Biden Slams Romney's Tax Plan In New Hampshire Speech

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

Exeter, New Hampshire (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden's campaign attacks on Mitt Romney continued Thursday in the battleground of New Hampshire, a state Biden and President Barack Obama won in 2008 but where Romney made significant inroads during the GOP primary in January.

In a campaign speech in Exeter – a symbolic choice since Exeter claims to be the town where the Republican Party was founded – Biden slammed Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and all but certain Republican presidential nominee, as favoring tax breaks for the wealthy at the cost of important national investments.

"Just look at what Governor Romney wants to do," Biden said to a crowd of 400 supporters in Exeter's Town Hall.

Introduced by Nashua resident and former school bus driver Deidre Reynolds, Biden used Reynold's story to emphasize the differences with Romney.

"The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the ones that were intended to expire, the ones that will expire this December - he wants to extend them," Biden said.

During this fourth visit to New Hampshire in the last five months, Biden repeatedly spoke about the literal and metaphorical cost of the tax cuts totals, which he said would total a trillion dollars.

The vice president called Romney "out of touch" because he wants to "double down on tax cuts for the wealthy" at the expense of the middle class, asking the audience, "how many of you have Swiss bank accounts?"

The focus on the opposing tax plans is part of a larger effort by Obama's campaign to push the so-called "Buffett Rule," which would mandate Americans earning more than $1 million per year pay a 30% tax rate – higher than most millionaires pay now, since they generally derive much of their income from investments, which are taxed at 15%.

The effort to push the rule – named for billionaire Warren Buffett – began in earnest this week with a White House address by Obama that featured four millionaires who brought along their secretaries, a symbol of the higher tax rate the lower-paid assistants sometimes pay.

Biden compared the proposed Buffett Rule to a plan advocated by his GOP rival.

"The Buffett Rule says that multi-millionaires should pay at least the same percentage of their income in taxes as middle-class families do," Biden said. "The Romney Rule says the very wealthy should keep the tax cuts and loopholes they have, and get an additional, new tax cut every year that is worth more than what the average middle class family makes in an entire year."

That system, Biden stressed, isn't fair.

"It's not the American way. We're not supposed to have a system that's rigged. We're not supposed to have a system with one set of rules for the wealthy and one set of rules for everyone else," the vice president said.

He also said wealthy people know they should be doing more.

"I often point out wealthy people are just as patriotic as poor people," he said. "They are just as patriotic as middle class people. And I think they know they should be doing more."

At one point, when a baby started crying during his critique of Romney's plan, Biden quickly quipped, "I don't blame the baby for crying," which was met with applause from the audience.

"That's one smart baby!" Biden exclaimed.

Romney's campaign, which spent substantial resources to win the Granite State's first-in-the-nation GOP primary in January, held a conference call Thursday ahead of Biden's visit featuring prominent Romney supporters, including former New Hampshire governor John Sununu.

"Welcome to New Hampshire Joe Biden," Sununu said on the call. "It's a shame you don't know how to talk about jobs that America needs and it's a shame you haven't been able to create the jobs that America needs. We're still at 8% after 38 months of staying there. It's a travesty the Obama administration has been unable to do anything to inspire investment that creates jobs in this economy."

Sununu, along with Romney spokesman Ryan Williams, were also present at the speech to speak with voters and members of the media. A Romney campaign bus drove past three times as Biden was speaking.

"We will be there to discuss the Obama Administration's abysmal economic policies and failed fiscal agenda," Williams said.

Obama won New Hampshire in the 2008 general election by a ten point margin, besting Sen. John McCain 54%-44%, but Republicans made major gains there in the 2010 midterm elections and the state is considered up for grabs in November's presidential contest.

A WMUR Granite State Poll conducted in February showed President Obama with a 51% approval rating.

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