MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden, who will be in Florida as Republicans gather to nominate their presidential ticket, on Tuesday compared GOP critics of the Obama administration's Wall Street reforms to "squealing pigs."
Biden's comments showed he has no intention of softening his attack-dog rhetoric, despite widespread criticism of remarks he made last week in which he said presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and other Republicans would put Americans "back in chains" in order to unshackle Wall Street.
Appearing before a raucous crowd in downtown Minneapolis, Biden said a Democratic-led Congress had approved a law reining in the Wall Street excesses that contributed to the nation's economic collapse four years ago. The Dodd-Frank law, which toughened financial-industry regulations after the 2008 meltdown, was approved despite strong objections from Republicans, including Romney, Biden said.
"Over the objections — where they sound like squealing pigs — over the objections of Romney and all of his allies, we passed some of the toughest Wall Street regulations in history," Biden said.
Although the economy remains sluggish and unemployment persistently high, Biden said that progress was being made under President Back Obama.
"Folks, the middle class has started to come back. They have been ravaged," he said.
That assertion led Romney spokesman Ryan Williams to retort: "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."