular, user-edited site has locked down the candidates’ pages after comedian Stephen Colbert encouraged viewers to update potential running mates’ Wikipedia sites with jokes and falsities.

Earlier in the week, Tech President’s Micah Sifry introduced the unassuming idea that Wikipedia activity may be an early indicator of who Romney will pick as his running mate. According to him, updates to the Wikipedia pages of previous VP contenders have suggested that the popular site might have a lead.

In the 2008 election, Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page was updated close to 70 times the day before GOP nominee John McCain publicly announced her selection, and five days prior to the announcement there were another 54 updates made to the page.

Tim Pawlenty, one of McCain’s leading contenders for the VP pick and coincidentally one of Romney’s, too, had 54 quick updates initially, ultimately trailing Palin with only 12 in the five days prior. Vice President Joe Biden also saw an unusual spike in web activity before Obama’s big announcement back in 2008.

Earlier this week, the Wiki pages of a few of Romney’s VP choices were causing a stir. The pages of Rob Portman and Marco Rubio saw overwhelming activity.

Though Sifry’s finding seemed promising, those impatient for Romney’s VP pick might have to find a new indicator.

On Wednesday, the Tech President reported that Wikipedia put a lock on the pages of leading VP candidates in an attempt to protect them from vandalism. Contenders such as Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Chris Christie have all had their Wiki pages protected by site administrators allowing only registered users to makes edits.

Whether or not Wikipedia will reopen its pages to allow updates before the big announcement is unknown.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

Pawlenty Meeting with Veep Vetter? He’s Not Telling

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(PORTAGE, Mich.) -- Tim Pawlenty is not meeting with Mitt Romney when he travels to New Hampshire Friday, just an hour's drive from the campaign’s Boston headquarters. But, is he meeting with veep vetter Beth Myers? He’s not telling.

“My schedule for this Friday and Saturday is in New Hampshire. I’m flying into Boston and then traveling immediately up to New Hampshire to start that schedule and I don’t think Gov. Romney is in Boston or around there on Friday or Saturday as I understand it,” Pawlenty told reporters.

When asked if he was meeting with Myers, Pawlenty said, “As it relates to VP questions and process we have a policy the campaign just doesn’t talk about the vice presidential vetting process, schedules, details, people involved all of that. I wish I had more for you.”

Pawlenty is holding four campaign and state party events in New Hampshire Saturday.

Pawlenty spoke to reporters at a campaign office, and when asked whether all the running mate speculation is “annoying” or “flattering” the former Minnesota governor didn’t skip a beat.

“All of it,” Pawlenty answered.

He’s at the top of possible vice presidential choices for Romney, but this is Pawlenty’s second time around. In 2008, if McCain didn’t go with Sarah Palin, Pawlenty would have been the next call.

He said Wednesday the process is giving him deja vu.

“I’ve been through this before,” Pawlenty said. “In 2008 I was on some speculators’ list as John McCain’s selection for VP. It’s an honor to be considered.”

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman are also thought to be at the top of the short list.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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